Newman's Best

The top ten films feature Paul Newman at his best
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. (110 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ The Godfather of buddy films and Newman at his roguish best.

Key scene: The final stand in Bolivia is iconic and a masterclass in acting but nothing tops the moment Butch outfoxes the monsterous Harvey with a short sharp kick where it hurts ” - crawfitton
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses conform to life in prison. (126 mins.)
“ Newman's Luke is a man who refuses to bend to society's expectation and will not be caged by 'the man'. This role is to the 1960's what James Dean's Rebel was for the 1950s teen.

Key scene: The delightful inventiveness of Luke's second escape attempt. ” - crawfitton
The Hustler (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An up-and-coming pool player plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match. (134 mins.)
Director: Robert Rossen
“ Newman is the definition of cool in this 60s classic and was cruelly robbed of an oscar, an injustice rectified 20 years later with the inferior sequel The Color of Money

Key scene: It can only be the two epic pool battles between Newman's Fast Eddie and Jackie Gleason's Minnesota Fats ” - crawfitton
Hud (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash. (112 mins.)
Director: Martin Ritt
“ Perhaps Newman's greatest performance as he portrays 'The Man with the Bard Wire Soul'.

Key Scene: The final scene as Hud briefly contemplates all that he has lost before dismissing it all with a condescending wave of his hand and that smirk ” - crawfitton
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son. (108 mins.)
Director: Richard Brooks
“ Newman secured his first of many Oscar nominations in this Tennessee Williams classic as a man crippled both physically and emotionally.

Key scene: Newman suggests to his wife Maggie if she is unhappy with the current marital situation she might consider 'jumping off the roof' ” - crawfitton
Slap Shot (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A failing ice hockey team finds success using constant fighting and violence during games. (123 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Newman stars in one of the all time great sports comedies. This is a film that is both outrageously funny but is also a biting satire of the decline of modern sporting values and its descent into farce and mindless violence.

Key scene: Newman driving the opposition goalkeeper to distraction with taunts of his wife's lesbianism ” - crawfitton
Hombre (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Indians, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws. (111 mins.)
Director: Martin Ritt
“ Newman potrays another man who refuses to conform to society's demands, this time as the Apache raised John Russell. His dialogue is scarce so much of the peformance is conveyed through his defiant body language

Key scene: Newman's proud response when the others on the coach request that he ride with the driver ” - crawfitton
Nobody's Fool (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. While he is pressing a worker's compensation suit for a bad knee... (110 mins.)
Director: Robert Benton
“ Newman's final great leading role encompasses many of the features of his previous great performances. A ne'er do well with a roguish charm has one last chance to rectify his mistakes

Key scene: The 60 year old Newman gazing at a pair of breasts with a young man's wonder ” - crawfitton
The Sting (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. (129 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Often copied, never surpassed, this film is the original confidence man classic

Key scene: Prehaps the greatest scene of Newman's career sees him better Robert Shaw in a poker game where both men are cheating but one cheats better than the other. The look on both men's faces amuses to this day ” - crawfitton
Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947. (113 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
“ A star is born as Newman overcomes the failure of his debut The Silver Chalice to deliver his first great performance as troubled boxer Rocky Graziano.

Key Scene: Final overcoming all his adversity in his fight with Tony Zale. ” - crawfitton