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A Small Time Charlie
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03-17-2010, 12:36 AM

According to Manwon in the other thread on this subject, the movie was never released for theatrical or home viewing. It's not in the IMDB database either, and IMDB has just about everything that was shown to even a handful of the American moviegoers. Let's face it - it must be pretty bad and the chances of ever seeing it very remote. It would be nice if somebody who knew Fats would tell us what happened to the flick.

However, to make up for this downer of a post, I did find the following online. The link is and the text is shown below:

Engagement of ‘The Player’ Benefits From Appearance of Minnesota Fats
The people of Jackson, Mississippi, were treated to a first recently when the Jackson Mall Cinema held an area premiere of “The Player.” On hand to promote the film were all the leading stars of the picture, but the main excitement was the appearance of Minnesota Fats, the world’s greatest pool player and hustler. Other stars wee Jerry Como and Rae Phillips. Enthusiasm was running high as pre-advertisement went up announcing the coming of Minnesota Fats to the cross-roads of the South, Jackson, Miss. The first thing Charles Comeaux, manager of the Jackson Mall Cinema, did was to visit all of the local pool taverns and billiard parlors to pass the word of the coming of Minnesota Fats and put up advertising as to the playdate and appearance of the Fat Man. Comeaux found, to his surprise, a larger number of pool enthusiasts then he had expected. Local TV and radio sportscasters heard of the coming of Minnesota Fats and started giving advance publicity of the movie and his coming to the Jackson area. From then on, every facet of the news media was wanting a piece of the action. Upon the arrival of Minnesota Fats and other stars in Jackson one TV talk show devoted half of its air time to the promotion of “The Player.” Other TV stations, not to be outdone, did likewise, with one of them devoting the entire air time of the talk show to the area premiere of “The Player.” Enthusiasm was also high in the air among the people of Mississippi as was indicated at the demonstrations put on in the Jackson Mall. After a luncheon press conference and an appearance at the Cinema where Minnesota Fats was honored by Mayor Davis as an honorary citizen of the City of Jackson, the fat man’s pool demonstrations drew the largest crowds the Jackson Mall has ever seen. People seemed to be hanging from the ceiling as they came from far and near to see the fat man demonstrate what has made him the world’s greatest pool player. Later on in the afternoon at his second theatre appearance, Minnesota Fats was again honored. This time he was proclaimed an Honorary Colonel of the State of Mississippi by Gov. John B. Williams. It was anybody’s guess as to who gave the best news coverage of Minnesota Fats and the area premiere, as all of the media came out in full force to cover this event. Everyone in Minnesota knew of his coming even though the state was in the middle of a hot Governor’s election at the time. Excitement of the crowds ran high as Minnesota Fats met with some of his old friends of years past. One in particular was a gentleman known to the people of Jackson as Abe Lincoln. Extra advertisement was received as Penney’s furnished the table for the demonstrations and gave newspaper publicity of the event. All festivities were well planned and organized and had complete coverage. All of the news media carried the complete coverage on news programs, sports broadcasts, live TV talk shows, with write-ups in the local papers. This helped to give all the advertisement needed to make the Area Premiere a huge success in Jackson. In all, the Jackson Mall Cinema of the Ogden-Perry theatre circuit enjoyed a well-rounded and successful run of “The Player.” [Boxoffice, Showmandiser, September 27, 1971, p.138]

Name: Rich Klein
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