Gary Rutkowki answers our August classic film questionnaire.
1.) What’s your favorite Paul Newman film?
2.) What do you consider to be his three best performances?
The Verdict, The Hustler, Hud.
3.) Which of the two collaborations between co-stars Robert Redford & Paul Newman and director George Roy Hill do you think is best: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or The Sting?
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
4.) Which is your favorite pairing with his wife Joanne Woodward of their ten films together as co-stars (The Long, Hot Summer; Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!; From the Terrace, Paris Blues, A New Kind of Love, Winning, WUSA, The Drowning Pool, Harry & Son, Mr. And Mrs. Bridge)?
I haven’t seen very many of these. I liked Mr. and Mrs. Bridge very much.
5.) Have you had any Newman’s Own products, and if so, which do you like best?
The Sockarooni Pasta Sauce!
6.) Newman’s Oscar win for The Color of Money was considered a belated one— if you could award him the Oscar for only one of his previous nominations, which would you choose— Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; The Hustler; Hud; Cool Hand Luke; Absence of Malice; or The Verdict?
My knee jerk answer is to say The Hustler, so he wouldn’t have to wait. But he ought to have got it for The Verdict. Ben Kingsley won that year for Gandhi and was terrific, for sure, but just as Peter O’Toole lost for Lawrence of Arabia to Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird, Newman should have bested Kingsley despite the Gandhi “sweep.”
7.) What is your least favorite Paul Newman movie?
I’ll go with his inauspicious screen debut, The Silver Chalice. The Towering Inferno is a terrible movie– but it is guilty-pleasure-watchable.
8.) Why do you think Newman was such a popular star in his day?
He fought to get out of the long shadow of Marlon Brando by putting his all into his performances; he was pretty damn good-looking; he kept his private life private; and, in later years, gave much to charity.
9.) What do you consider to be his most underrated movie?
In a way, The Color of Money.
10.) What Paul Newman movie you’ve already seen would you like to see again right now?