This is the most satisfyingly shot and performed poker-playing scene in Hollywood history because it’s not about poker, but about two cheats trying to out-fuck each other. Paul Newman‘s smug and rascally confidence is key, but the whole thing really depends upon Robert Shaw‘s seething rage — the scene wouldn’t play without it. It’s all about boiling blood.
I can watch this all day long and never get bored because it’s perfectly shot, acted, lighted and timed. It’s the kind of thing that big-studio movies used to do really well. The emphasis was just so.