Friday, January 18, 2008

1.1 The Con is On

Con-man Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone (Adrian Lester) is out of prison, and wants to do the cliched ‘one last score’ on his own terms to prove his previous stint in jail was a fluke. To that end, he assembles his regular crew of con-artists:

  • Albert Stroller (Robert Vaughn), an American, and a former shoe salesman from the American mid-west, who graduated to being a con artist and later emigrated to England
  • Stacie Munroe (Jaime Murray), a sharp, sexy woman who was married to, and pulled cons with, another artist until he took all the money and ran
  • Ash Morgan (Robert Glenister), a jack-of-all-trades who can get, or build, anything

The mark this time: Peter Williams, a greedy man with plenty of money, but that doesn’t stop him from stealing tips. The con is all going smoothly until a small time con man, Danny Blue (Marc Warren) tries to get in on the game. When the police catch the scent and ask Danny to testify in exchange for freedom, will he look out for number one or remain loyal to his new grifter friends?


Fast-moving, well-edited, light, and the opposite of thought-provoking, Hustle is just fun to watch. I particularly like the way most of the characters smile knowingly at the camera (us), acknowledging that we are in on the con, and making us feel like we are part of the team.

Every movement and look on the show is meaningful; it’s not sloppy, it’s precise.


I felt it was contrived that Williams wasn’t so keen to put some more money into the deal until Danny burst in with his stream of praise. This seemed a little out of character for the man.

Memorable Moments

  • Danny getting slugged by Mickey, and then, while still crumpled on the lounge, winking at Stacie

Quotable Quotes

"I’m sorry, gentlemen, this is Mr…Redford, a client of mine."
 - Mickey, introducing Danny and making a reference to the movie The Sting

Mickey: You see, the first rule of the con…
Stacie: …is you can’t cheat an honest man.
Danny: It’s never been done.
Albert: Can’t happen.
Ash: Impossible.
Mickey: The only way this thing works is if you want something for nothing.
Ash: So, what do we do?
Stacie: We give you nothing for something.

"If you want to be a grifter, don’t have anything in your life you can’t walk away from in a second: lovers, friends, even your own mother."
- Mickey Stone to Danny Blue

Mickey: First rule, Danny: always look after number one. If you don’t, no one else will.
Danny: Okay…yeah, I’ll try to remember that.

"You know what I love about roulette? That glorious 30 seconds while the wheel is still spinning."
- Albert

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