Thursday, October 2, 2008

Long Live Cool Hand Luke

I'm late with this, but I don't give a fuck. Paul Newman passed away recently, and it's really tough to know where to start with this man. Devastatingly handsome but determined to be evaluated rather on, primarily, his human decency and humility, and secondarily, on his serious and dedicated approach to his chosen craft of acting, Paul Newman was by all accounts completely unaffected by his physical beauty, his fame, or his fortune.

He has been a significant influence on me, as I grew up hearing my dad (who is an unbelievably good snooker/pool player) tell me repeatedly what a great movie The Hustler was. It took me about 15 years but I finally caught up to my old man's wisdom a few years back, and Newman's turn as Fast Eddie Felson will forever rank among my favourite performances. The DVD is never too far out of reach, and I think I watch at least once or twice a year.

Of course there were so many other incredible performances in excellent movies: Cool Hand Luke, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Hombre, and later on The Verdict. But he'll always be Fast Eddie to me.

"It's a great feeling boy, it's a real great feeling - when you're right, and you know you're right."


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