Paul Newman led a life we can all admire and hopefully emulate. He wasn’t just a good actor, he was a great humanitarian. This writer is not fully qualified to write a biography of this man, we would just like to host a brief celebration of his life.
This writer’s first introduction to Paul Newman was at the grocery store. Walking through the condiments isle we would see Newman’s own. What got our attention was just the label. All we knew about him, was he made dressing and his portrait was on the bottle. We never bought any because it was a little pricier than the plain label dressing. His dressing goes beyond a great tasting condiment though, all after tax proceeds go to various charities. His charity work doesn’t stop there. His foundations work with children who have cancer and blood borne diseases, and inner city youth. After noticing his name on the dressing bottle, we made the connection to the actor.
This writer has only seen a handful of Paul Newman’s filmography, with the first being the “Color of Money”. This was purely accidental since the intent was to see a Tom Cruise film that had the salad dressing guy in it as well. After that came a few other Newman films, and then came “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” co-starring another great, Robert Redford. This film brought the salad dressing guy to light for this writer. We could hardly wait to see more.
As we grew up we began to take notice of the older film genre of Hollywood. Who knew people could act before 1980? We had heard of “Cool Hand Luke”, but never gave much thought until we saw, “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. After seeing that classic films can be entertaining we decided to give this Luke movie a try.
This film is probably the best work this writer has seen to date. The phrase, “what we’ve got here, is a failure to communicate” is very popular, and was integrated into a Guns ‘n’ Roses song. A lot of their fan base will probably never know the origination of that phrase. There is much more than a non-conformist approach to this movie. There is a spiritual aspect hidden and some have said it emulates the story of Christ.
Paul Newman was the anti-hero everybody loved and his influence on politics came through his movies. He was married to his wife Joanne Woodward for 50 years. He served in the Navy as a radio operator in the South Pacific during World War II. A great patriot and a testament to the humanity of America, his legacy is irreplaceable. You will be missed Paul Newman.
The following clip is taken from Cool Hand Luke.