It's basically impossible to choose the best movies from Paul Newman's illustrious film career. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and sensibility. But in honor of his passing, these are our favorites, listed below with accompanying video scenes.
Feel free to offer your favorites in the comments section below.
The Sting (1973)
Most point to Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid as the great Newman-Redford film, but for our money The Sting is superior and may in fact be the best movie Newman ever made. The film is the kind of smart yet fun yarn Hollywood fails to spin today. It's just great entertainment, perfectly executed.
The great poker scene with the late Robert Shaw:
Buy The Sting (Universal Legacy Series) on DVD from amazon.com.
The Verdict (1982)
It's difficult to choose Paul Newman's best performance, but his turn as an alcoholic attorney with one last shot at redemption in The Verdict may be the most quintessentially Paul Newman . Its mix of melancholy and humor, earnestness and sarcasm, hope and hopelessness, brings together everything that made Paul Newman one of Hollywood's most beloved and enduring stars.
Newman's final summation:
Buy The Verdict (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) on DVD from amazon.com.
Slap Shot (1977)
As far as sports comedies go, Slap Shot is just about perfect and perhaps only rivaled by the great Bull Durham . It's raw, vulgar and unhinged... and wonderful.
Newman rallies the Chiefs:
Buy Slap Shot (25th Anniversary Special Edition) on DVD from amazon.com.
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
Admittedly, it's hard to argue The Hudsucker Proxy ranks among Newman's best films, but we love it and consider it an unjustly ignored and perennially underrated film by the Coen Brothers. We delight in Newman's scene-chewing performance as the diabolic boss of that "ignoramus" Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins).
Norville delivers the Blue Letter:
Buy The Hudsucker Proxy on DVD from amazon.com.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
If you asked 10 people what their favorite Paul Newman movie is, we bet better than half would choose Cool Hand Luke. And why not? It's arguably Newman's coolest performance.
Nobody can eat fifty eggs:
Buy Cool Hand Luke (Deluxe Edition) on DVD from amazon.com.
Buy Cool Hand Luke [Blu-ray] on Blu-ray disc.
This bleak, depressing classic features arguably Newman's greatest, most haunting performance. Audiences familiar only with his more amiable work in films like The Sting will be blown away.
An unprincipled man:
Buy Hud on DVD at amazon.com.
The Hustler (1961)
That Newman won his first Oscar for the inferior sequel (Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money) and not for the original is just one of countless travesties of justice in the history of the Academy Awards. Newman's portrayal of Fast Eddie is a timeless classic. And Jackie Gleason's turn as the real-life Minnesota Fats ain't no slouch either.
The Final Game:
Buy The Hustler (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) on DVD from amazon.com.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy is the film to which all buddy capers aspire and yet never quite reach. It's the movie that made Redford a star and gave name to his ski resort and film festival, but make no mistake: this is Newman's movie.
The film has so many great scenes we couldn't pick just one...
The rules of a knife fight:
Sundance can't swim:
Buy Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) on DVD from amazon.com.
Buy Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] on Blu-ray disc.