People have movie heroes. My best friend’s was Tyrone Power and Bogart. For me, it was all about Paul Newman.
Of course everyone knows him for his more famous roles in THE HUSTLER, COOL HAND LUKE, BUTCH CASSIDY….the list goes on and on. But to me, although maybe not the best of his films, the ones that stuck with me the most growing up were FROM THE TERRACE, THE TOWERING INFERNO and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION.
I saw these two films at different times in my life — but both at an age where the films left an impact on me.
There was a small little film he directed and starred in — SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION (1971) that had one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever seen in cinema to this day. In the scene, he plays an Oregon logger who tries to help free his friend whose leg is trapped under a log while the water of the banks are slowly rising. I remember not breathing through that entire sequence. It’s truly incredible work — seeing it was one of the first moments I realized that movies weren’t all about flashy spectacles….but it’s about the little moments. I think that may have been one of the first times I seriously thought about directing film….to create magic like that.
SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT:
There was something about the guy that everyone loved, whether it was his looks, confidence or just plain kindness. The man seemed to be a class act all the way around. Even before I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, I admired Newman for his career and choices along the way. I would’ve loved to have worked with him.
He was one cool cat.
On that note…..how amazing is this piece of footage?