It is supposed to be Helfert, if I remember correctly he was busy with something else and couldn't do the movieI just watched it the other night. First time I had seen it since it came out. Tell me ,is toupee Jay supposed to be Jay Helfert? There is a resemblance. I like Christopher Walken in this movie.
Pool Hall Junkies... I look at the film this way:
Take some great character actors (Christopher Walken, Chazz Palmintari, and Mars Callahan), and a decent enough 'The Sting'-type story-line. but make it about Pool and Hustling instead of Horse-Racing and Poker; and, literally smash it together with the wacky 80s High-School Hi-Jinks of Porky's; and well... That's Pool Hall Junkies to me.
I look at the film on 2 separate levels:
The 'A' Story, being the Johnny Pool Story (I though Mars Callahan was great in this role); along with, The 'B'-Story, being, Johnny's Girlfriend and Job Troubles; and then, separately, The 'C' Story, featuring the Silly Juvenile Nonsense of Johnny's younger brother and his clownish pals.
I guess when I watch the film, I feel more like I'm flicking back-and-forth between 2 different movies, which has a bit of 'cross-over' happening.
I'd love to see this film re-cut, with the 'C'- story edited out completely, but would never work in reality; so, when those scenes are playing, that's when I go make a sandwich or scratch the dog.
The film gets hammered by most pool players; but, I like more things about this film than things I don't like about it.
Hell, I'd rather watch Pool Hall Junkies than The Color of Money (Tom Cruise??? Seriously?? ... Get Offa My Lawn!) any day of the week.
Okay guys, go for it, Flame Away! - GJ
For all you naysayers, just remember, without PH Junkies, we wouldn't have the Lion Speech from Walken. Worth watching the movie for that one scene.
I always said that this movie was terrible. Only saw it once almost 20 years ago. Just watched it again after reviewing this thread. Other than the lion scene this movie was, TERRIBLE. Everything (except the lion scene) was predictable, sophomoric and done many, many times before. I did find it interesting that Rotten Tomatos gave it an audience score of 88.