Cool Hand Luke
I've seen few of Paul Newman's movies, so I was pleased to see that a post I made on this blog last year picked up on a quality others are singling out now that he's gone. An Associated Press headline announcing Newman's death said: "Paul Newman, actor who personified cool, dies." My subject had been Newman's relatively calm presence amid the scenery-chewing of the 1966 movie Harper, based on Ross McDonald's novel The Moving Target. I wrote:
"Just about anyone with more than thirty seconds' screen time spends some of it mugging or otherwise going over the top. ... Even Newman, the anti-Pacino, the most graceful and restrained of stars, gets into the act, rolling his eyes and tossing his head in impatience. (He brings it off better than anyone else in the movie, making it a part of the character and not just a piece of schtick.)"Here are two takes on the movie, neither of which is pleased about the protagonist's name change from Archer to Harper, whatever Newman's role may have been in the change.
© Peter Rozovsky 2008