Saturday, September 27, 2008

R.I.P. Paul Newman

I had planned to talk about Spike Lee's uneven but often wildly entertaining "Miracle at St. Anna" today, but I instead woke up to the rather depressing news that Paul Newman had died.

He was 83 and had suffering from cancer for quite a while, and therefore hadn't acted too often in recent years, most recently adding his voice to Pixar's "Cars." Looking back through his IMDB resume, he made many movies that I and the rest of the world love, but if I had to pick three favorites, they would have to be 'The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Hustler" and, of course, "Cool Hand Luke."

Probably the most quotable movie of all time, that last one is just cinematic comfort food. I've probably seen it as often as any movie I own, and will surely watch at least part of it tonight (after watching the Georgia Bulldogs just roll the Alabama Crimson Tide.) I really don't have anything terribly profound to say about this tragic loss, so instead just enjoy this fairly somber moment from "Cool Hand Luke" Mr. Newman singing "Plastic Jesus" and playing the banjo. R.I.P Mr. Newman.

8 comments:

kat said...

Even though I knew Newman had been sick the news hit me with a wallop this morning. Tears came to my eyes immediately after reading the news. Beyond the fact that he made so many movies that I love with all my heart, he was just a fine, fine person.

I think "Nobody's Fool" is my favorite performance of his, although there are so many excellent ones to choose from. RIP Paul Newman. Irreplaceable.

Reel Fanatic said...

"Nobody's Fool" is indeed a very sweet movie, Kat, and one I like almost as much as you do

Mercurie said...

There have been only a few times when a movie actor has died that I have felt truly saddened. Newman is one of those cases. He starred in so many of my favourite movies and played so many of my favourite characters.

Aside from the obvious roles (Fast Eddie, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy) I think my favourite Newman performances would be as Judge Roy Bean in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean and his part as one of Shirley Maclain's husbands in What a Way to Go. Judge Roy Bean was just so different from his other roles, and it is the first time I can remember that he played a curmudgeon. As to What a Way to Go, that role was so different too--he played an artist who wanted to develop a device that paints by sound. Newman was very good at playing eccentrics!

Reel Fanatic said...

He was indeed, Mr. Mercurie ... I've been adding a few Newman flicks to my Netflix queue, and the Judge Roy Bean flick is one I really like but hadn't thought of watching again, so thanks for the reminder!

Chalupa said...

Cool Hand Luke and Hudsucker are two of my favorites too. Unfortunately I don't own the first one, so we watched the later this afternoon to commemorate his passing.

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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