Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hump Day Hottie: Paul Newman

Ole Blue Eyes. The nickname isn't his alone but the eyes are so startling that I decided to only show a black and white photograph so as not to blind all of you for the next several hours. I was thinking of your well being (!) it hurts to look at him.

(Isn't it completely unfair when someone who is absolutely perfect beefcake is also absolutely and undeniably talented?)

I'm always embarrassed about how few of Paul Newman's films I've actually seen. When I first started becoming obsessed with movies as a teenager I rented lots of old movies but I tended to concentrate (that's the polite word for obsess) on my favorites Monty Clift, Natalie Wood, Gene Kelly, Warren Beatty and Judy G ...you know how I do. The concentration created major gaps or quirks in my classic film knowledge. For example: I've seen Paul in crap like The Silver Chalice --since Natalie Wood is also in in --but not in some of his classics). Once I started seeing 90-100 new releases a year these old school gaps and quirks stayed in place. I must fix them.

In the subject of Paul Newman I'm less schooled than I should be for a loudmouth film writer. Teach me! These are the key Newman films I haven't seen (he said sheepishly)...

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) The Long, Hot Summer (1958) Exodus (1960) The Hustler (1961) Hud (1963) Cool Hand Luke (1967) The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) Nobody's Fool (1994)

Where on earth to begin... How to get to know Paul Newman better?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK, well get thee to your local DVD emporium (doesn't have quite the same ring as 'video' does it?!) with your head hanging in shame, and get The Hustler NOW... and then we can truly start our work. Not only is it a vintage Newman performance, but quite probably the finest film he's ever appeared in.

I'd then move on to Cool Hand Luke, which is deliciously entertaining, and Hud which isn't perfect, but will appeal to your sense of cinematographic glory.

The rest are further down the list. It's a nice performance in Nobody's Fool, but the film is kinda slight. Likewise Somebody Up There is worth a couple of hours, but it lags into the second hour.

Not on your list, and perhaps better than several of the ones you mention, is the often overlooked Mr & Mrs Bridge, though this may well be one you've alredy seen? It's not great from a specifically Newman p.o.v., but a good film with him in it nonetheless.

Hope this helps.

Rob

gyllenhaal'd said...

Uh... meet him in a bathroom and have a "hot experience," meet him back at his place, and talk about [muffled into pillow]?

JA said...

I just have this to add.

StinkyLulu said...

I don't think I've ever seen Newman sexier than he is in Long Hot Summer, which I blathered about when Supporting Actress did 1958.

But I do think my favorite Newman movie is a strange little flick called Slapshot, prolly one of my favorite sports movies ever. And I couldn't care less about hockey...

Anonymous said...

Nat, you must, MUST, must see 'The Long, Hot Summer,' 'The Hustler,' and 'Cool Hand Luke' straight away. 'Hud' is probably my favorite Newman performance. I also think 'Nobody's Fool' is worth a look, but 'Exodus' -- er, steer clear.

Marco

Lorenzo said...

The Hustler, the hustler, the hustler, the hustler!
Then go with The long hot summer cos Paul's soooo sexy in it.

Stephen G said...

The Hustler and Hud should be top of the list. Not only are they great movies (where was Hud's Picture nom, I gotta ask) but he is damn hot in both of them.

Sounds like I have to track down The Long Hot Summer pronto. I lost patience with Somebody Up There. Agree that Mr and Mrs Bridge is worth seeing (the books are even better). Cool Hand Luke is entertaining, Exodus is 3 hours long but has a nominated Sal Mineo for your trouble as well. Nobody's Fool is OK, but nothing exciting (never got the raves for the film, though Newman is very good in it).

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex Richards said...

He's also undeniably hot in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't seen a bunch of those either. But "The Hustler" is very good, and "Cool Hand Luke" is at the top of my queue already!
I like your blog, btw.
-Alex

NATHANIEL R said...

welcome alex! and thank you

i appreciate all these suggestions but the ones i left off are the ones i've seen OR the very very minor ones that no one talks about.

one Newman film i love that he's not in but he made it (why didn't he direct more?) is RACHEL, RACHEL

aaron said...

Well, The Hustler is the one to track down first. And then I think Hud. You don't need to move Somebody Up There Likes Me up in the queue. It's your standard biopic fare and mostly a snooze. No better than, say, The Eddy Duchin Story, another mostly boring biopic from '56. It's all about The Hustler.

daveylow said...

Hud, The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke and Nobody's Fool are all must-sees for Paul. I thought Newman deserved an Oscar for Fool, he certainly was the best in his category that year.

I just bought Sweet Bird of Youth because I've never seen the film and love the play.

John P. said...

SLAPSHOT. It doesn't matter if you even like sports movies.

I loved Paul in the Hudsucker Proxy but I'm sure you've seen that.

Peter Nellhaus said...

My into to Paul Newman was seeing Exodus on the big screen almost 45 years ago. Like some of the other commenters, I also recommend Hud. If you haven't seen it, Left-handed Gun should be of interest, script by Gore Vidal, directed by Arthur Penn. Also, if it appears on cable, keep your eyes open for Paris Blues with Newman and Sidney Poitier playing jazz musicians chasing after Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll. Another favorite is Sweet Bird of Youth with Newman doing Tennessee Williams again.

Kamikaze Camel said...

http://kamikazecamel.blogspot.com/2006/11/oh-my-god.html

The thought of the two sexiest men ever (James Dean and Paul Newman) getting all cosy just makes me, I'll be frank, hornier than a cat in heat.

Hedwig said...

I'd go for Cool Hand Luke. If only because he spends such a large portion of the film shirtless.

Thomas F. said...

He should have won the Oscar for Nobody's Fool. He's brilliant in it.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I should mention, I guess, that my favourite of Newman's roles is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Favourite of Taylor too. But, not mnay movies are as good as that one in general, so...

Marius said...

Unfortunately, like Nathaniel, I haven't seen many Paul Newman films. Maybe I'll start by watching Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Hmm, but I hope watching him on the television doesn't get me hornier than a cat in heat. I just don't have time for that. Have you seen a cat in heat? Female cats can be in heat for days.

NATHANIEL R said...

Marius.

I've seen them. the cats in heat. and I cannot guarantee you that PN in CoaHTR won't have that same effect on you because he's also paired with La Liz so it's only one of the horniest moviewatching experiences ... ever.

J.J. said...

The Verdict. The Verdict. The Verdict. Youth was gone by 1982, but the talent was still so, so hot.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah he was might good in that film. 1982 was certainly a rich year for BEST ACTOR

Carl said...

"Cool Hand Luke" and "Slapshot". Really, how did you manage to avoid "Cool Hand Luke" so far?

NATHANIEL R said...

um. dunno apart from what i stated ;) i was kinda busy with Natalie & Gene

ivenswynn said...

Start. With. Hud, no question, I mean Paul and Patrica Neal!!! regardless of what people said 'bout the chemistry between Brick and Maggie it has nothing on Hud and Alma.

Andy Scott said...

I'm pissed I didn't see this post earlier because I'm renting all of Newman's movies at Netflix right now. Weird.

Definitely check out The Hustler, Hud and Cool Hand Luke - especially Cool Hand Luke. Along with Hud and The Verdict, it's Newman's best performance that I've seen so far. Definitely one of my all-time favorites, too. Why did it take him so long to win an Oscar?

Oh, and in the looks department, Hud is definitely where it's at. Ugh.

NATHANIEL R said...

well i've seen the Verdict (great performance) but after reading all these comments I've obviously got to get HUD and THE HUSTLER quick.

Jacqui said...

Paul Newman is just the sexiest man to have ever graced the big screen. However, his sexiest role is certainly.Harper. Rugged, masculine, cheeky - he is to absolutely die for. Also, The Young Philadelphians - a soap, but by god, Newman's beauty is astounding, and his scene in the bedroom with Alexis Smith is HOT!. I would also recommend The Towering Inferno, if you are in the mood for a bit of a turn on. Newman getting down and dirty, saving lives, and fighting fires is just incredible.