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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Beauty vs. Beast


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Nicole Kidman on Stage

"Any chance this transfers to broadway I wonder?" - Joseph

"As a long term Kidmaniac, this is just the type of comeback I was hoping for." - allaboutmymovies


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Entries in Paul Newman (19)


The Alluring Patricia Neal in Hud

Continuing our celebration of 1963 here's Murtada on that year's Best Actress.

Patricia Neal is first introduced 8 minutes into Hud. She walks into the center of the frame and takes hold of it as she gazes at Paul Newman parking his car.

He parked right on my flower bed”.

The way she is framed ensures the audience knows she’s important to the story. The way Neal tosses off that line, we know Alma’s not to be messed with. [More...]

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Beauty vs Beast: Winter Is (Still) Coming

Jason from MNPP here with another round of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this week we're headed to Gobbler's Knob (I still can't believe that's a real name of a real place) in the little town called Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, about an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh, where the fate of our Winter lay in the balance. Well laid in the balance, that is - it's already been reported this morning that the world's furriest prognisicator this side of Sam Champion, the eternal Punxsutawney Phil, has seen his shadow and laid six more weeks of Winter upon us. Boo, Phil. Seeing as how I awoke to several fresh inches of slush this morning, I'm not terribly surprised by the forecast, but still. Boo, Phil.

Which brings me to what is maybe the greatest comedy ever made about the maybe dumbest holiday on the calendar: Harold Ramis' also-eternal 1993 Bill Murray comedy Groundhog Day, and this week's Battle of the Phils!


You've got one week - or one-sixth of the Winter that oh-so-wise woodchuck just dropped on us - to vote, so don't forget your booties it's cold outside and get to work.

PREVIOUSLY Two weeks back in the comments of the Blue Velvet contest TFE-reader Murtada pointed out that no actor had ever beaten an actress in any of these polls; well it's finally happened! It was close, but Paul Newman's Hud managed to shimmy his slim-hips to a six-percent win over Patricia Neal's Alma. Yeah he was a bastard, but... well, he was Paul Newman as a bastard, so it goes. Said San FranCinema:

"Newman, a great beauty no one took seriously until he surprised them all by becoming a great actor, always gets my vote."


Beauty vs Beast: Legend In Blue Jeans

Jason from MNPP here, eyeing the white-out weather outside the window of my office as I write this to you from New York City - everybody stay safe on the East Coast over the next couple of days! It's apparantly gonna be a biggun, this storm. I know, here, I'll give you something to keep you warm - Paul Newman!

It's the 90th anniversary of Paul Newman's birth today. A few years back I'd have wagered he'd still be around to celebrate this one with us - he retained his youthful glimmer right up til the end - but it wasn't to be. His death was one that hit me hard -- he was "The Legend" of my youth, still going strong, still beautiful and affecting. But hey his lifetime love the great Joanne Woodward is still around, so let's all send our happy movie memory vibes her way. And so today's "Beauty vs Beast" is for Paul, and my favorite performance of his...



Paul Newman is totally a beast in this movie - drunken, boorish, and an attempted rapist to boot - but all that said it's still a major struggle slapping him with anything but "Beauty. Beauty. BEAUTY." Ya know? Ya know. (See the episode of TFE's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series devoted to this movie right here.)

PREVIOUSLY Last week we got lost in the picket-fence nightmare of David Lynch's Blue Velvet, pitting Dennis Hopper's PBR lover against Isabella Rossellini's dewy-lipped songstress - well turns out y'all love the sultry way Dorothy suffers, as she sauntered away with 70% of the vote. Said Mike in Canada:

"Team Dorothy all the way. I'm always looking for her in my closet."


Robert Wise Centenary: Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)

For Robert Wise's centennial, we're looking back on a random selection of his films beyond the familiar mega-hits (The Sound of Music & West Side Story) which we are far more prone to talk about. Here's Nathaniel on the Paul Newman boxing drama...

The poster art for Robert Wise's 1956 biopic on Rocky Graziano reminds us that the more things change the more they stay the same. We're still getting taglines like "A girl can lift a fella to the skies!" (see: Theory of Everything) but Pier Angeli's role as Rocky's wife Norma in the Paul Newman boxing pic is actually fairly minor. She straightens him out primarily by giving him something consistent to hold on to in a life that's been previously totally adrift in noncommittal boxing matches for money and petty crimes. Not that his crimes were always petty, mind you, but we'll get to that in a minute. 

Up until Somebody Up There Likes Me Paul Newman had been doing minor TV roles and successful work on the stage. But his film debut in the biblical epic The Silver Chalice (1954) was an embarrassment. He won poor reviews and later stated...

 The moment I walked into that studio I had a feeling of personal disaster..."

Newman's Breakthrough after the jump...

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10 Days Til Oscar. Sigh and Think of Paul Newman. 

Today's magic number is 10. I know you were hoping for a look back ten years to that long awaited 2003 Supporting Actress Smackdown but the lists of reasons that has been delayed multiple times are too boring and painful to share. I promise it's coming! (I'll try for the Saturday morning before the Oscars as a deep breath before the plunge.) Funny but true: I was working on it earlier today and thought "oh, I know. I'll post it on the 10th anniversary of that Oscar ceremony" But guess what date that turns out to be? February 29th. A leap year haha and the date doesn't exist this year. 

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward in 1958 after the Oscars

I haven't managed to find a fun trivia note involving the number 10 that relates to this year's Oscars so please enjoy this photo of Paul Newman mocking his Oscar losses with a makeshift trophy (note that it says "Noscar" on it) alongside his wife's actual Oscar for Three Faces of Eve (1957). Paul, a perfect 10, was also nominated 10 times over the course of his career (once for Best Picture, 9 times for acting), finally winning the trophy on his 8th nomination which was coincidentally enough, the year after he had won the first of two Honorary acknowledgements (one a Jean Hersholt, the other a traditional Honorary Oscar). Before The Color of Money (1986) he had been locked up in a longstanding three way tie for "most nominated losing actor" with Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton; they all had 7 back then though Burton died a couple of years before Paul Newman finally won gold. Bette Davis is the only other actor with exactly 10 career nominations (unless you count that write-in situation) but we've already started discussing her.

For which of his pre-Oscar roles would you have given Newman the statue? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Rachel, Rachel (1968), Absence of Malice (1981) or The Verdict (1982)? 

If you need more Paul (and who doesn't) some more photos of Paul at the Oscars are after the jump...

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Cinema's Greatest On-Screen and Off-Screen Couples

Here's abstew with a Valentine special!

In the dark of the movie theatre is where we fall in love. Romantic films have influenced our lives and how we love since the dawn of cinema. And as we watch–perhaps on a first date–the actors fall in love on the silver screen, we swoon. More often than not, if you believe location rumors, that passion on-screen finds its way into the real-life relationships of the actors involved. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's celebrate those cinematic couples who's love burned bright on and off the big-screen.

Here are five of Hollywood's most iconic lovers...

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh

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Best Shot: Butch & Sundance & Their Girl

It figures. I try to throw a curveball in our often actress-centric blogging by choosing a guy's guy movie, a buddy Western for Hit Me With Your Best Shot and the most frequent face that pops up in your choices is the momentary it girl of the late 60s Katharine Ross. In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) she plays the school teacher Etta Place, essentially "the girl" of the narrative (and not much more complex a role than that) and twice over, too, since she's shacked up with The Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) but also in 'what if?' love with Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) as evidenced in the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head" interlude early in the film. Redford & Newman? Lucky girl.

Which leads me to this very scientific poll for TFE readers (as suggested by forever1267 in the comments). Butch and Sundance are a pair in the movie but unlike Katharine Ross you can only have one. Make your choice based on '69 only!  


Now that that's out of our systems, let's choose a best shot. And good God (God = Conrad L Hall) there was much to choose from)

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