- SKU: 4279399
- Release Date: 09/22/2009
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Ratings & Reviews
While often regarded as one of America's greatest novelists, William Faulkner produced work that did not always translate well to the screen; it's ironically appropriate that this movie, based on several of Faulkner's short stories, is often regarded as one of the best films based on his work, though not especially accurate to the original source material. Ben Quick (Paul Newman), a sullen but self-confident drifter, arrives in a small Mississippi town where his father had a bad reputation as a firebug. Will Varner (Orson Welles), the town's patriarch, still holds a grudge against Quick's dad, and when the young man decides to stay in town and sharecrop on Varner's land, Will goes out of his way to make his life difficult. However, Will develops a grudging respect for Quick's guts and determination, and he wishes that his weak-willed son Jody (Anthony Franciosa) could be more like him; Jody's wife Eula (Lee Remick) happens to agree. In time, Will gets the idea that Quick might be a good match for his daughter Clara (Joanne Woodward) and a better choice to take over his business dealings than Jody. However, neither Clara nor Quick care to be told what to do, and besides, Clara already has a beau -- though Alan Stewart (Richard Anderson) is even more of a milquetoast than Jody and is led by the nose by his mother (Mabel Albertson). However, sparks begin to fly between Clara and Quick, and when Jody fears he may lose his place as heir of Will's estate, he takes drastic action, trapping his father in a barn, setting it on fire, and planting evidence that would suggest that the blaze was Quick's doing. The Long, Hot Summer was the first film that Newman and Woodward made together, and they got married the same year. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!
Director Leo McCarey was clearly past his prime when he made this screen version of Max Shulman's comic novel Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys; still, the film was a success, no small thanks to the star power of real-life husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. The scene is Putnam's Landing, Connecticut, where commuter Harry Bannerman (Paul Newman) is driven crazy by his wife Grace's (Joanne Woodward) insistence upon joining every civic committee known to man. When the government chooses Putnam's Landing as the location for their new missile base, Grace immediately joins a committee to halt this project-which causes no end of trouble for Air Force reservist Harry, who is expected to be the government's liason man for the new base. Adding to the dilemma is local vamp Angela Hoffa (Joan Collins), whose efforts to get her lunchhooks into Harry lead to a dizzying series of recriminations and misunderstandings. Satirical barbs are aimed at military stupidity (as personified by thick-eared Captain Hoxie, played by Jack Carson), small-town hypocrisy, and the teenaged "beat" craze. Among the supporting players are Dwayne Hickman and Tuesday Weld, cast respectively as Marlon Brando wannabe Grady Metcalf and nubile high-schooler Comfort Goodpasture (!); within a year of this film, Hickman and Weld would be reunited on the TV series Dobie Gillis, likewise based on a Max Shulman novel. Also appearing are reliable comedy foil Gale Gordon and an uncredited Murvyn Vye as Angela Hoffa's neglectful husband. Considered fairly racy in 1958, Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys seems slightly childish and draggy today; one wonders how it would have fared had Leo McCarey been at the height of his powers. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Yes, Paul Newman is a blue-eyed Indian in Hombre, but this apparent ethnic error is carefully justified in the body of the story. Newman plays a white man who was raised by the Apaches, and ever since has straddled two worlds, feeling truly comfortable in neither. While riding a stagecoach, Newman is subject to the racial bias of banker Fredric March and his snooty wife Barbara Rush. In truth, March is an embezzler, and has no reason to feel superior to anyone. This fact comes out when the coach is held up by murderous bandit-chief Richard Boone. When the passengers fight back, Boone takes Rush as a hostage. Newman, who by rights should be supremely satisfied that his tormentors are themselves tormented, proves himself the bravest of the passengers, sacrificing his own life to save Rush and put an end to Boone's reign of terror. Hombre is based on a novel by suspense specialist Elmore Leonard. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Opening with a silent "movie" of Butch Cassidy's Hole in the Wall Gang, George Roy Hill's comically elegiac Western chronicles the mostly true tale of the outlaws' last months. Witty pals Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) join the Gang in successfully robbing yet another train with their trademark non-lethal style. After the pair rests at the home of Sundance's schoolmarm girlfriend, Etta (Katharine Ross), the Gang robs the same train, but this time, the railroad boss has hired the best trackers in the business to foil the crime. After being tailed over rocks and a river gorge by guys that they can barely identify save for a white hat, Butch and Sundance decide that maybe it's time to try their luck in Bolivia. Taking Etta with them, they live high on ill-gotten Bolivian gains, but Etta leaves after their white-hatted nemesis portentously arrives. Their luck running out, Butch and Sundance are soon holed up in a barn surrounded by scores of Bolivian soldiers who are waiting for the pair to make one last run for it. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Adventures of a Young Man
The "official" title of this film is Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man; its screenplay is adapted from semi-autobiographical "Nick Adams" stories written by Ernest Hemingway. Played by Richard Beymer (West Side Story), Nick Adams is a young Michigan boy who sets out in the early 1900s to learn about life and to pursue a journalistic career. No sooner is he on his way than he gets his first taste of "real life" by being thrown off a train by a railroad agent. He attempts to secure newspaper work, but is laughed out of the office due to his inexperience. He gains valuable insight on the human condition while serving in the Italian army during World War One, where (in Farewell to Arms fashion) a star-crossed romance develops between Nick and a Red Cross nurse (Susan Strasberg). Nick returns to America determined to pursue his destiny by writing of his now-vast experiences. Long and somewhat poky, Adventures of a Young Man is enlivened by the cameo appearance of Paul Newman as a pathetic, punch drunk boxer. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Perhaps the least seen but most talked about film of Robert Altman's career, Quintet is a somber science fiction tale that takes place after a nuclear holocaust has thrown the world into another Ice Age. A man named Essex (Paul Newman) and his pregnant wife Vivia (Brigitte Fossey) are wandering the desolate, frozen landscape and attempting to find Essex's brother, Francha (Tom Hill). They finally locate him in a frozen city, occupied by a number of apocalyptic survivors who who pass their time playing a mysterious game called "Quintet." No one is able to explain just how it is played, but Grigor (Fernando Rey) appears to act as the referee, and the stakes of the game are unusually high - losing means being thrown out into the snow and devoured by Rottweilers. Francha is soon killed, not as a casualty of Quintet per se, but for playing an assassination game on the side to relieve his own ennui. As 'collateral damage,', Vivia and the rest of Francha's family are soon extinguished as well. Essex is not happy with the way they've been rubbed out, but as he attempts to seek revenge, he is only drawn deeper into the lethal competition of Quintet. While this picture received negative reviews on its initial release, in retrospect it is worth noting that the photography (by Jean Boffety) and production design (by Leon Ericksen) are beautiful and striking, and that the film boasts one of Altman's strongest international casts, including Vittorio Gassman, Nina Van Pallandt, and Bibi Andersson, as befits its European-art-movie ambiance; the influence of the equally opaque, allegorical, game-playing Last Year at Marienbad (1961) is especially strong. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
What a Way to Go!
This lavishly produced, big-budget comedy (it cost $20 million in 1964 dollars) stars Shirley MacLaine as Louisa, a widow who is worth $200 million dollars. However, she's convinced that her fortune is cursed, and she wants to give all her money to the IRS. As she explains her sad tale to her psychiatrist, Dr. Stephanson (Robert Cummings), it seems that when Louisa was young she had the choice of marrying rich playboy Leonard Crawley (Dean Martin) or poor but decent Edgar Hopper (Dick Van Dyke). She chose Edgar, but soon he became obsessed with providing a fine home and fortune for her; he got rich but worked himself to death in the process. Despondent, Louisa flies to Paris, where she strikes up a romance with expatriate artist Larry Flint (Paul Newman). When Larry invents a machine that creates paintings based on sounds, he becomes wealthy and famous -- and dies. Louisa returns to America, where she figures to break her streak by marrying Rod (Robert Mitchum), a business tycoon who already has lots of money. He resolves to take life easier and becomes a farmer, only to die in a strange accident with a bull. Louisa is drowning her sorrows one night at a sleazy night spot when she falls for second rate entertainer Jerry (Gene Kelly). They marry, and a now-wealthy Jerry develops a relaxed, carefree quality to his act that makes him a huge star, which leads to his being crushed by a mob of his biggest fans. What a Way to Go! boasted a screenplay by Betty Comdon and Adolph Green that featured many amusing film parodies and a score by Nelson Riddle; it also marked the final screen appearance of comic actress Margaret Dumont, best remembered as Groucho Marx's straight woman in several films. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
From the Terrace
This adaptation of John O'Hara's From the Terrace stars Paul Newman as Alfred Eaton, an unhappily married financial adviser, while his real-life wife, Joanne Woodward, portrays Mary St. John, his promiscuous screen spouse. Mary's libertine behavior is a by-product of her husband's inability to express love and affection, a trait he has inherited from his cold-blooded father. Mark Robson directs and Myrna Loy heads up a large supporting cast as Newman's alcoholic mother. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
"Truth is whatever gets the loudest applause." Debunking western myths even more than he did in McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), Robert Altman's Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) sardonically explores the gap between western history and legend in show biz-obsessed America. Megalomaniac "Buffalo Bill" Cody (Paul Newman) assumes the legend created for him by writer Ned Buntline (Burt Lancaster), aided and abetted by his producer (Joel Grey) and his publicist (Kevin McCarthy), perpetuating myths of white triumph over savage "Injuns" in his Wild West show, as audiences cheer him on and buy his merchandise. But when Sitting Bull (Frank Kaquitts) joins the troupe with his interpreter (Will Sampson), his request for authenticity threatens to throw a wrench into the proceedings. Regardless of how Bill may feel about the facts, he must bow to the preferences of the paying public. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, Exodus is a 212-minute screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Leon Uris. The film is concerned with the emergence of Israel as an independent nation in 1947. Its first half focuses on the efforts of 611 holocaust survivors to defy the blockade of the occupying British government and sail to Palestine on the sea vessel Exodus. Paul Newman, a leader of the Hagannah (the Jewish underground), is willing to sacrifice his own life and the lives of the refugees rather than be turned back to war-ravaged Europe, but the British finally relent and allow the Exodus safe passage. Once this victory is assured, 30,000 more Jews, previously interned by the British, flood into the Holy Land. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
As The Hustler's "Fast" Eddie Felson, Paul Newman created a classic antihero, charismatic but fundamentally flawed, and nobody's role model. A pool player from Oakland, CA, as good as anyone who ever picked up a cue, Eddie has an Achilles' heel: arrogance. It's not enough for him to win: he must force his opponent to acknowledge his superiority. The movie follows Eddie from his match against billiards champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) as he falls in love with Sarah (Piper Laurie), an alcoholic would-be writer and sometime prostitute, and falls under the spell of Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), a successful gambler who offers to take Eddie under his wing and teach him how to play in the big time. However, when Sarah joins Eddie and Bert on a trip to Louisville for a high-stakes match with a dandy named Findlay (Murray Hamilton), the consequences prove tragic. Along with a classic performance by Newman, The Hustler also features turns by Scott, Laurie, and Gleason, in a rare dramatic role. Cameos from pool champ Willie Mosconi and boxer Jake LaMotta add to the atmosphere of Harry Horner's grubby production design and Eugen Schüfftan's camerawork. Director Robert Rossen, who had been working in films since 1937, was to direct only one more film, Lilith (1964), before his death in 1966. In 1986, Newman returned to the role of "Fast" Eddie in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, for which he finally earned an Academy Award as Best Actor. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
In Sidney Lumet's powerful courtroom drama The Verdict, Paul Newman stars as Frank Galvin, an alcoholic Boston lawyer who tries to redeem his personal and professional reputation by winning a difficult medical malpractice case. Frank, down on his luck, is presented with the case of his life when he is approached by the family of a woman who has been left in a coma following an operation in a large Catholic hospital. Helped by his assistant Mickey (Jack Warden), he agrees to take the case, hoping for a fast settlement. When he visits the victim in the hospital, he becomes emotionally involved, turns down a sizable settlement offer made by the hospital, and decides to bring the case to trial despite the formidable opposition of the Church and its lawyer, Newman (James Mason). He is also assisted by his new girlfriend, Laura (Charlotte Rampling), a woman who turns out to have an unusual past. Oscar-nominated for "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (Lumet) as well as for "Best Adapted Screenplay" (David Mamet from a novel by Barry Reed), The Verdict is an outstanding, if not very legally accurate, courtroom drama; Frank's decision to try the case without telling the family of the victim of the settlement offer would probably lead to his real-life disbarment. Paul Newman and James Mason give fine, Oscar-nominated performances, and Charlotte Rampling is quite good as the deceitful Laura, who never seems to turn down a drink. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi
The Towering Inferno
A skyscraper and an all-star cast go up in flames in Irwin Allen's classic disaster movie. To celebrate the construction of the Glass Tower, the world's tallest building, architect Doug Roberts (Paul Newman) and builder James Duncan (William Holden) hold a gala bash on the highest floors. Trouble is, Duncan's son-in-law and electrical subcontractor Roger Simmons (Richard Chamberlain) installed faulty wiring throughout the 138-story behemoth to save money. While the guests -- including Doug's lady friend (Faye Dunaway), a rich widow (Jennifer Jones), a con man (Fred Astaire), and a politico (Robert Vaughn) -- enjoy the party, and a security guard (O.J. Simpson) wonders why his equipment is on the fritz, a burnt-out circuit breaker ignites some garbage on the 85th floor, swiftly turning the high-rise into, well, a towering inferno. With the guests trapped on the 135th floor, it's up to Roberts and Fire Chief O'Hallorhan (Steve McQueen) to find a way to stop the blaze. Though not the first all-star '70s disaster movie (1970's Airport and 1972's The Poseidon Adventure preceded it), The Towering Inferno was the most popular and the most spectacular. In a move that would become more common in late-'90s blockbuster Hollywood, The Towering Inferno's mammoth production was mounted by two studios; screenwriter Stirling Silliphant combined the two novels owned by the studios into one saga. 1970s "shake 'n bake" maestro Allen, with co-director John Guillermin (Allen did the action sequences), tapped into deep fears about the fragility of modern life in the face of extreme natural phenomena, as well as into the envies and insecurities of middle-aged professional men. The Towering Inferno packed theaters and earned eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture; it won for Cinematography, Editing, and Song. While its heroic, no-nonsense men provided some traditional comfort, The Towering Inferno still might provoke second thoughts about going into a skyscraper. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
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