Paul Newman acted in some of my favorite movies, both new and old, and he acted at an ability some only ever dream of. From Cool Hand Luke to Road to Perdition and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to The Hudsucker Proxy, Newman made the movie theatre a better place to be. He worked with all the best directors of our time and did it with an easy charm that is impossible to duplicate on the screen.
It is with a heavy heart that I recommend a few movies for you to watch this weekend in honor of one of the most charitable actors the world has known. Hopefully at least a couple of these are movies you haven't seen and you'll be able to check them out for the first time.
1) Check out The Sting. It's brilliantly written and funny and Newman is a blast to watch. Seeing him go head to head in a battle of wits and con-artistry against Robert Shaw (Quint from Jaws) with Robert Redford by his side is a helluva ride.
2) Watch The Color of Money. Newman working with Scorsese at his best next to Tom Cruise in his first time actually "acting." Reprising his role as Fast Eddie Felson from The Hustler, Newman lights up the screen.
3) The Verdict. Sidney Lumet's classic film about a burned-out ambulance chasing lawyer played brilliantly by Newman. It has a script by David Mamet and Mamet's words coming out of Newman are a joy to watch. The film is surprisingly relevant in today's world of legal maneuvering and medical malpractice.
4) Torn Curtain. Some people say this is a "lesser" Hitchcock film, but those people are clearly idiots. Paul Newman stars opposite Julie Andrews in this taut suspense thriller about a mathematician (Newman) who defects behind the Iron Curtain, but ends up in an espionage oriented game of cat and mouse that (for lack of a better cliche) keeps you on the edge of your seat.
5) Also be sure to check out all the films I mentioned above: Cool Hand Luke, Road to Perdition, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Hudsucker Proxy. All of them are classics in their own right.
What's your favorite Paul Newman movie? Have any recommendations for me? Put them in the comments below.
(Bryan Young is the producer of Killer at Large.)