Piper Laurie received her first Oscar nomination for playing Sarah Packard in The Hustler.
The Hustler is an absolutely terrific film about the life of barrooms and pool-halls. It's amazingly shows the life in such a gritty, yet optimistic life that it becomes a great story, full of life and vitality. It's the story of a small-time pool hustler who must work his way up the ladder, he has the talent but has a self-destructive attitude which easily brings him down.
She is a sad woman, yet I as a viewer didn't totally buy it - she's supposed to be the kind of woman one would want to get rid of as soon as you're done sleeping with her, yet Piper Laurie makes her such a pathetic character you can't help but feel her, if that completely makes sense. She doesn't play a bad girl or a good, yet lost girl, it's really neither and doesn't have a real focus. Laurie's theatrical acting also manages to be unbearable when she is trying to sell a scene, like when they first meet, it's so obvious Laurie is trying to devour the screen it becomes laughable. She manages to evoke feelings out of the viewer, but they are the wrong ones, always looking for the viewer to sympathize with her character who is lost and completely distant. A bit lost, a bit right, but totally overdone.