Tagged: Paul Newman

Cool Hand Luke

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

Vitals

Paul Newman as Lucas “Luke” Jackson, chain gang inmate, war veteran, and “natural-born world-shaker”

Florida Road Prison 36, summer, early 1950s

Film: Cool Hand Luke
Release Date: November 1, 1967
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Costume Designer: Howard Shoup

Background

What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.

The iconic “failure to communicate” line in Cool Hand Luke is first uttered by Strother Martin as the stern, insensitive captain in charge of Road Prison 36 where most of the film is set. Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman), recently sentenced to the facility after a drunken night of vandalizing parking meters, is proud to be one of the men that the captain can’t reach.

Just in time for the stifling midsummer heat, I’m focusing on Cool Hand Luke, voted one of the sweatiest movies of all time by the patrons of Cheers… in addition to various other accolades.

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Torn Curtain: Paul Newman’s Charcoal Brown Flannel Suit

Paul Newman as Professor Michael Armstrong in Torn Curtain (1966)

Paul Newman as Professor Michael Armstrong in Torn Curtain (1966)

Vitals

Paul Newman as Michael Armstrong, American physicist and amateur spy

East Berlin, September 1965

Film: Torn Curtain
Release Date: July 14, 1966
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Costume Supervisor: Grady Hunt

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

Alfred Hitchcock’s 50th film, Torn Curtain, marked his one and only collaboration with Paul Newman. Production on the Cold War spy thriller was plagued by the veteran director clashing with his leads, unused to method actor Paul Newman’s constant questioning of his character’s motivation. “Your motivation is your salary,” Hitch reportedly replied.

The famously easygoing Newman was a little more enthusiastic, later recalling, “I think Hitch and I could have really hit it off, but the script kept getting in the way.”

Indeed, the serious political thriller was a departure from Hitchcock’s usual scripts, developed in response to the growing popularity of the James Bond franchise through the ’60s. Continue reading

Paul Newman’s Blue Suit as Harper

Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966).

Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Lew Harper, wisecracking private eye

Los Angeles, Late Summer 1965

Film: Harper
Release Date: February 23, 1966
Director: Jack Smight

Background

The beginning of Harper is classic hard-boiled private eye stuff as we see our titular hero waking up in his shitty apartment cum office, pulling on his clothes, and drinking bad coffee (from a filter pulled out of the trash, no less) before slipping on his shoulder holster and heading out in his old roadster to a better part of town where the better class of people turn out to be worse in every other way. Continue reading

Paul Newman as Harper – Brown Plaid Sport Coat

Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966).

Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Lew Harper, wisecracking private eye

Los Angeles, Late Summer 1965

Film: Harper
Release Date: February 23, 1966
Director: Jack Smight

Background

By the mid 1960s, Paul Newman had proved himself to be one of the most talented – and yet still down-to-earth – actors in the industry. He had racked up impressive performances in dramas like The Long Hot SummerCat on a Hot Tin RoofExodusThe Hustler, and Hud, but the world still had yet to see how well the charming blue-eyed actor could handle comedy.

Around this time, novelist and screenwriter William Goldman was desperately trying to get Ross MacDonald’s 1949 mystery novel The Moving Target turned into a film. The film rights were purchased, and Goldman completed his first ever solo screenplay, now titled Harper. Frank Sinatra was originally slated to play the protagonist, as he was looking for detective roles at the time, but the role eventually went to Newman. Continue reading

Paul Newman’s Black Tie in The Sting

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff in The Sting (1973).

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff in The Sting (1973).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff, Chicago con artist posing as a betting parlor operator

Chicago, September 1936

Film: The Sting
Release Date: December 25, 1973
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

It’s been almost a year since I’ve covered the classy Henry Gondorff, played by Paul Newman in 1973’s The Sting, so what would be more appropriate for New Year’s Eve than to break down Gondorff in black tie. Continue reading

Butch Cassidy in Bolivia

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy, exiled American outlaw in Bolivia

Bolivia, November 1908

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Release Date: October 24, 1969
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

105 years ago today, a group of scared and confused law officers surrounded a small boarding house in San Vincente, Bolivia. Inside the house were two tired American men, believed responsible for a score of robberies throughout South America over the past three years. Outside the house stood the police chief, the mayor, city officials, and three soldiers – one of whom was dead.

At 2:00 a.m., the officials heard a man screaming from inside the house. A single shot ended the screaming, soon followed by one final gunshot. These were the last shots fired in a daylong gun battle that had raged for nearly 12 hours. Under the light of the morning, the officials cautiously entered the house and found the two men dead, one of a bullet wound in the forehead and the other with a bullet wound in his temple.

There remains some doubt as to who the two men really were, but they were believed to be the thieves of a mining payroll stolen five days earlier. These thieves were better known to history, and film, as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Continue reading

Paul Newman’s Brown Glen Plaid Suit in The Sting

January 26 would have been the 88th birthday of award-winning actor, director, race car driver, salad dressing mogul, and all-around great guy Paul Newman. To pay tribute to one of the greatest American entertainers, BAMF Style presents Newman from one of his greatest scenes ever in one of the greatest movies ever.

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff in The Sting.

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff in The Sting (1973).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff, alias “Shaw”, ex-grifter getting back into the “big con”

Chicago, September 1936

Film: The Sting
Release Date: December 25, 1973
Director: George Roy Hill
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

The Sting, directed by George Roy Hill, has long been one of my favorite films and likely began my interest in the sartorial arts, as discussed in an earlier post focusing on Robert Redford’s character, Johnny Hooker. The characters run the gamut of 1930s fashion, from skid row to black tie, assisted with the expert eye and hands of costumer Edith Head, who won an Academy Award for her work on the film.

This sequence contains one of my favorite scenes in movie history, greatly due to Newman’s performance as con man Henry Gondorff showing up “drunk” at a poker game where he meets and subsequently out-cheats his mark. Continue reading