Hard Eight

Feel lucky?

You probably shouldn’t, as most gamblers are born losers, something silky mystery man Philip Baker Hall exploits.

As the star of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s film debut, he has a seeming soft spot for down-on-his-luck newbie John C. Reilly, however.

Taking him under his wing, the old man keeps a skeptical eye on Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson, who ooze across the screen in knockout early roles.

Anderson, who has gone on to give us landmark films like Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, was already The Man from day one.

See where the magic started.

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