Sunday, September 28, 2008

I will miss Paul Newman


Paul Newman succumbed to cancer at age 83. Much has been written about him since that sad news flashed across my tv. Oscar winning actor, humanitarian, as handsome as they come, high integrity, great family man, accomplished race-car driver.

Paul Newman was always one of my favorites. I’m trying to think of a more likeable actor than him, and I cannot. Tom Hanks comes close. But Newman was an icon and cool in a way that Hanks will never approach.

In no particular order, here are my five favorite Paul Newman movies:

Slap Shot. Newman plays the coach of a really bad hockey team. One of the funniest sports movies ever made, Slap Shot was the Rocky antidote. The team, short on talent, turns to violence and fighting to salvage their season. I still remember Newman in that fur coat.

The Verdict. Many thought this was Paul Newman’s finest performance as an aging alcoholic lawyer trying to win a medical malpractice suit. Finely nuanced and unflinchingly unsympathetic. Newman got better with age. Not true with most actors.

The Sting. Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up again in this Oscar-winning picture in which they play con men in 1930s Chicago. Newman and Redford paved the way for Clooney and Pitt.

The Hustler. Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott in one of the classic movies of all time. Newman plays an up-and-coming pool player named “Fast Eddie” who plays long time champion Minnesota Fats. This is the movie that made Newman a star.

The Color of Money. Twenty five years after the Hustler, Fast Eddie plays again and Paul Newman wins his first and only Oscar. Newman always comes across like he is two steps ahead of everyone else. Maybe it’s something in the eyes. Favorite quote: “Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

4 comments:

brian said...

How could I leave off, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." Of course, what would I remove from the list? Tough. I will add this and subtract nothing.

Piper said...

I would switch that out for The Sting. But that's a solid list. Slap Shot is among my favorite sports movies/comedies. Color of Money is among my favorite Scorese movies. And The Verdict among my favorite Lumet movies. Of course they're all my favorite Newman movies.

movie fan said...

it's hard not to admire Paul Newman for putting his money to work in such productive ways, such as his Newman's Own line--high quality stuff and the proceeds go to good causes... very smart.

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