17 Bankable Facts About 'The Color of Money'

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YouTube

Paul Newman won an Oscar for his second go-around as “Fast Eddie” Felson in 1986's The Color of Money, a one-time collaboration between the iconic film star and acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. A continuation of 1961’s The Hustler, The Color of Money examined Fast Eddie’s story 25 years later, where he convinces the green-but-talented pool player Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) to let him help him become a real nine-ball hustler. When Vincent proves too strong-minded—and ego-driven—to ever throw a game in the name of a hustle, Eddie himself makes a triumphant return to the game he loves. Here are some facts about The Color of Money that don't roll funny.

1. IT WAS PAUL NEWMAN WHO APPROACHED MARTIN SCORSESE ABOUT THE FILM.

Walter Tevis had written the book The Hustler and its sequel, The Color of Money, yet Newman didn’t care for the adapted screenplay to the latter. So Newman went to Scorsese, as he was a fan of his work, particularly Raging Bull, which he felt had a similar tone to what The Color of Money should be.

2. NEWMAN ALMOST DROVE THE SCREENWRITER CRAZY.

Novelist Richard Price was brought on to work with Newman and Scorsese on the screenplay, which would feature its own interpretation of what happened to Fast Eddie after The Hustler. Price would work on a scene first, then give it to Scorsese, who would read it and give him notes. Using those notes, Price would rework the scenes and submit them to Newman, who gave the writer his own notes. Newman would at times tell the other two, “Guys, I think we’re missing an opportunity here.” "The minute I heard that I would groan, 'Oh, no, here we go again,'" Price told The New York Times. "Unfortunately, he was rarely wrong. But there were points when I thought, 'If I hear ''we're missing an opportunity" one more time, you're going to be missing a writer.'" It was estimated that Price had at least 36 script conferences with Newman.

3. 20TH CENTURY FOX DIDN’T WANT PAUL NEWMAN OR TOM CRUISE IN THE MOVIE.

Fox was “enthusiastic” ... until then-president Sherry Lansing left. The new bosses didn’t like the movie’s script or the two leads. Columbia also passed. Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, at Touchstone/Disney, saw the film's potential and greenlit the production.

4. SCORSESE AND NEWMAN HAD TO RISK SOME OF THEIR SALARIES.

The studio decided that a 50-day shooting schedule and a $14.5 million budget was sufficient for the film. They also worked out a deal where, if the movie eclipsed its set budget, Newman and Scorsese would be responsible for making up the difference, and put one-third of their respective salaries at risk. They ended up finishing the shoot one day early and $1.5 million under budget.

5. JACKIE GLEASON PASSED ON MAKING A CAMEO.

Gleason famously played Minnesota Fats in The Hustler, and his character played a big part in the book version of The Color of Money. "We desperately wanted the character to return,'' Newman told The New York Times, ''but every time we put him in, it seemed like we were trying to glue an arm on a man and make it stick.'' Added Scorsese: ''We finally presented a script to Gleason with Fats in. But he felt it was an afterthought.'' As such, Gleason passed.

6. THE CHARACTER OF JANELLE WAS CREATED AT THE LAST MINUTE.

Just before filming, Eddie’s love interest/bar owner Janelle (Helen Shaver) was added so that Eddie’s relationship with Vincent wouldn’t be misinterpreted.

7. JOHN TURTURRO’S AGENT DIDN’T WANT TURTURRO TO MAKE THE FILM.

John Turturro admitted that he wasn’t getting paid what he felt he was worth to play Julian, but he took the job anyway. During production, he showed his screenplay for Mac to Scorsese, who was complimentary and gave him advice. Mac found its way into theaters in 1992.

8. MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO WAS THE LAST PERSON TO AUDITION FOR CARMEN.

Mastrantonio believes she was the last person to audition for Scarface, too.

9. CRUISE AND NEWMAN HAD MET BEFORE FILMING.

The two met at Newman’s office years earlier, after Newman had seen Cruise in Taps. Newman said, “Hey, Killer.” Cruise responded by claiming he would have taken the Military Academy over if he had five more minutes. Newman called Cruise only by his last name on set.

10. THEY DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR CRUISE TO LEARN EVERY POOL SHOT.

Cruise prepared for his role by shooting a lot of billiards, estimating that he had improved “200 percent” in a few weeks' time. Cruise performed all of his own pool stunts, except for when Vincent jumps two balls to make his desired shot. Scorsese figured it would take Cruise two days to figure out how to do it himself, but it would have cost precious time and money. Michael Sigel, a technical advisor on the film, performed the trick instead.

11. YOU KNOW THE PERSON THAT VOICES THE OPENING UNCREDITED VOICEOVER.

Scorsese himself spoke of the game of nine-ball.

12. TOP POOL PLAYERS AND ONE STOOGE APPEARED IN THE FILM.

Steve Mizerak, a famous pool player as far as back as a 1978 Bud Light ad, portrayed Eddie’s first opponent in Atlantic City. Jimmy Mataya, better known as “Pretty Boy Floyd,” played Julian’s friend in the Green Room. Keith McCready portrayed Grady Seasons. The Stooges frontman Iggy Pop also appeared as a pool player.

13. THE POOL CUE USED WASN’T A BALABUSHKA.

Eddie and Vincent were both lying to themselves; their cue was a Joss N7 model.

14. SCORSESE GOT THE IDEA FOR GOODFELLAS WHILE SHOOTING THE COLOR OF MONEY.

In a rare moment of downtime, "I read a review of [Nicholas Pileggi's] Wiseguy when I was directing The Color of Money, and it said something about this character Henry Hill having access to many different levels of organized crime because he was somewhat of an outsider," Scorsese told Rolling Stone. "He looked a little nicer. He was able to be a better frontman and speak a little better. I thought that was interesting, because you could get a cross section of the layers of organized crime—from his point of view, of course. So I got the book, started reading it and was fascinated by the narrative ability of it."

15. DAVID GEFFEN WAS UPSET OVER THE SOUNDTRACK.

Robbie Robertson put the soundtrack together, which is best known for featuring Eric Clapton and Robertson’s “It’s in the Way That You Use It” and Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” Geffen would not allow Robertson permission to use his own voice at any point on the album, because he felt that the singer’s first solo record was being delayed on account of his work on the soundtrack. The Band performer still managed to get music from the likes of Clapton, Don Henley, B.B. King, Robert Palmer, and Willie Dixon.

16. INTEREST IN POOL INCREASED FOLLOWING THE FILM'S RELEASE.

Sales of cue sticks in Southern California were reported to have increased by 25 percent a month after the film's release. Pool table sales increased, too. A similar bump in popularity occurred when The Hustler was first released.

17. THE VIDEO GAME ‘DOOM’ GOT ITS NAME FROM THE FILM.

id software found the perfect title for their first-person shooter classic from the scene between Vincent and Moselle (Bruce A. Young). When Vincent was asked what’s in his pool cue case, he asked, “Here?” He then opened the case and said his influential one-word response.

“Doom.”

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

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Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Nintendo

- Legend of Zelda Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $199 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

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9 Things Invented By Accident

These sugary summer treats were an accidental invention.
These sugary summer treats were an accidental invention.
Daniel Öberg, Unsplash

Not every great invention was created according to plan. Some, in fact, were the result of a happy accident. In November 2020, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that the COVID-19 vaccine it had developed in partnership with Oxford University was 90 percent effective when administered in a dosing regimen they had discovered thanks to some “serendipity.” This wasn't the only unintentional discovery in history, of course. From penicillin to artificial sweeteners, all nine of the everyday items below were invented entirely by accident.

1. Penicillin

On September 28, 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered that a petri dish of staphylococcus bacteria that had been inadvertently left out on the windowsill of his London laboratory had become contaminated by a greenish-colored mold—and encircling the mold was a halo of inhibited bacterial growth. After taking a sample and developing a culture, Fleming discovered that the mold was a member of the Penicillium genus, and the rest, as they say, is history.

2. Corn Flakes

The two Kellogg brothers—Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his younger brother (and former broom salesman) Will Keith Kellogg—worked at Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, where John was physician-in-chief. Both were strict Seventh-day Adventists, who used their work at the sanitarium to promote the austere dietary and moralist principles of their religion (including strict vegetarianism and a lifelong restraint from excessive sex and alcohol) and to carry out research into nutrition, and the impact of diet on their patients. It was during one of these experiments in 1894 that, while in the process of making dough from boiled wheat, one of the Kelloggs left the mash to dry for too long and when it came time to be rolled out, it splintered into dozens of individual flakes. Curious as to what these flakes tasted like, he baked them in the oven—and in the process, produced a cereal called Granose. Some later tinkering switched out the wheat for corn, and gave us corn flakes.

3. Teflon

Polytetrafluoroethylene—better known as PTFE, or Teflon—was invented by accident at a DuPont laboratory in New Jersey in 1938. Roy Plunkett, an Ohio-born chemist, was attempting to make a new CFC refrigerant when he noticed that a canister of tetrafluoroethylene, despite appearing to be empty, weighed as much as if it were full. Cutting the canister open with a saw, Plunkett found that the gas had reacted with the iron in the canister’s shell and had coated its insides with polymerized polytetrafluoroethylene—a waxy, water-repellent, non-stick substance. Du Pont soon saw the potential of Plunkett’s discovery and began mass producing PTFE, but it wasn’t until 1954, when the wife of French engineer Marc Grégoire asked her husband to use the same substance to coat her cookware to stop food sticking to her pans, that the true usefulness of Plunkett’s discovery was finally realized.

4. Slinky

In 1943, naval engineer Richard T. James was working at a shipyard in Philadelphia when he accidentally knocked a spring (that he had been trying to modify into a stabilizer for sensitive maritime equipment) from a high shelf. To his surprise, the spring neatly uncoiled itself and stepped its way down from the shelf and onto a pile of books, and from there onto a tabletop, and then onto the floor. After two years of development, the first batch of 400 “Slinky” toys sold out in just 90 minutes when they were demonstrated in the toy department of a local Gimbels store in 1945.

5. Silly Putty

At the height of World War II, rubber was rationed across the United States after Japan invaded a number of rubber-producing countries across southeast Asia and hampered production. The race was on to find a suitable replacement—a synthetic rubber that could be produced inside the U.S. without the need of overseas imports, which eventually led to the entirely unexpected invention of Silly Putty. There are at least two rival claims to the invention of Silly Putty (chiefly from chemist Earl L. Warrick and Scottish-born engineer James Wright), both of whom found that mixing boric acid with silicone oil produced a stretchy, bouncy rubber-like substance that also had the unusual ability of leaching newspaper print from a page (an ability that changing technology has now eliminated).

6. Post-It Notes

Pexels, Pixabay

In 1968, a 3M chemist named Dr. Spencer Silver was attempting to create a super-strong adhesive when instead he accidentally invented a super-weak adhesive, which could be used to only temporarily stick things together. The seemingly limited application of Silver’s product meant that it sat unused at 3M (then technically known as Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing) for another five years, until, in 1973, a colleague named Art Fry attended one of Silver’s seminars and struck upon the idea that his impermanent glue could be used to stick bookmarks into the pages of his hymnbook. It took another few years for 3M to be convinced both of Fry and Silver’s idea and of the salability of their product, but eventually they came up with a unique design that worked perfectly: a thin film of Spencer’s adhesive was applied along just one edge of a piece of paper. After a failed test-market push in 1977 as Press ’N Peel, the product went national as the Post-It note in 1980.

7. Saccharin

In 1878 or '79 (sources differ), Constantin Fahlberg, a chemist studying the properties of oxidized coal tar at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, discoveredwhile eating his meal one evening that food he picked up with this fingers tasted sweeter than normal. He traced the sweetening effect back to the chemical he had been working with that day (Ortho-sulfobenzoic Acid Imide, no less) and, noting its potential salability, quickly set up a business mass producing his sweetener under the name Saccharin. Although quickly popular (and equally quickly controversial), it would take the sugar shortages of two World Wars to make the discovery truly universal.

8. Popsicles

The first popsicle was reportedly invented by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905, when he accidentally left a container of powdered soda and water, with its mixing stick still inside, on his porch overnight. One unexpectedly cold night later, and the popsicle—which Epperson originally marketed 20 years later as an Epsicle—was born.

9. Safety glass

Safety glass—or rather, laminated glass—was accidentally discovered by the French chemist Édouard Bénédictus when he knocked a glass beaker from a high shelf in his laboratory and found, to his surprise, that it shattered but did not break. His assistant informed him that the beaker had contained cellulose nitrate, a type of clear natural plastic, that had left a film on the inside of the glass. He filed a patent for his discovery in 1909, and it has been in production (albeit in various different forms) ever since.