Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 18
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1996
  • 101 mins

Hard Eight

Hard Eight


An ageing gambler takes a young hand under his wing in this low-key noir from debutant Paul Thomas Anderson


A nifty and nimble neo-noir from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, made before the excesses of subsequent work. Philip Baker Hall and John C Reilly (both Anderson regulars) play a pair of canny operators in Reno, with the former exerting a paternal hold over the latter, having taught him the rules of casino life. As with later Anderson, the plot is secondary and takes shape gradually; mostly the film relies on atmosphere, character and the performances that contribute to both.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: William Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Baker Hall, John C Reilly, Samuel L Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Screen Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Producer: John Lyons, Robert Jones
  • Photographer: Robert Elswit
  • Composer: Michael Penn, Jon Brion

In a nutshell

A near-classic in a minor key, and a must-see for fans of later work like The Master and There Will Be Blood who may not yet have experienced the delights of Paul Thomas Anderson's vision operating on a less epic scale.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4


    AnnaLynne McCord stars as a teenager with an unhealthy fascination with gore and surgery.

  • Film4

    100 Bloody Acres

    A gloriously gory, side-splittingly funny horror from Down Under.

  • Film4

    FilmFear on Film4

    This Halloween, Film4 becomes FilmFear. Join us for seven nights of petrifying premieres and classics from the crypt.

  • Film4

    Wake In Fright on Film4

    A notorious 1970s nightmare from Australia. The network premiere of Wake In Fright, this Halloween on FilmFear.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF 2016: Top Ten Editor Michael Leader runs through ten standouts from the Toronto International Film Festival...   The Oath I'd already seen three of the four Film4-backed films screening in Toronto (inc

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Baltasar Kormakur on The Oath

    As his Film4-backed Icelandic thriller The Oath premieres in Toronto, director/writer/actor Baltasar Kormakur speaks with editor Michael Leader about making films in Hollywood, returning to

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register