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Hard Eight + introduction (18)

25 July

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  • A Autism friendly
  • C Captioned
  • D Dementia friendly


Paul Thomas Anderson’s debut film had little of the popular impact of his second feature Boogie Nights, but for those who were paying attention, Hard Eight signalled the arrival of a major filmmaking talent. It was most notable for giving a rare leading role to one of Anderson’s favourite American actors, Philip Baker Hall, who passed away in June of this year.

Hall plays Sydney, a professional gambler who haunts the casinos of Reno and takes down-on-his-luck John (John C Reilly) under his wing. Sydney teaches John the tricks of his trade, but things get complicated when they meet cocktail waitress Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Sydney’s past catches up with him.

With a supporting cast including Samuel L Jackson and future Anderson regular Philip Seymour Hoffman, Hard Eight is both a showcase for what made Hall such a unique screen presence, and a gripping tale of chance, regret and simmering violence.

Introduced by Paul Gallagher, GFT Programme Manager.

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  • Director Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Cast Philip Baker Hall, John C Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Country USA
  • Year of Production 1996
  • Running Time 1h41m
  • Certificate 18
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