Paul Newman Birthday Appreciation Post

On the occasion of Paul Newman‘s 91st birthday, I would like to run down what is part of my essential Newman viewing (A Newman Dozen [12 plus 1]).

Some picks may be obvious, others I like because, heck I like them. Where applicable I will offer up some explanation where there may need to be one.

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) – Early evidence of the star power to come.

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Until They Sail (1957) – sometimes I am in the mood for a sentimental tearjerker and I go to this one

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The Long, Hot Summer (1958) – You can feel the heat, the pulsating searing chemistry between Newman and Woodward. Although I prefer the next title when it comes to my Southern dramas, I will still sit back and watch this one.

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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) – Ah Brick and Maggie the Cat. Might be a slightly water down version of the source material, but I am still down with it. Favorite scene? When Brick and Big Daddy are in the basement reminiscing.

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The Hustler (1961) -Fast Eddie got his Oscar 25 years later; but this is where it started.

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Paris Blues (1961) – I like the music.

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Hud (1963) – I am starting to sense a pattern in terms of the roles Mr. Newman plays …

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A New Kind of Love (1963) – I don’t know I just like this film because it is a bit of a romp. And it looked like husband and wife were having fun while making it.

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Torn Curtain (1966) -A minor Hitchcock film but still a good film in general. My lasting impressing is recounting Hitch talking about a pivotal scene where he wanted to convey to the audience just how difficult it is to kill a human hand-on-hand.

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Cool Hand Luke (1967) – No failure to communicate how awesome this film is!

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – As my dad said when I gave him the VHS during the Christmas of 1994, “Two fools.” And lovable fools they are…

Actors Paul Newman (R) and Robert Redford are shown in a scene from their 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" in this undated publicity photograph. Legendary film star Newman, whose brilliant blue eyes, good looks and talent made him one of Hollywood's top actors over six decades, has died, a spokesman said on September 27, 2008. He was 83 and had been battling cancer. REUTERS/Courtesy 20th Century Fox/Handout (UNITED STATES). NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. Original Filename: 2008-09-27T141316Z_01_SIN43_RTRMDNP_3_NEWMAN.JPG

 

The Sting (1973) – Redford and Newman and Hill reunited and it feels so good!

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The Verdict (1982) – When I was a kid I just remember thinking this is a “serious, adult” film. Surely is but then I had to watch it in religion class in high school (yup, religion class) as an example of a morality play.

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How’s about y’all out there in the interwebs … what are some of your favorite Newman films?