No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes

Paul Newman was one of those movie stars who was really and truly a star. Not in a Zac Efron mass-produced Disney-star kind of way, but in a brilliant, shining, unmistakable academy-baiting but audience-pleasing way. If you haven't caught much of the Newman oeuvre, here are some essentials:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tennessee Williams can bring out the best or the worst in an actor. Williams brought out the best in Brando in Streetcar, and his southern gothic melodrama suits Newman perfectly here. Liz Taylor, as the forlorn and neglected Maggie, gets the meaty role and most of the accolades, but Newman quietly steals the show for me as her tormented, closeted husband Brick.

Cool Hand Luke
The essence of cool here, Newman's Luke is a petty thug ground down by his time on a southern chain gang. It's got some seriously famous lines, and one very famous scene involving Luke, a bet, and 50 eggs.

The Sting
Most people favour Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I have a fondness for this other Newman-Redford pairing. It's smart. It's silly. It's one of my all-time favourites, especially when you catch a glimpse of those famous blue eyes staring across the top of a hand of cards.

Slap Shot
Now this one isn't one of my own favourites, but as a true Canadian, I gotta put it on the list. A genre classic.

The Colour of Money
Watch Newman give a young Tom Cruise a master class in acting. Returning to his favourite role, Fast Eddie Felson, won Newman an Oscar.

The weathered, grumbling voice of Doc Hudson was a perfect fit for Newman, and a fitting end to his career.


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