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It isn’t the lines

Bee Wilson: Paul Newman’s Looks, 16 February 2023

Paul NewmanThe Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man 
by Paul Newman, edited by David Rosenthal.
Century, 320 pp., £25, October 2022, 978 1 5291 9706 8
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The Last Movie Stars 
directed by Ethan Hawke.
HBO/CNN
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... Thank you for keeping still,’ Elizabeth Taylor says to Paul Newman at the end of the movie version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). Taylor’s character is thanking Newman for not saying anything when he hears her lying about being pregnant. But ‘Thank you for keeping still’ is also a good summary of Newman’s acting style, especially in his early films, when the main thing required of him was that he display his magnificent torso and his dazzling blue eyes for the audience to drink in their full manly beauty ...

Naderland

Jackson Lears: Ralph Nader’s novel, 8 April 2010

Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 
by Ralph Nader.
Seven Stories, 733 pp., $27.50, September 2009, 978 1 58322 903 3
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... retreat in Maui, 17 retired rich people convene, among them George Soros, Ted Turner, Ross Perot, Paul Newman and the TV host Phil Donahue, as well as men who made their fortunes in less familiar ways: Jeno Paulucci (frozen vegetables), Max Palevsky (computer software), Sol Price (big-box retailing), Barry Diller (mass media) and Bill Gates Sr (corporate ...

At MoMA PS1

Lidija Haas: Niki de Saint Phalle, 12 August 2021

... anyone; as a beautiful woman in a white jumpsuit, she was a sensation, and was even satirised in a Paul Newman movie. She made blasphemous altars covered in weapons, vermin, crucifixes (the MoMA show includes the large bronze Altar O.A.S., which attacks the Catholic Church for its role in French colonialism). ‘Le Dragon de Knokke’ (1975) The same ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: The Salman Rushdie Acid Test, 24 February 1994

... Luther, Spinoza and Tyndale. Still, a phrase keeps recurring to my mind. It comes, bizarrely, from Paul Newman in The Verdict, as he mutters anxiously outside the courtroom: ‘There are no other cases. This is the case.’ By this he plainly means to convey, not that there are no other disputes or dramas or miscarriages of justice, but that this one has ...

Diary

Jane Holland: My Snooker Career, 6 February 1997

... misty-eyed and pat you on the head, which is when you move in and take them for every penny. As Paul Newman said, ‘money won is twice as sweet as money earned.’ Winning a game of snooker is not particularly straightforward, especially if you’re afraid of your opponent. A difficult draw can be costly in the opening rounds, when you’re still ...

No 1 Writer

John Sutherland, 5 September 1985

Glitz 
by Elmore Leonard.
Viking, 251 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 0 670 80571 8
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LaBrava 
by Elmore Leonard.
Penguin, 283 pp., £2.50, July 1985, 0 14 007238 1
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Stick 
by Elmore Leonard.
Penguin, 304 pp., £2.50, August 1985, 0 14 007083 4
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The Hunting Season 
by J.K. Mayo.
Collins, 253 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 00 222783 5
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... of the 20 best works ever in the genre, Hombre. The film was directed by Martin Ritt, and starred Paul Newman, with Richard Boone taking the acting honours as the psychopathic adversary. Hombre is patently a remake of Stagecoach. But whereas John Ford’s passengers were a cross-sectional mixture of the good, the bad and the redeemable, Leonard’s ...

Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz Tells It, 7 March 2019

Who Is Michael Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... the stolid Jay Leno succeed Johnny Carson at the Tonight Show. He rejoices in his friendships with Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Barry Levinson and Sydney Pollack. He exults over the way CAA was able to bundle its actors, directors and writers together in single production deals. The agency became a studio. CAA’s ascent was prodigious, in revenue and ...

A bout de Bogart

Jenny Diski, 19 May 2011

Tough without a Gun: The Extraordinary Life of Humphrey Bogart 
by Stefan Kanfer.
Faber, 288 pp., £14.99, February 2011, 978 0 571 26072 0
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... plain to downright ugly, if you don’t count Glen Ford or Dana Andrews (who weren’t exactly Paul Newman or Montgomery Clift themselves). My generation have Cahiers du cinéma, Godard and Truffaut to thank for the earlier generation of movie stars we might have overlooked. More fundamentally, we have to thank Raymond Chandler and Dashiell ...

President Gore

Inigo Thomas: Gore Vidal, 10 May 2007

Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964-2006 
by Gore Vidal.
Little, Brown, 278 pp., £17.99, November 2006, 0 316 02727 8
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... subject.’ There were, of course, many worlds for Vidal elsewhere: travels through Greece with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, gluttonous and bibulous tours of French restaurants with his editor Jason Epstein, conversations with his Roman neighbour Italo Calvino, lunch with E.M. Forster, chat with Princess Margaret. But in Rome there were only months ...

Messages from the 29th Floor

David Trotter: Lifts, 3 July 2014

Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator 
by Andreas Bernard, translated by David Dollenmayer.
NYU, 309 pp., £21.99, April 2014, 978 0 8147 8716 8
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... to the top floor via express elevator, himself becomes in effect the message, that evil capitalist Paul Newman can see his way to the ingenious stock scam which drives the plot on towards last-minute angelic intervention. The arrangement by phalanx required by lift protocol has the great virtue of precluding conversation. Cinema’s best elevator scenes ...

A Little Bit of Showing Off

Adam Phillips: Isherwood’s 1960s, 6 January 2011

The Sixties: Diaries 1960-69 
by Christopher Isherwood, edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 756 pp., £30, November 2010, 978 0 7011 6940 4
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... a camera he is never star-struck, and will mention in passing that he has had dinner, say, with Paul Newman or Lionel Trilling, with little or nothing noted (‘Lionel Trilling said that he doesn’t like Forster’s work as much as he used to’). It’s not that the large events are played down or camped up, but that he is always so wary of what he ...

Zeitgeist Man

Jenny Diski: Dennis Hopper, 22 March 2012

Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel 
by Peter Winkler.
Robson, 376 pp., £18.99, November 2011, 978 1 84954 165 7
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... While Hopper was still in his twenties, and noisily convinced that he was a better actor than Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward concluded (some time after hitting him on the head at a party with an antique copper bedwarmer): ‘Dennis is a genius. I’m not sure of what, and I’m not sure Dennis knows of what. Certainly not acting. But he is a ...

Beefcake Ease

Miranda Carter: Robert Mitchum and Steve McQueen, 14 January 2002

Robert Mitchum: Solid, Dad, Crazy 
by Damien Love.
Batsford, 208 pp., £15.99, December 2001, 0 7134 8707 0
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Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don’t Care 
by Lee Server.
Faber, 590 pp., £20, October 2001, 0 571 20994 7
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McQueen: The Biography 
by Christopher Sandford.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £16.99, October 2001, 0 00 257195 1
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... story. McQueen didn’t enjoy his success much. He was ill-humouredly envious of other actors – Paul Newman, an early rival, was christened ‘Fuckwit’ – and, in the 1960s at least, combative with almost everyone who worked on a film with him. When Richard Attenborough asked James Coburn why McQueen was so rude to him and all the other British ...

What does a chicken know of bombs?

David Thomson: A Key to Brando, 5 December 2019

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando 
by William J. Mann.
HarperCollins, 718 pp., £22, November 2019, 978 0 06 242764 9
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... this time the director was less convinced that Brando should be the lead. He considered a young Paul Newman and even Frank Sinatra. Did he reckon Marlon had a soft look, or too much beauty, for Terry Malloy, the failed boxer? Or had he heard that Marlon had been bad-mouthing him because Kazan (after tortured reflection) had in 1952 testified to the ...

Travels on the left

Paul Foot, 2 December 1993

John Strachey: An Intellectual Biography 
by Noel Thompson.
Macmillan, 288 pp., £27.50, May 1993, 0 333 51154 9
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John Strachey 
by Michael Newman.
Manchester, 208 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 9780719021749
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... Studies. These two books, by contrast, deal almost exclusively with Strachey’s politics. Michael Newman writes only briefly about Strachey’s private life, though he does reveal that young Charles Strachey, born at the height of his father’s revolutionary fervour, was promptly put down for Eton. Noel Thompson calls his book ‘an intellectual ...

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