Saturday, September 27, 2008

Your Favorite Paul Newman Film

I am torn between choosing one where his physical perfection and romanticism is most in evidence, the part of him that made me crazy at 15, or the ones I most enjoyed. I guess I'll go with Hud, which has both elements.

He ranks pretty high on my list of heroes. Lots of sad deaths lately.

34 comments:

Randy Johnson said...

For me, it's probably Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
He will be missed. He was one Hollywood star who didn't take himself too seriously. He used that star power in his philanthropic endeavors and likely will be remembered as much for that as his movies.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was my alternate choice, but someone how in that film, he felt past his prime due to Redford playing the younger man. I wanted to choose one where he dominated the screen.

Travis Erwin said...

I'm a huge Richard Russo fan so I am partial to his portrayal of Sully in Nobody's Fool. If you haven't read the novel or seen the movie you should.

James Reasoner said...

Cool Hand Luke.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess Cool Hand Luke would be the hands-down favorite Newman movie. I've never seen it on the big screen or even on DVD.
I loved Nobody's Fool. He so nailed Sully.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

So many to choose from. I woulf have to go with Cool Hand Luke or The Hustler.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Haven't seen The Hustler in years. I hope TCM does a retrospective soon. Some of his earlier movies rarely play. Was Exodus that bad, for instance? What about From the Terrace?

Linda McLaughlin said...

Hud and Butch Cassidey & the Sundance Kid are two of my favorites of his films. And for just pure silliness, Rally Round the Flag Boys. He was so great in serious roles, we forget what a good comic actor he was, too. He was truly a screen icon and will be missed.

Linda

pattinase (abbott) said...

Loved Rally. Loved the book too. Max Schulman, right? I miss that kind of movie. And Joanne Woodward too. My favorite movie with both is The Bridges because I loved the books so. Although The Long Hot Summer ain't bad either.

Martin Edwards said...

Butch Cassidy, for me, beyond a doubt. I agree that he wasn't a dominant presence in the film, but it's one movie that, in all its elements, approaches perfection

J. Kingston Pierce said...

I'm going to have to go with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Harper, but I also prize Cool Hand Luke and The Sting. And I just went out and rented The Verdict, which I haven't seen in years. Mr. Newman was one of the best actors I've ever had the privilege to see.

Cheers,
Jeff

Scott Parker said...

Hud is probably the one I enjoyed most. The Hustler and Butch Cassidy is also good. And I enjoyed him in Road to Perdition. Sad to say, I've not watched a lot of Newman films. He was already an older actor by the time I became aware of movies. In fact, he was more the popcorn guy than the actor. Hombre is cued up to watch tonight in honor of Newman. I'll have to share my thoughts on it soon.

Todd Mason said...

Often, he was the best thing about a film that didn't deserve his performance (or in the case of the likes of THE TOWERING INFERNO, his presence, and he clearly thought so too). My favorite among his films might well be THE STING, though as an off-camera presence he's in part responsible for THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, a jewel in any collection. In films like HARPER, he's good but the film isn't up to its Ross Macdonald source novel; I haven't read the McMurtry HUD yet, but I always found Newman and Patricia Neal, and that absolutely devastating cinematography by James Wong Howe, more impressive than the film as a whole (even as a kid, watching it cut up at least for commercials for broadcast). THE COLOR OF MONEY was ruined by Tom Cruise's moronic performance (while THE HUSTLER doesn't quite have the heft one would like...glad they helped Walter Tevis along in his journey, though). While less hyped films like SLAP SHOT seemed to find him right at home. I still need to see QUINTET, despite all the warnings.

Sandra Seamans said...

Loved him in Absence of Malice, with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and The Long Hot Summer coming in close seconds. And the scenes in Nobody's Fool with Jessica Tandy were perfection.

Todd Mason said...

McMurtry's HUD novel is, of course, HORSEMAN, PASS BY...he was also good in THE VERDICT, a solid film.

Seems odd that last night I hesitated over a bottle of his salad dressing before opting to try another brand for the first time (Newman Sesame Ginger good but might favor the sesame too much) and was looking for some of his sandwich cookies for a snack for my working team in the office. (They didn't have them.)(For some reason they often seem to be only in earthy-crunchy markets.)(I definitely recommend the ginger.)

David Cranmer said...

Cool Hand Luke, Hud, Butch Cassidy, The Sting are all perfecto, but a favorite of mine is a film from later in his career called Nobody's Fool. He played off Bruce Willis rather well. I remember a young woman in the audience mentioning during a scene that she wouldn't mind having Newman's boots under her bed and I thought "damn, I'd like to be that cool pushing seventy!"

pattinase (abbott) said...

Boy, we're going to miss him. Try to think of another actor with such a long-term screen presence, such grace, such character, such humanity.

Barbara Martin said...

The first movie I saw him in was Hud, but my favourite was Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. He was the epitome of the word 'actor' and will be remembered as such. Bless his soul.

Barrie said...

I'm like Randy Johnson. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a movie that's always stuck with me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Todd-Your enthusiasms and lack of enthusiasms are more original than anything I can say.

I guess Butch is the over-all favorite. My husband votes the The Sting.

Steve Lewis said...

I may be the odd ball out, but I don't think anyone's mentioned my favorite yet, and that's The Drowning Pool, a movie I've always considered even better than Harper, his first Ross Macdonald film.

All of the ones talked about so far are absolutely great, of course. No question about it.

But another good one is Where the Money Is, a smaller-budget caper film in which he goes one-to-one against Linda Fiorentino in fine witty fashion.

It's a movie that didn't do well versus the blockbusters that make the big splashes in today's movie world, but it's certainly worth a look on DVD.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband saw that the other night on cable and was impressed. Have to catch it.

Juri said...

The film that finally made me notice that I wanted to look like him (which I of course don't) or at least have his charisma (which I don't) was the otherwise pretty forgettable and too long thriller from Mark Robson, made in the early sixties, in which Newman plays a bestseller writer and a drunk. Sorry, can't recall the title, but he's marvellous in it. As Todd says, he's the best thing in films that don't deserve it. (He's great in Hud, too, in a similar role, as in The Long Hot Summer.)

And Todd, I've seen Quintet, but it was too long ago, so can't really say. Same for Hombre.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think that's THE PRIZE, which I almost remember. Elke Sommer? I wonder if he's the last "Movie Star."

Cameron Hughes said...

The best for me are

Harper/The Drowning Pool
The Sting
Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
The Hustler
and its sequel The Color of Money, which is very underrated

pattinase (abbott) said...

Looking through the list today, quite a variety of genres. And I liked The Color of Money too.

John McFetridge said...

this is really showing my Canadian-ness, but SLAPSHOT.

It's really a very under rated movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Never saw Slapshot. Have to look for it.

Naomi Hirahara said...

I liked his image on my salad dressing--and I'm not being facetious. His philanthropy and activities beyond acting resonate the most with me. In terms of films, it would have to be THE STING and ABSENCE OF MALICE.

ARCHAVIST said...

it's got to be butch and sundance for me simply because I love westerns. But Cool hand luke, the sting and Hud are all faves of mine.

pattinase (abbott) said...

He was almost always good even when the material was not--as in some of those earliest movies.

Rafe McGregor said...

Has to be "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for me, but I agree that Redford dominated the movie - even though he had far less to say!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ah, youth!

movie fan said...

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid ... he also made an interesting appearance in a chick flick, as Kevin Costner's father in Message in a Bottle