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RiP Paul Newman - CinemaDave

Sep. 27th, 2008 08:43 pm RiP Paul Newman

Paul Newman was a leading man who loved to play losers, bums and unsavory people. When he finally won an Oscar for the Fast Eddie Felson sequel, "The Color of Money," it was for the culmination of his career, sorta like when John Wayne finally got his Oscar for "True Grit."

Like John Wayne, cancer claimed Paul Newman. Unlike John Wayne, Paul Newman was a staunch Democrat with many opinions. In 1982, Paul Newman debated Charlton Heston about the subject of having a nuclear arms freeze on ABC Nightline. It was not Mr. Newman's most stellar moment.

Unlike most Hollywood Limousine Liberals, Paul Newman put his money where his mouth was. His non profit food business, Newman's Own (http://63.131.143.186/) raised over 250 million for charity. Check out this link for the Hall in the Wall Camps; http://www.holeinthewallcamps.org/

Paul Newman's charity fund raising would not have been successful if the food products were poor. Newman's Own Popcorn is my particularly favorite of the microwave popcorn and I always felt good eating it.

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Comments:

From:cinemastar
Date:September 28th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)

Paul Newman

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Paul Newman was a wonderful actor and a generous humanitarian. He kept his celebrity in perspective and often made fun of himself. A couple of years ago on a TV talk show he went outside the studio to be lifted by a zillion or so small helium balloons to a considerable height above the street. He sat on a simple little seat with a modest safety belt. It was an impressive stunt for an 80 year old man.

His passing reminds me of a funny story about newcomer Steve McQueen having a tiny bit part in a hit film starring Newman in the 1950s. Apparently it stuck in McQueen's craw a little. Nearly 20 years later, when they were in the same movie as equal superstars, there was said to be a great deal of wrangling over the top billing.

McQueen is supposed to have counted the number of dialog words Newman had, and the length of each word, to be sure that Paul did not have the bigger role. :)
From:cinemadave
Date:September 28th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)

Left billing or Top billing?

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"Somebody Up Their Likes me" was the first movie with Paul Newman as Rocky Graziano and Steve McQueen as a reform school kid. For McQueen, getting top billing over Newman was the ultimate prestige.

McQueen got his wish with "The Towering Inferno." Newman & McQueen's agents wrangled over the billing and came up with 'equal billing" with one name being on the left and the other individual being top billed. When Newman was asked where he wanted his name, supposedly Paul's response was, "Let Steve decide."

Apparently the marketing campaign was delayed as Steve McQueen feared it was a trick or a practical joke by Paul Newman. It was McQueen's insecurity that cost him the role as the Sundance Kid, which jump started the career of a youngster named Robert Redford.
From:cinemastar
Date:September 28th, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Left billing or Top billing?

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Yes, by the time of "The Towering Inferno" Paul Newman was a famous practical joker and I like to think he used some triple reverse psychology to outfox Steve McQueen. I believe McQueen was billed on the left of the screen, but slightly lower than Newman's name that was a bit higher up on the right.

The left side is considered by some to be top billing but Newman ended up with the higher billing on the right. In a way that puts the top billing position in the eye of the beholder. I suspect that was Paul's amusing plan all along when he said Steve could decide. I doubt that the prankish Newman really took it all as seriously as McQueen did, but at the end of the film Newman's name showed up first in the cast credits. :)

Newman came from a background that was more stable than McQueen's. Steve's early life was much more troubled and hard-scrabbled than Newman's and it apparently left McQueen with lifelong insecurity, but McQueen probably channeled that insecurity into some of his greatest performances.
From:cinemadave
Date:September 28th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)

Re: Left billing or Top billing?

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It's great that you visit Cinema Star, we have some great commentary that is constructive, not destructive!
From:cinemastar
Date:September 28th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Left billing or Top billing?

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Thanks, Cinema Dave! It's always fun to drop in here for a chat.

The last time I saw "The Towering Inferno" was several years ago, but I do recall the competitive tension between McQueen and Newman when they were together onscreen. Newman in real life was several years older than McQueen, and my impression is that Steve was deadly serious about it, while the better adjusted Paul Newman took it with a grain of salt like an amused and tolerant big brother.

Wherever they are today I am sure jokester Newman is ribbing the boiling mad McQueen over Paul living about 30 years longer and winning the Oscar Steve never had. :)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 28th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Left billing or Top billing?

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The ultimate sick joke irony about "The Towering Inferno" is O.J. Simpson running around as a security guard. I hope Steve has had a better afterlife than what O.J. will have to deal with.
From:cinemastar
Date:October 4th, 2008 07:13 am (UTC)

O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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O.J. Simpson was found guilty on all charges in his Las Vegas robbery trial, 13 years to the day after he was cleared of the double murder charges in 1995.

61-year old Simpson could spend the rest of his life in prison.
From:cinemadave
Date:October 4th, 2008 11:56 am (UTC)

Re: O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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Thanks Cinema Star,
you scooped my local media this morning!
From:cinemastar
Date:October 4th, 2008 12:42 pm (UTC)

Re: O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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You're welcome , Cinema Dave! This is the first scoop in my amateur online scribbling career. The verdict came in late last night.

Some of the reports say that even though Simpson got off the hook in the 1995 trial, it left him with a reputation that probably contributed to the recent guilty verdict. Being found liable in the civil trial for the murders was also a factor.
From:cinemadave
Date:October 4th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC)

Re: O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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There is something so Fasutian about O.J.
13 years to the day.

I was teaching in a middle school classroom and the Principal made arrangments for ALL the teachers to have television sets. For some silly reason, I thought O.J. was going to be found guilty. When the verdict was rendered, the entire school exploded with cheers and applause.

A few weeks later, a father killed his wife and two students from the same school. One teacher asked the the students;
"What do you think of the O.J. verdict now?"


From:cinemastar
Date:October 4th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)

Re: O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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Wow. I recall similar cheering at an adult college that was shown on TV when the not guilty verdict was announced. They practically levitated with joy.

I believe Simpson was guilty, but long before 1995 I found I was usually wrong when I tried to guess what juries would do, so the not guilty verdict did not surprise me.

O.J. and his unstable behavior have been in the news a number of times during the past 13 years. The latest episode involved a gun. Society will be safer if he remains in jail for life.
From:cinemadave
Date:October 4th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)

Re: O.J. Simpson Guilty On All Charges

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O.J. moved to Miami and has some scuffles with speeding in residential areas. He played the "victim" card and got off.

O.J. kept getting off so often that he finally became a victim of his success.
From:ext_83464
Date:October 13th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
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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 too, very smart