Hard Eight (originally titled Sydney) is a 1996 American crime film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson in his feature directorial debut. It stars Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow and Samuel L. Jackson.


Sydney, a senior gambler, finds a young man, John, forlornly sitting outside a diner in Nevada. He offers to give him a cigarette and buy a cup of coffee. Sydney learns that John needs $6,000 to pay for his mother's funeral. He offers to drive John to Las Vegas and teach him how to gamble and survive. Although John is skeptical at first, he agrees to Sydney's proposal.