Sunday 28 September 2008

Paul Newman and Butch Cassidy

I'm sorry that Paul Newman has died. He starred in two of my favourite films that touch on the crime genre in different ways. The Verdict was a good legal thriller and The Sting even more enjoyable, with a clever crime caper strengthened by a nice score of Scott Joplin rags.

My number one Newman movie, though, is that all-time classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It's a film that benefits from a terrific script by William Goldman (who ventured into thriller territory in other movies), first-rate acting and a brilliant soundtrack, which earned two Oscars, one for the score itself and another for 'Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head', which featured in the legendary bicycle sequence.

'Raindrops' was the second single I ever bought, and I still think that its composition for this movie was brilliantly counter-intuitive. If you don't know the soundtrack, do check it out. 'South American Getaway' is a superb example of how to use voices as insturments, while 'The Sundance Kid' is wonderful - even though it was ultimately cut out of the version of the movie that finally reached the audiences...


Lesa said...

I'm sorry, too, Martin. I loved Paul Newman. Loved his movies, his causes, and, maybe, most of all, his relationship with his wife.

The Sting and The Color of Money were my two favorite, but there were so many other ones I enjoyed. He was a very special actor and person.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think there will ever be a time I hear that song without picturing them on that bicycle. Charming.

Anonymous said...

When I was young people tended to be either Robert Redford fans or Paul Newman fans. I've always been both (All President's Men, The Way We Were, 3 Days of Condor etc), but if pushed, I'd go for Newman every time. I liked the Verdict a lot. Perhaps that's my favourite Newman film, though I did like Butch Cassidy and The Sting.

As you say, Paul Newman just always seems (seemed) like a perfect gentleman: handsome, modest, tough, generous, loyal, charismatic, beautiful blue eyes - he will be missed. It feels as if it is the end of an era, as Paul Newman seems of a newer generation than Mitcham, Cooper, Peck, Wayne et al.