Payday Loans
Paul Newman (1925-2008)


  1. Scott Brady, Johnny Guitar, 1953.      Joan Crawford hoped to land him the role of The Dancing Kid. “It will bebetter for him than East of Eden,” she hyped.  Newman made his debut “in a cocktail dress” as he called his BC toga for the dreadful Silver Chalice. Reviews were also rotten.  The New York World  critic even called him Jack Newman… “bears an striking resemblance to Marlon Brando” (disputed by biographer Shawn Levy, but very true at the time).  “It was  my appearance that got me in the door. Where the hell would I have been if I looked like Golda Meir? Probably no place; it was like being a guy with at trust fund who doesn’t have to work.  I always had that trust fund of appearance. I could get by on that.  But I realised that to survive, I needed something else.”  He was saved by Broadway’s Picnic before it and TV’s The Desperate Hours, afterwards.

  2. Marlon Brando, On The Waterfront, 1953.  
    Director Elia Kazan was more upset than he let on by Brando’s point-blank refusal in August 1953 - because of Kazan naming names in the McCarthy witch-hunt era.  This lead to Sinatra’s  handshake deal.  Director Elia Kazan, Broadway’s Boy Genius, feared The Voice would split too  early for his next gig. OK, Montgomery Clift!  Or..  “If we don’t get Brando, I’m for Paul Newman,” Kazan wrote to his scenarist Budd Schulberg.  “This boy will definitely  be a fillm star.  I have absolutely no doubt. He’s just  as good-looking as Brando and his masculinity, which is strong, is also more actual. He’s not as good an actor as Brando yet, probably never will be.  But he’s a darn good actor with plenty of power, plenty of insides, plenty of sex.” And to help make Brando jealous, Kazan had Karl Malden direct a test of Newman - and his future wife, Joanne Woodward, as Edie.  Spiegel took a look.  “Good, fine.” Newman then met Spiegel, no longer calling himself SP Eagle. He advised Paul to change his name to something more phonetic.  “You mean it sounds Jewish?” “If you want to put it like that…” “As a matter of fact, I’ve thought about changing my name.” “To what?” “SP Ewman.” End of being in consideration! “I could’ve destroyed my career.” A few days later, Brando suddenly agreed that a squealer was not to bad… and agreed  to be Terry Molloy.

  3. Tab Hunter, Battle Cry, 1955.     The one, the only time Newman was up for the same role as Tab Hunter!You’d think... butnot so. This was merely the first time... (See #9). They were both up for Lafayette Escradille, 1958.Hunter was offered The Hustler by director Robert Rossen before it landed at Newman’s door. Hunter  also turned down an offer to succeed Newman in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth on Broadway. They co-starred in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, 1972. (Battle Cry was a book by Leon Uris- as was Newman’s Exodus, 1960).
  4. Gordon MacRae, Oklahoma! 19554.   “A handsome boy,” said director Fred Zinnemann‘s notes, “but quite stiff, to my disappointment. He lacks experience [it was his second screen test!] and would need a great deal of work. Still, in the long run he might be the right boy for us. He cerrtainly has a most winning personality, although I wish he had a little more cockiness and bravado.”   From the outset, Zinnemann wanted actors rather than singers... Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Paul Newman, Dale Robertson, Robert Stack, plus singers Vic Damone and Howard Keel, as Curly… Ernest Borgnine, Marlon Brando, Lee Marvin, Rod Steiger or Eli Wallach as poor Jud Fry. For a wee while, it looked as if Newman and his future wife, Joanne Woodward, would be Curly and Laurey. However, the musical’s parents had casting approval. Rodgers and Hammerstein, agreed only on Steiger who’d tested in black-white and in colour with Dean and Newman. They became became friends, riding motor-bikes together. When Jimmy tried to take it to another level, Newman exited left. Hurriedly. And Oklahoma was played by... Arizona

  5. Richard Davalos, East of Eden, 1955. 
    Newman asked James Dean what he thought of the script.  ““Well, it’s just endless pages of exposition...” During  their improvised  test as the brothers Cal and Aron Trask for director Elia Kazan, Dean was asked on-camera if he thought girls would go for the other guy and Newman quickly butted in: “It’s a point of whether I  go for the girls, you know.“ Then Newman was asked the same about Dean. “Ooooh… Great…“ They turn, face each other and Dean knocks Paul’s  socks off by saying: “Kiss me !“ “Can’t here,“ says Newman.  And they laugh. End.  “On some days I’m in love with you,” Dean would tell Brando. “On other days, in love with Paul.”   Like Kazan’s  first idea(Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift!), Newman was too old at 29. Davalos was 25 – and was later Blind Dick opposite Paul’s Cool Hand Luke in 1966.  
    6. - Richard Davalos, East of Eden, 1954.  Like Kazan’s  first ideas (Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift!), Newman was too old for either roleat 29.  Davalos was 25 – and was later Blind Dick opposite Paul’s Cool Hand Luke in 1966. Newmandebuted, instead, in the forgettableSilver Chalice opposite Dean’s lover,Pier Angeli. “A metaphor for the whole movie junk,” Newman called it, “the failure of it, the hollowness, the superficiality.  I guess that made it appropriate that it would be my first film and that it would fall on its ass.”
    7. - Dewey Martin, The Battler, TV, 1955.  Director Arthur Penn asked Newman  to be Hemingway‘s autobiographcal hero, Nick Adams, in his meeting with the titular  boxer Ad Francis - booked for James Dean.  Two weeks before the live telecast, Jimmy was killed in his Porsche on September 30 in California.  End of project.  Not. Quite. Rocked by Dean’s death, Penn reckoned Paul  could handle the pugilist.  To be aired on October 18.  Well, of course he could. He’d been a boxer, battling the futility of his profession, in The Contender aired by CBS in November 1954.   Both bruisers directly led, of course, to also inheriting Dean’s next planned role  of real world champion  boxer  Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me. Some  critics  accused Rocky  Newman  of copying Marlon Brando in his hit play,  A Streetcar Named  Desire.   Wrong!  In fact,   Brando  told Newman that he  had also  studied Graziano for his Stanley Kowalski...  and sent him tickets to the play. “That kid is playin’ me,” said Rocky. Both kids! Except Newman said he was playing Graziano, not the Graziano. 
    8 .- James Dean, Rebel Without A Cause, 1955.  
    Long before Nicholas Ray made icons of them, Sidney Lumet had launched James Dean and Sal Mineo  -  plus Paul Newman (a Jim Stark candidate and a better one than Tab Hunter!)   in his  New York TV shows.  Before  becoming a hot TV director, Lumet  had auditioned for an earlier script version of the film. So did Brando. Rebel was scripted by Stewart Stern, whop become Newman’s closest friend and “faithful keeper of family secrets.” Paul’s posthumous 2022 autobio, Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man, was based upon years of Stern’s interviews with his friend  - and is dedicated by the family  to Stern.

    9. - Cliff Robertson, Picnic, 1955.  In 1952,   PL to his pals, for Paul Leonard Newman was earning $200 a week in 1952 on Broadway as  Alan (rewritten to suit his age) and being Ralph Meeker’s understudy as Hal.  (Janice Rule’s was a certain Joanne Woodward).  But found himself dropped  from the film.

    10 -  William Holden, Picnic, 1955. Having lost Alan, Newman craftily tested as Hal by offering to help Carrolll Baker with her Madge test. Columbia preferred her (she got a contract), but  (like Newman) not the film. He did not  have enough sexual threat, director Josh Logan told him.  “You’re not a crotch actor.”  He was when booked for Tropic of Cancer with Baker. Alas, it never happened.  ” 

    11 - Christopher Plummer, Winds Across The Everglades, 1957.   Director Nicholas Ray, his star, Burl Ives, and their producers  argued over Plummer. (Newman, Ben Gazzara, even Charlton Heston were discussed as substitutes). Ray, however,  kept the faith. More than scenarist-producer Budd Schulberg did, taking over the final days of shooting and subsequent editing from the (equally) alcoholic helmer. Warners released film in 1958, despite it being incomplete.

    12  - Gene Kelly, Marjorie Morningstar, 1957.     Bought for Brando, offered tp Danny Kaye and Paul Newman (must be a first!) but , finally, a way too old Gene Kelly became Marjorie Morgenstern’s  first love, a Borsht Belt entertainer,  Noel Airman (ex-Ehrman). Newman passed. Danny was rejected being, wait for it… “too Jewish”! The New York Times thought Kelly “a mite uncomfortable in his assignment.”  Obviously. He was not 14 years her senior as per the book, but  26 years  older! 

    13 - Elvis Presley, King Creole, 1957.  .    Before Elvis there was… everybody!  Marlon Brando, John Cassavetes, Tony Curtis, James Dean, Ben Gazzara, Paul Newman.  No wonder Elvis was so keen on the role – Danny Fisher, created in the book, A Stone for Danny Fisher, by Harold Robbins -  a young Jewish boxer who had to become a singer in the Presley picture. Both Dean and Newman passed as the tale (when still about a boxer) was much the same as the biopic of boxer Rocky Graziano, Somebody Up There Likes Me, that Jimmy was preparing for and that Newman inherited after Dean’s shock death.  It was Presley’s fourth movie  and it showed, but he gave it his best shot kept and Danny showed what might  - should - have been if his manager, Tom Parker, had allowed him to similarly stretch in other movies before they became a succession of extremely bad jokes. 

    14 - Tab Hunter, Gunman’s Walk, 1957. Head brother Jack Warner instructed Tab, “his”  star,  to report to the loathed Columbia tyrant, Harry Cohn. As fhey met in his copy-18th Century Chippendale style office, Cohn snarled: "I wanted Paul Newman… but, I guess you'll do." Striidng out, Hunter snarled back : "Well, then, get him!"  And that aside won  him what Hunter maintained was among his best movies.

    15 - John Gavin, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, 1957.    Director Douglas Sirk  wanted Newman and was given  Universal’s contract player. – Mr Cardboard.  And made him  a star.  “He was fresh, good looking, not pretty though - earnest. And he had this little dilettante quality I figured would be quite the thing for the lead” - in the WW11 film of the book by German novelist Erich Maria Marques -  author of the WW1 classic, All Quiet on the Western Front. 1929. He also played Professor Pohlman and celebrated by marrying  Paulette Goddard.

    16 - Tab Hunter, Lafayette Escradille (UK: Hell Bent For Glory), 1958.   Paul withdrew over script hassles and Hunter, Warners’ new (and gay)  tweenage idol, was drafted - proving the importance of director William “Wild Bill” Wellman’s final film!

    17 - Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur, 1958.  “After The Silver Chalice, I’ll never  act in a cocktail dress again,” he told scenarist Gore Vidal. “I haven't got the legs.” His great rival, Marlon Brando (who’d had ther right legs for Julius Caesar’s toga, 1954) also ran from the MGMighty $5m epic re-make. Director William Wyler (one of the original’s 1924 crew) also also short-listed  Richard Burton (from The Robe, 1953), Montgomery Clift, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson (furious with Universal refusing to loan him out), Van Johnson (no, really!),  Burt Lancaster (an atheist with no interest in Christianity commercials, although he had earlier tried to mount his  own version), true Brit Edmond Purdom, who had picked up another epic dropped by Brando, The Egyptian, 1953… plus Italians, known and unknown: Vittorio Gassman  and Cesare Danova.  MGM voted Heston, CB De Mille’s Moses in The Ten Commandments, 1954. According to “contributing writer” Gore Vidal, Willie Wyler called Heston wooden. Brando, for one, would not disagree.   Yet, Judah Ben-Heston  won his Oscar on April 4 1960.


    18 - Marcello Mastroianni, La Dolce Vita, Italy-France, 1959.
    Producer Dino De Laurentiis wanted Paul (or Gérard Philipe).  Director Federico Fellini did not.  “He’s star. Too important. I need common face...  Like Mastroianni.”  “No,” yelled Dino. “Too soft and goody-goody: a family man rather than the type who flings women onto the bed.”  Dino quit and Fellini  asked his co-writer Ennioi Flaiano to pass the script to “cher Marcellino.” It comprised mainly the maestro’s cartoons    - one of the hero swimming along the horizon with an enormous penis almost dragging along the sea bed. “Where do I sign?” said Marcellino. Newman asked the same thing about The Voyage de G Mastorna when pushed by Dino to Manziana where Fellini was convalescing from “a diplomatic illness.” He  also considered Alain Cuny, Steve McQueen, Marcello Mastroianni, Gregory Peck, stage director Giorgio Strehler and  Oskar Werner before signing Ugo Tognazzi - for the best film Fellini never made!

    19 - Alain Delon, Rocco e I suoi fratelli  (Rocco And His Brothers), Italy-France, 1960.   Luchino Visconti’s first producer wanted Brigitte Bardot - one of the reasons the maestro quit and persuaded Goffredo Lombardo to produce And then he wanted Newman!

    20 - Dirk Bogarde, The Angel Wore Red, 1961.   The Brit tried to pick up the pieces dropped by Hollywood’s elite. To no avail. The “priest and a tart” number in blazing Madrid number, said Bogarde,  “opened to ten Eskimos in North Alaska  and sank without trace.”

    21 - John Mills, The Singer Not The Song, 1961.    Cast as a campy bandito (or a bandito he made campy),  Dirk Bogarde fretted  that Mills would steal the (terrible) movie. The priest was the better role and, therefore, suggested to the A List: Richard Burton, Peter Finch, Laurence Harvey and the two Pauls, Newman and Scofield.

    22 - Jason Robards, Tender Is The Night, 1961.    Producer David Selznick first tried to film F Scott Fitzgerald’s last completed novel  at RKO in 1951,  with his wife, Jennifer Jones and Cary Grant -  who disapproved of  Dr Dick Diver, the shrink falling for his patient.  George Cukor decided on Elizabeth Taylor and Glenn Ford (!), John Frankenheimer voted for Warren Beatty or Christopher Plummer. Veteran toughie Henry King helming Jones with a miscast Robards was a fiasco.  Other potential Dicks over the years had been Montgomery Clift, Paul Newman and true Brits Dirk Bogarde and Richard Burton.   Hmm, Burton and Taylor - now that would have worked.

    23 - Laurence Harvey, Walk On The Wild Side  1962.    Newman had been set for the atrociously named Dove Linkhorn three years before. Maybe, he figfuered the whole shoddy shebang would be stolen in the opening seconds by Saul Bass’ prowling cat credits.

    24 - Robert  Mitchum, Two for the See-Saw, 1961.   To have see-ed with Elizabeth Taylor. She was ill, so he was was free when Robert Rossen came a-calling with…The Hustler.  Mitchum saw-ed with Shirley MacLaine. Didn’t he though! Their affair lasted four years.


    25 - Kirk Douglas, The  Hook, 1962. 

    The 1953 Korean War peace talks had already begun when three GIs, led by Sergeant Douglas, are given orders to execute a POW - the Filipino Enrique Magalona giving all of them an acting lesson.     Newman not yet played Harper and begun his thing about favouring titles and roles starting with an H… Then again, Hook was hardly a  Hud, Hustler or Hombre… and one of his  his four Harrys, two Hanks and Henrys, plus the odd Hale, Hudson and Hughie.


    26 - Cliff Robertson, PT 109, 1963.   JFK in WWII…   Robertson was said to be  the only actor hated by Newman - doubtless due to to him winning Paul’s Broadway role in the 1955  Picnic  film. Inexplicably, Robertson was to win  a Best Actor  Oscar  in 1969 - eons before Newman in 1987.

    27 - Steve McQueen, Love With The Proper Stranger, 1963.     For the jazz musician awash with girls, Newman was ex-TV director Robert Mulligan's first choice. Newman was everyone’s first choice! McQueen was on $50-a-day  for a bit part in Somebody Up There Likes Me - top starring Newman in 1956. “He walked into the audition, “ said director Robert Wise,  “wearing a beanie hat and that smile and within a few minutes, he’d got the part.”

    28 - Sean Connery, Marnie, 1963.  After  Newman and Marlon Brando passed, Rock Hudson had a meet with Alfred Hitchcock about playing Mark Rutland.   Then, Cubby Broccoli showed Hitch some glimpses of Dr No. … and,  although, Sean hardly matched  the “American aristocrat hero,” the role was Sean’s.  Newman agreed to The Master’s next (and supposedly 50th) film, Torn Curtain.  Neither one was among Hitch’s finest.

    29 - Kirk Douglas, Seven Days In May, 1963.   Wizard director John Frankenheimer wanted Newman as the heroic colonel saving the US from a seditious General Douglas. No, said Kirk, I’m the hero and Burt Lancaster is the villain general. No, said Frankenheimer, two films with Lancaster was enough... After much persuasion, he found they (finally) “got along magnificently and became good friends.”

    30 - Richard Burton, The Night of the Iguana, 1963.    Nipping in quick,  producer Ray Stark paid $500,000  for the new Tennessee Williams play – before it opened as his last Broadway hut in 1961. The main character is the Reverend T Lawrence Shannon, reduced to  being a Mexico tour guide after bejng defrocked for calling God a juvenile delinquent. So who should be Shannon: Stanley Kowalski or Brick Pollit? Aka Marlon Brando from A Streetcar Named Desire or Paul Newman from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  (He’d also been  another Williams sad-sack in Sweet Bird of Youth).  Also up for the Rev were, William Holden, Burt Lancaster (too close to his Oscar-winning Elmer Gantry, 1959) and, surprisingly, James Garner  - “Just too Tennessee Williams for me!” - and Richard Harris.


    31 - George Maharis, Sylvia, 1964.    Pinching the  Citizen Kane matrix,  Peter Lawford hires shamus Maharis to find the real story of his fiancee, a poet who used to be something else beginning with p… Newman passed. So did Robert Reed from The Defenders,  1961-1965 – and  George Peppard,  who made his screen debut win  in Bang The Drum Slowty with Newman on TV in 1956. And played, 17 years later, a vice cop called Newman in Newman’s Law! Maharis came from  Route 66, 1960-1963.  Carroll Baker played Sylva. Badly.

    32 - Tony  Curtis, The Great Race, 1964.   Newman would hardly be first choice for a movie dedicated to Laurel  and Hardy!  Except he was. Well, he did a lot of driving. So who else was Blake Edwards gonna call for his send-up of the 1908 Greatest Auto Race,  from New York to Paris via Russia, across 22,000 miles of three continents. Second choice Charlton Heston was  too busy painting ceilings as Michelangelo  in The Agony and the Ecstasy. .

    33 - Dirk Bogarde, Darling, 1964.     Julie Christie’s husband had first been written as a  US journalist  wandering around Europe.  As the film was all Julie, director John Schlesinger found that  “no Hollywood star would touch it.”  When asked which role he wanted, Laurence Harvey said: “Julie’s”!

    34 - Omar Sharif, Doctor  Zhivago, 1965.   Kirk Douglas chased after the Russian novel winning  the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature. However, Rome producer Carlo Ponti secured the rights to Boris Pasternak’s book, based not only on Russia’s revolution and Stalin’s Great Purge of freedom,  but the married writer’s long affair with the poet Olga Ivinskaya.  Ponti signed David Lean to direct Mrs P, Sophia Loren as Olga. Or Lara by now.  “Too tall,” snapped Lean. They then started hunting their Yuri Zhivago through… top Brits Dirk Bogarde, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Peter O’Toole(Lean’s  Lawrence of Arabia, 1961);  two Americans, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman; and a single Swede, Max von Sydow.  Caine said he suggested  Lean should use his  Lawrence find, Egyptian Omar Sharif. MGM's pet duo, Newman and Sophia Loren, wasted their time with  Lady L, instead. 

    35 - Peter O’Toole, Lord Jim, 1965.   Two years earlier, Newman was offered the lead.  And he passed!  “It was a mistake and I made the mistake because I was conservative and played safe. And that way lies failure.”

    36 - George Segal, King Rat, 1965.    Blacklisted Hollywood writer Carl Foreman (High Noon) decided to film James Cavell’s tough book about his three years as a WWII prisoner of the Japanese. With the finest UK actors:  new guys Albert Finney, Peter O’Toole, veterans Trevor Howard, John Mills.  He then felt he had no more to say about war after The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone and The Victors. UK writer-director Bryan Forbes made it his Hollywood debut, bravely side-stepping Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra for the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf find, George Segal – as the titular wheeler-dealer-fixer-conniver who all but ends up running the jungle camp. 

    37 - Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, 1965. A crass, if obvious notion because  his mate Martin Ritt was directing; they’d already made five of their six films.  But Newman as a Britsh spy…  c’mon!   Burton was no better, said Ritt, calling him  (before the cast and  crew) “an old whore” delivering his “last good lay.” Author John le Carré (who’d wanted Peter Finch of Trevor Howard) said the opposite. Burton was “a literate, serious artist, a self-educated polymath “with appetites and flaws that in one way or another we all share.”

    38 -  Steve McQueen, The Sand Pebbles, 1965.  Steve McQueen’s first film role – in 1956 - was opposite Pal Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me. Nine years later, the same director Robert  Wise was chasing either of them for his Pebbles hero, Jake Holman. This time,  McQueen won – plus his only Oscar nomination.  “He was so real and so right., ” said Wise. And the film was so boring.  Another nine years further on found them co-starring in The Towering Inferno, 1974.  With McQueen making sure he had the showier role - a fire chief versus Newman’s architect - and arriving on-screen about 43 minutes after Newman had more or less run out of dialogue. They were each paid $1m plus 10% of the gross for their trouble.

    39 - James Garner, Grand Prix, 1966.   When Steve McQueen backed out, Newman's name entered the grid.  Obviously.  Same thing happened a decade later for the saga of racing driver Bobby Deerfield. (Played by Al Pacino). 


    40 - Oskar Werner, Fahrenheit 451,  1966.  

    Introduced to Ray Bradbury's book in 1962, French réalisateur François Truffaut first considered shooting in America in 1964 with Newman. “He is very handsome, especially when he is filmed in colour, and I prefer him to all the Hollywood actors who have box-office appeal: Hudson, Peck, Heston, Brando, Lancaster.”  During the long financial delays, Truffaut interviewed Alfred Hitchcock, ten hours a day for six days, for their classic book, by which time Newman had cooled on the project and Truffaut felt Ray Bradbury’s story was too important to be shot in English! And contacted his past and future stars, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Paul Belmondo - and Oskar Werner as Montag’s boss. “It's very important that it’s the first European science fiction film.” Producer Lewis Allen got him back on track, offering Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Kirk Douglas or Sterling Hayden. Producer Sam Spiegel tried muscling in by promising Richard Burton bossing a Robert Redford and loving Elizabeth Taylor! To stay in charge, Truffaut ran for cover to Terence Stamp - whose ego proved jealous of Julie Christie having a dual role! Getting desperate, Truffaut made the mistake of his life by giving the fireman to Werner, originally booked as Montag’s boss. Any of the others asleep would have been better! The Austrian’s head had been turned by Hollywood since his and Truffaut’s Jules et Jim triumph. Werner argued constantly over (his dull) interpretation, refused one “dangerous” scene (as if a fireman would not have to deal with fire), even cut his hair to ruin continuity. If not for the six years of planning the film, Truffaut would have walked. Instead, he simply truncated Werner’s later scenes - and used a double John Ketteringham, in most of them! 


    41 - Yves Montand, La guerre est  finie,  France-Sweden, 1966.     Paul topped the list of French cineaste Alain Resnais, followed by Montand and Vittorio Gassman for the role  (based on Spanish writer Jorge Semprum) of a Spanish  Communist agitator - still loyal, but doubting. “My personal history,” said Montand, “gave Diego credibility.”

    42 - Brahim Haggiag, The Battle of Algiers, Italy-Algeria, 1966.   Producer Saadi Yacef played his own role in the film of the  book he wrote in prison, but Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo wanted Newman as Yacef’s accomplice Ali la Pointe.  “Non,” said Yacef,  an NLF leader during the battle. “There was no Paul Newman in the Algerian war!”  Hence the more (and highly praised) documentary approach, with mostly non-actors.

    43 - Warren Beatty, Bonnie and Clyde, 1966.

    44 - Omar Sharif, Funny Girl, 1967.  The Jewish Barbra Streisand preferred an Arab screen lover (on and off-screen) to Cary Grant. And the others short-listed for her gambling man Nick Arnstein:  Marlon Brando,  Sean Connery, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra.  Plus three  TVstars, Robert Culp, James Garner, David Janssen, that she would have chewed up and spat out. Newman explained his refusal: " I can't sing a note, and as for that monster, the dance, suffice it to say that I have no flexibility below the ass at all -I even have difficulty proving the paternity of my six children."


    45 - Burt Lancaster, The Swimmer, 1967.

    Lancaster called it: “Death of a Salesman in swimming trunks.” (Seventeen pairs, his only wardrobe for the film). He  went into serious  training to match his old nickname, The Build, for novelist John Cheever’s tragic hero, who suddenly decides to swim home via the pools of his Connecticut friends and neighbours.  Burt was no great swimmer but producer Sam Spiegel praised his “perception and courage and…  an intense interest in films that go beyond the obvious and ordinary.”  Hah, said Burt. "The whole film was a disaster,” he told  Take 22 magazine.  “Sam had promised me, personally promised me, to be there every single weekend to go over the film, because we had certain basic problems - the casting and so forth. He never showed up one time. I could have killed him, I was so angry with him. And finally Columbia pulled the plug on us. But we needed another day of shooting - so I paid $10,000  for it.” Montgomery Clift (!), Glenn Ford, William Holden, Paul Newman and George C Scott had all been in the swim for what became Sam’s fourth consecutive flop. Minus David Lean, Spiegel was  a zero.


    46 - Albert Finney, Two For The Road, 1968.   "No” said Newman, ”it's a director's picture. Not for an actor."Originally, Audrey Heburn’s husband was American and rejected bv Newman (well, he did a lot of driving) Tony Curtis  (or so he claimed in his 2008 auto-bio)..  Then, he was nearly Michael Caine before Albie rushed to work with the glorious Hepburn in director Stanley Donen’s delightful take on love and marriage, written by Frederic Raphael. 

    47 - Robert Blake, In Cold Blood, 1967.   The film of Truman Capote’s book needed anonymous actors as the killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Columbia wanted names - as if Truman Capote and Richard Brooks were smallfry!  “They wanted Newman and McQueen,” said Brooks. “But I never write for a specific  actor,” he added, forgetting his Bogart beginnings, and penning The Happy Ending, 1969,  for his wife Jean  Simmons. Newman preferred Cool Hand Luke.

    48 - Steve McQueen, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.  McQueen was now Then Big McCheese. His contract reflected his post-Great Escape status:  $700,000 and numerous Italian suits.  Plus his his usual McExtras: ten pairs of jeans, ten electric razors.  Huh?  Not for him  but the guys  at his alma mater: the  Boys Republic correction centre.

    49 - Cliff Robertson, The Honey Pot, 1967.  And writer-director Joseph Mankiewicz’s variation on Volponesure  needed him opposite Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Maggie Smith,  etc.  As Chicago  critic  Roger Ebert  put it: “The leading actors are all competent, except for the wooden Cliff Robertson.”

    50 – George C Scott, Petulia, UK/US, 1967.   Julie Christie’ is the   arch-kook in this requiem for well swung the 60s.  Director Richard Lester wanted Lee Marvin as her  curmudgeonly lover, while the Warner suits voted James Garner or Paul Newman. The film has echoes (and the editing) of Nicolas Roeg’s later Christie opus, Don’t Look Now, and, indeed, Bad Timing… well, he was the cameraman here.


    51 - Charlton Heston, Planet  of the Apes, 1968.

    52 - Rod Steiger, The Ilustrated Man, 1968.  OK, Ray Bradbury, the heavyweight  champion of science fiction writers, told Jack Smight, Hollywood’s featherweight director (not even a contender), you can film my book as long as the lead is Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman or Steiger!

    53 - Rip Torn, Tropic of Cancer, 1969.    Carroll Baker’s Carpetbaggers producer Joseph E Levine tried to set her up with Newman in a 1964 version of the Henry Miller book. Torn’s wife. Geraldine Page (their mail-box read: Torn Page), had co-starred with Newman in both the 1959 Broadway play and the 1961 Hollywood film of Sweet Bird of Youth.

    54  - Robert Redford,  Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, 1969.  

    55 - Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry, 1970.

    56 - Gene Hackman, The French Connection, 1971.    “We had a budget at the time of $2.8m,” said director Wiliam Friedkin. “And half a million of that was for Newman...  or somebody like that. Richard Zanuck, the Fox production chief like his father before him, said: “You’ll never get Newman. Who else?”  Writer Jimmy Breslin, Jackie Geason. Rod Taylor… Zanuck veteoed them all.   And mentioned  Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum and,  cheapest of all, the Fox Batman, Adam West, Holy moley!!!!

    57 - Robert Duvall, The Godfather, 1971.

    58 - Kirk Douglas, A Gunfight, 1971.    Western saga of  ageing hired guns (Johnny Cash was the other one - don’t ask!).  The budget was the  first (and last) supplied by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe of American Indians. 

    59 - Steve McQueen, The Getaway, 1972.   Newman’s agent (friend and later production partner and, finally, producer) John Foreman, did not like Jim Thompson’s  pulp  novel. The same Foreman who - to  Paul’s delight - once said of him: “He gets up every morning, walks to the window and scans the horizons for enemies.”

    60 - James Coburn, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, 1972.


    61 - Roger Moore, Live And Let Die, 1972.

    62 - Ryan O’Neal, Paper  Moon, 1972.    Before director Peter Bogdanovich rolled O’Neal pere et fille, in black-and-white, the iconic John Huston was prepping it as Addie Pray Pray (the book’s title) in colour for Newman pere et fille, Nell Potts. (They quit when Huston was replaced). Paramount chief Robert Evans had wanted Warren Beatty or Jack Nicholson. Except neither one had a kid. O’Neal said he wouldn't have made the film without Tatum. “No father and daughter can connect with the intensity of a movie, and in a way, the story is a parallel of our lives.”  Oh really? In her autobiography, Paper Life, O’Neal said when she was Oscar-niominated and Pop wasn’t, he hit her! Ten at the time, Tatum remains the youngest Oscar-winner.

    63 - Michael Moriarty, Bang The Drum Slowly, 1973.   In 1956, Newman played basebell pitcher Henry Wiggen finding his close friend and player, half-wit catcher Bruce Pearson, hiding how he was dying of Hodgkin’s disease…A few year later Josh Logan planned a film of the TV play  with Newman repeating Wiggen.  Except it was 17 years before the actual movie was made.  With Moriarty and Robert De Niro.

    64 - John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, 1974.      The idea was fair - a sequel  to True Grit.  But if Wayne proved too ill, what would be the point of someone else in his titular Oscar-winning rôle? Marlon Brando topped producer Hal Wallis’ eye-patch  list of Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, George C Scott and some of Duke’s old co-stars: Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck. Plus four of co-star Katharine Hepburn’s previous partners  - Charles Bronson, Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn - and as she continued trying to pick guys she’d never  worked with before… Warren Beatty, Henry Fonda, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Paul Scofield, Henry Winkler (!)… (McQueen turned down her Grace Quigley in 1983).   Kate wrote that embracing Duke “was like leaning against a great tree."

    65 - Christopher Plummer, After The Fall, TV, 1974.   Before it  was made for TV, a cinema movie version had been aimed at the 1965 Lady L couple, Newman and Sophia Loren as... Arthur Miller and Marilyn.  As written by Miller.

    66 - Charlton Heston,  Earthquake, 1974.  The Big One hits LA. And Charlie Hero catches it… But only because Newman (and another Earthquake target,Steve McQueen) were at Warner Bros and Fox saving The Towering Inferno.   Both roles ear-marked for Newman were desk jockeys, an LA  building exec and a towering architect… and action men for McQueen, an LAPD sergeant and a towering  fire chief.


    67 - Burt Reynolds, Lucky Lady, 1974

    “He was 24 and he  rejected Paul Newman like you’d crush a fly!” said head Fox Richard Zanuck about his first choice director, a certain Steven Spielberg. Well, obviously, he was (a) scared of working with  big stars - when out to make his name - and (b) felt Newman was unsuitable for such farce.  If Spielberg had made it, he would never  have agreed to repeat the boats and sea headaches on Jaws. Zanuck wasn’t so impressed when Spielberg rejected Mrs Z, Linda Harrison, for the police chief’s wife in Jaws, 1974 - and gave the role to a far more important wife. Lorraine  Gary was wed to his discoverer and mentor, Universal studio chief Sid Sheinberg. In 1982, he bought the film rights to what became Schindler’s List for Spielberg - it won him his first Oscar on March 21, 1994.   Burt on Newman @ Deadline Hollywood, 2018: “He was the real deal, and I liked him enormously. He was a great deal like Johnny Carson in the sense that he was very, very private. He was a terrific driver, as good as anybody out there, though Steve McQueen maybe would’ve given him a run for his money.”


    68 - Clint Eastwood, The Eiger Sanction, 1974.     Musical macho chairs... Newman was announced. Steve McQueen took it over for his  company. Clint Eastwood made it for his.

    69 - Robert Shaw, Jaws, 1974.

    70 - Elliott Gould, I Will, I Will… for Now,  1975.    Easy for Newman to bypass this lame comedy. Roger Ebert called it drek (“Try to imagine Elliott Gould vacuuming the curtains to music and you'll begin to understand the true banality of this movie”) and IMDb reported it was cited as a raunchier A Touch of Class (oh really?) by director Noman Panama’s usual writing partner, Melvin Frank.


    71 - Sean Connery, The Man Who Would Be King, 1975.

    72 - Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975.

    73 - Robert De Niro, The Last Tycoon, 1975.    Passed on F Scott Fitzgerald’s Thalbergesque Monroe Stahr. Anyway, producer sam Spiegel insisted on De Niro. For producer Lester Cowan this was the one that got way… He first tried when  hot  to trot after his 1945 hit, The Story of GI Joe, ironically starring Robert Mitchum,  who played a studio boss in this version nearly 30 years later.  Cowan tried again in 1967 - aiming for Beatty (who started writing Shampoo on Sam Spiegel’s yacht).

    74 - Donald Sutherland, Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (Fellini’s Casanova), 1975.   When Fellini didn’t fancy anyone on his 1973 wish list (Brando, Newman, Pacino, Redford, etc), producer Dino De Laurentiis brusquely quit the project in high dudgeon. Or a passing cab... Andrea Rizzoli (son of La Dolce Vita producer Angelo Rizzoli)  took over in 1974 before passing the (pricey) baton to Alberto Grimaldi and the (ten month!) shooting finally began on July 20 1975.

    75  - Bruce Dern, Family Plot, 1976.   For what proved his last hurrah, Alfred Hitchcock considered  Newman for the lead - odd, after Hitch’s antipathy for him during Torn Curtain.  “I knew I was second or third choice,” said Dernsie. Fourth, in fact, after Newman,  Pacino and Nicholson. Pacino, in particular, was too pricey.  “But you,“ said Hitch to Dern,  “I can get cheap.”

    76 - John Wayne, The Shootist, 1976.   Duke’s finale…  Newman, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman passed. George C Scott was signed but not  sealed when John Wayne showed interest in the dying gunfighter JB Brooks... despite  suffering heart, lung and prostate problems – and dead in three years. Passing each other on the lot, Wayne used to say: “Hey, Paul, how’s the revotution coming?“ And Newman would answer: “How can we possibly win, Duke, with you on the other side.“

    77 - Sean Connery,  Robin and Marian, 1976.    If you can get Newman, said director Terence Young, then you've got me...  Dick Lester got better - Sean and Audrey!


    78 - Peter Finch, Network, 1976.  

    "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore…"  Both director Sidney Lumet and writer Paddy Chayefsky came from the golden age of US TV - and pulled no punches in detailing where the medium was going (down the drain. Indeed, their fictional USB fourth network became, well, Fox.  After tenuous thoughts about real TV News anchors (John Chancellor and the venerable Walter Cronkite),Paddy had a wish list of real actors  for the unhinged news anchor Howard Beale: the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.” Henry Fonda found it “too hysterical” (his daughter Jane was up for Faye Dunaway’s Oscar-winning role), Glenn Ford,  Cary Grant, Gene Hackman, William Holden (he played news exec  Max Schumacher, instead), Walter  Matthau, Paul Newman, James Stewart (appalled by the script’s bad language!). Plus George C Scott , who refused because he had once been “offended” by Lumet! (Yet his final film was Lumet’s final film, Gloria, 1998).   Lumet had just the one name - and this proved to be Finchy’s farewell, winning the first posthumous Best Actor Oscar. Lumet was with Peter when he died. They were in the Beverly Hills Hotel, awaiting  a joint interview,  when  Finch collapsed and died soon after in hospital, never regaining consciousness from his heart attack.  His performance won the first posthumous acting Oscar. (Ironically, the second was also for an Aussie, Heth Ledger, for The Dark Knight... 33 years later).

    79 - William Holden, Network, 1976.  No? OK, then what about the middle-age news executive who becomes Faye Dunaway’s mentor, lover and victim... Chayefsky (described by Women’s Wear Daily as possessing “the look of a satyr who has retired from active duty”) had written  Newman on May 21, 1975, to offer him “any part in this picture you want.”

    80 - Robert Duvall, Network, 1976.   No? OK, then what about… the  executive who, when murder is suggested, insists he wants to "hear everybody's thoughts on this." No!

    81 - Ned Beatty, Network, 1976. No, OK, then  what about… Beatty’s  sharp-edged cameo of the  TV exec with one of the film’s other famous lines.  "It's because you're on television, dummy."  Newman remained unmoved by Chayefsky’s prophetic vision of television’s future. It was unbelievable, dumb  dumb (or ill-advised) that  such a fine actor would blow off one  of the greatest  US scripts of the 70s.  And it wasn’t  as if he was still into Towering Inferno and When Time Ran Out disaster crap  at the time. He was, in  fact, making consecutive Robert Altman films.


    82 - Al Pacino, Bobby Deerfield, 1976.    

    Newman bought the rights because the book was about car racing. Alvin Sargent’s script was not.   Pacino’s decision  made his manager-mentor Martin Bregman drop him.  “He wanted a love story... For  him  to  do this, after all the great roles he’d played, that stuck in my throat.” Pacino identified more with the Grand Prix driver than his first $1m salary. “Bobby Deerfield was lost... I   felt very lost in my life. I just don’t think I had the acting technique to handle the part.  I found myself too subjective. Yet I felt connected.” The film failed because it was difficul to accept Pacino (or the other contenders, Newman and Robert Redford) as a boring man. The flop crushed director Sydney Pollack - who then  made Absence of Malice with Newman, 1981.

    83 - Charles Durning, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, 1976.    When he could persuade Newman to be his POTUS, director Robert Aldrich went to the opposite extreme with the bulky Durning. But then this was Burt Lancaster’s movie: hi-jacking a ICBM silo and threatening tol stary WWIII unless…

    84 - Roy Scheider, Sorcerer, 1976. “I was so arrogant at that time. I thought I was the star of that film.” William Friedkin on losing Steve McQueen – and indeed Paul Newman   - from the  re-tread of realisateurHenri-Georges Clouzot's  French classic, La salaire de la peur, 1953.  “I didn’t think that a close-up of Steve McQueen was worth a shot of the most beautiful landscape. A close-up of McQueen was worth more. When McQueen dropped out, I lost Marcello Mastroianni and Lino Ventura… Only my arrogance cost me that cast.  I said: ‘I don’t need stars; I’ll just make it with four good actors. And I did.” Another of his biggest mistakes.  Film flopped. Then again, it opened one week after... Star Wars.

    85 - James Caan, Un autre homme, une autre chance/Another Man, Another Woman, France, 1977.   Pretentious Claude Lelouch decided to make a Western. He didn’t, of course.  He made a Lelouchern. Complete with the hero riding to Beethoven's Fifth!  Caan talked his way into the mess, while the realisateur was chasing Beatty, McQueen,  Newman or Pacino. None  of whom, Lelouch said proudly, said No.   Nor yes.

    86 - Alain Delon, Attention, les enfants regardent, France, 1977.   “Refused  by  Newman,”  said  Delon,  “obviously as it’s about 15 minutes in a 100 minute film. But it interested me.”   About his numerous foreign flm  offfers, Newman commented: “I know that I can function better in the American vernacular than I can in any other.  In

    fact, I cannot seem to function in any other.”

    87- Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1977.

    88 - Marlon Brando, Superman, 1977.

    89 - Gene Hackman, Superman, 1977.
    90 - Trevor Howard, Superman, 197.


    91 - Roy Scheider, All That Jazz, 1979.   “Dumb of me.” said Newman, shooting at his head with a finger.  “I was just so stupid. I didn’t take into consideration what the contribution of the director was going to be. A terrible oversight.”  When director Bob Fosse was  convinced (by his health) not to try and play his screen self, Broadway choreographer Joe Gideon, was chased and/or avoided by… Alan Alda, Alan Bates (“too British,” said Fosse), Warren Beatty (keen, but Gideon must not die at the end!), Robert Blake, Richard Dreyfuss (“afraid of the dancing”), Elliott Gould, Gene Hackman, Jack Lemmon (“too old”), Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, George Segal, Jon Voight. Scheider just grabbed the “outrageous, assaulting, melodramatic, very funny, stupid, silly, simplistic, vulgar… wonderful movie!” Exactly.

    92 - Richard Harris, Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, Canada, 1980.   Everyone passed.  Why? The subject.   Male impotency.

    93 - Nick Nolte, Cannery Row, 1980.  After reading four drafts he still said no - wisely.  Even though (or, because), Raquel Welch was due to co-star.

    94 - Kris Kristofferson, Heaven’s Gate, 1980.    So he did avoid some films   starting with an H… Brash, not to say braggart director Michael Cimino obviously first sent his script to Clint - Eastwood had started the Cimino ball rolling by producer-starring  his Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 1974. Not this time. Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Robert Redford  also passed on what became one of Hollywood’s Top Ten Financial Disasters. In the space of six years (and five Oscars for his Deer Hunter, 1978, including best Film and Director), Cimino’s career was flushed.

    95- Jürgen Prochnow, Das boot/The Boat, West Germany, 1981.   Bavaria Studios was trying to go international, with John Sturges or Don Siegel helming, perhaps,  Newman...?

    96 - Jack Lemmon, Missing, 1981.     Director Costa-Gavras also asked Newman (fulky booked) and Gene Hackman (not right) to play the all-American parent searching for his missing US journalist son-in-law, an obvious victim of the horrendous Allende regime in Chile. Said Newman: “I really wanted to work with [Z director] Costa-Gavras and I’m not above doing something that’s critical of our American society, politically, socially or morally. But if it’s going to be critical,I want it to be mycriticism... not to be the mouthpiece for somebody else’s criticism." Although winning Best Film and Actor at the 1982 Cannes festival, Missing was lacking the raw passion of Z. Instead, said, Chicago critic Roger Ebert, Costa “achieved the unhappy feat of upstaging his own movie, losing it in a thicket of visual and editing stunts.”  

    97 - Frederic Forrest, Hammett, 1981.   So he did avoid some films  starting with an H…  Wizard director Nicolas Roeg backed out when distributors told producer Francis Coppola to go with a name like Newman for Dashiell Hammet. German director Wim Wenders took forever to make it due to 40 script drafts! - and continual Coppola interference. But called it  “a long, amazing experience… too good to be true.” And then Coppoia re-shot the whole thing. Neither version was worth a knickle. The shoot lasted long enough for  co-stars Frederic Forest and Marilu Henner to fall in love, marry and divorce!

    98 - Harrison Ford, Blade Runner, 1981. Ridley Scott spent a long time sniffing out the perfect Deckard.  From top notchers Newman, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman (keen… but on making it a totally different character, of course), Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino… to such excellent journeymen as Julia, William Devane, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, Frederic Forrest, Scott Glenn, Cliff Gorman, Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken. Then, in sheer desperation, choices lowered to Cliff Gorman, Judd Hirsch.  Even the Virginian Morgan Paul stood  a chance, having played Deckard in Scott’s tests of potential Rachaels. (He was given Holden for his pains). Plus Arnold Schwarzenegger, not yet seen as Conan, much less Terminator.  And for probably the last time in such an illustrious list,  the fading star of Burt Reynolds.

    99 - Tom Conti, The Wall, TV, 1981.  He’d paid his due with Exodus. So Newman passed on Dolek Benson, the passive Jewish observer - our eyes - on the WWII Warsaw ghetto uprising (650 fighting Jews v 3,000 German soldiers) as per  novelist John Hershey.

    100 – James Cagney, Ragtime, 1981.    When Newman refused and Jack Nicholson had to quite as  New York Poilce Commissioner Rhinelander Waldo, Czech director Milos Forman (succeeding Robert Altman) decided to drag Cagney out of his retirement. “You can have any part you want - including Evelyn Nesbitt!”  As to the vast age difference, Waldo was actually 32 at the time of the EL Doctorow’s novel - Cagney was 81. His doctors said rather than being detrimental at the time, a film was crucial to his health and well being... and his old pal and often co-star Pat O’Brien  also came out of retirement. It was their swansong.


    101- Kris Kristofferson, Rollover, 1981. “The most erotic thing in their world was money” was the weak pitch for the hi-financial drama… For Jane Fonda’s third outing with director Alan J Pakula, the choice was simple.Newman, 56, or Kristofferson, 45, - one year younger than Fonda.

    102 - Sylvester Stallone, First Blood (Rambo), 1981.


    103 - James Mason, The Verdict, 1982.

    An alcoholic Paul Newman is up against veteran hot-shot lawyer Ed Concannon in a Boston malpractice court case.  Stars chased both roles. Of course, they did - Sidney Lumet was directing a David Mamet scenario!  William Holden and Burt Lancaster were keen on Concannon.  Paul Newman was actually set to play him opposite Robert Redford, until he sundanced away, not happy with playing an alky and Newman won an Oscar nod in the top role. As for Mason, keen to work with Lumet again. grabbed the role after deciding against  Newman pal, Mickey Morrissey, taken over by Jack Warden.  Newman loved the film. “As an actor, The Verdict, of course, was one of the best for me. I never had to ask myself to do anything in that picture, never had to call upon my reserves.  It was always  right.  I never prepared for anything, never had to go off in a corner, it was there immediately.  It was wonderful.” His  pal Stewart Stern added: “Verdict was absolutely his essence.”   PS: How’s this for a coincidence . In 1924, William Collier Jr made a movie called The Verdict.  His role was…Jimmy Mason


    104 - Jackie Gleason, The Sting II, 1983.   The Big One “did it for  the money”  and wished he had   also steered clear  Fargo  Gondorff.

    105- Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment, 1983.   Written for Burt Reynolds, rejected by Paul -  another Oscar for Jack!

    106 - Michael Caine, Educating Rita, 1983.   Apart from his 007 films, Lewis Gilbert’s biggest hit stemmed from a play: Alfie. Now he, or rather his wife, Hylda, had found  another great UK play, a two-hander about  a young hairdresser with a passion for learning and Frank, her condescending, alcoholic English Lit professor. Fine, said another Frank - a certain Frank Price, surprisingly still in  charge at Columbia after notoriously rejecting a Spielberg script called ET!  Now he wanted Dolly Parton and Paul Newman. “Out of the question,” snapped Gilbert. “With egg on our faces,” Price insisted on releasing the film after Gilbert did it his way. He nearly made a US re-tread in  2002 with Denzel Washington and Halle Berry.

    107 -  Robert De Niro, Once Upon A Time In America, US-France, 1983. Early on in the writing  process, maestro Sergio Leone decided to have his two Jewish hoods played as children, adults, and old-timers.  James Cagney was flattered by the invitation  to play the older De Niro, but was not up to  the task.  The maestro next called upon  Newman…. For roughly the same role he played for Sa, Mendes in Road To Perdition in 2001.    But in the 80s, “he  no longer wanted to be associated  with violence in films.” OK, said Leone, one actor will do…

    108 -  Mickey Rourke, Year of the Dragon, 1984.   Except when released in ’95, it was the less punchy Year of the Ox…  Rourke  said (and he should jnow) the fewrocious script was written for Clint Eastwood or Paul Newman. The writers, Oliver Stone and Michel Cimino, also thought of Bridges and Nick Nolte for the NYPD detective trying to clean up Chinatown.   Cimino also helmed  Rourke in the ill-fated Heaven’s Gate and Dangerous Hours.

    109 - Harrison Ford, Witness, 1984.    Just wasn’t  enticing enough…  As Disney producer Peter McAlevey would discover when offering the never made Monaco Cop (with Richard Dreyfuss as his son, William Baldwin as his grandson), ”He was either going to work with the finest people on the best stuff - or he was just going to race.” 

    110 - Mel Gibson, The River, 1984.   Gibson was Hollywood’s current big cheese. But director Mark Rydell couldn’t imagine him playing an American. Anyway, he was close to winning either De Niro or Paul Newman   as the Tennessee farmer. “Mel was very persistent,” Rydell told Moveline’s Stephen Rebello, “asking me to promise that I wouldn’t cast it until he’d finished making The Bounty.” He said he would but he was just being courteous. Gibson next visited Rydell’s home for a test. Rydell knew he’d worked  on his accent with a expert  in London - and had the script. Instead of letting him read the scenes he’d rehearsed, Rydell asked him to read from Newsweek magazine.  Being a musician, my ear is reasonably accurate. He knocked me flat. He had slaved to do that, and I like that kind of commitment. I cast him on the spot.”  


    111- Michael Douglas, Romancing The Stone, 1985. With Newman, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson  andChristopher Reeve refusing, the producer decided to play the hero, Indiana… er, Jack Colton…  himself.  Huge hit. The sequel, not so much.

    112 - James Garner, Murphy’s Romance, 1985. Columbia Pictures wanted an A Player. Such as Marlon Brando (despite not having  made a movie  since 1980) or Paul Newman (who had!). But this was the debut production of Sally Fields’ Fogwood Films, with her Norma Rae od\f writers and director.  And Sally wanted Garner.  (She co-starred with Newman in Absence of Malice, 1980). “There was resistance to him,” said director Martin Ritt. A lot of exhibitors didn't want Jim. But this part is for him. Jim is Murphy Jones. I've won 90% of those arguments. If I feel a person's going to be good, hell and high water will not get me off it"  And said Sally, Jim was the best screen kisser she ever locked lips with  – and won his sole Oscar nomination.

    113 - James Woods, Salvador, 1985. Oliver Stone first wanted Marlon Brando for  photo-journo Richard Boyle. No? OK, Marvin or Paul Newman. The auteur then signed Martin Sheen - until Woods, already booked as Dr Rock, Boyle’s dee-jay pal, pushed for the lead. "Such a great role, this man with all his shortcomings and vices... ultimately interested in finding the truth." So began the endless Woods-Stone love affair: Nixon, Any Given Sunday, Indictment: The McMartin Trial and Killer: A Journal of Murder. Stone won Sheen back as Charlie Sheen’s father in Wall Street, 1987.

    114 - Gene Hackman, No Way Out, 1986.  For his excellent thriller (labyrinthine and ingenious, said Roger Ebert) the under-praised Aussie director Roger Donaldson tried all ages for the villain politico. From James Caan and Al Pacino at 46 to Gregory Peck at 70. Plus James Coburn, Sean Connery, James Cromwell, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Mitchum, Donald Moffat, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Burt

    115 - Sean Connery, Der Name der Rose/The Name of the Rose, France-Italy-West Germany, 1986.   Newman as a monk...  Nah, doesn’t work!  Réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud was not keen on 007 as Umberto Eco’s medieval monk turned detective.  Columbia Pictures even refused financing if Connery was involved as his post-Bond star was imploding. Naturally, Brando topped Annaud’s further 14 ideas. Five Americans: Newman, Robert De Niro, Frederic Forrest, Jack Nicholson, Roy Scheider; four Brits: Michael Caine, Albert Finney, Ian McKellen, Terence Stamp;  plus two Canadians, Christopher Plummer and  Donald Sutherland, French Yves Montand, Irish Richard Harris and  Italian Vittorio Gassman. Connery’s reading was the best and his career exploded anew. Two years later, he won his support Oscar for The Untouchables.

    116 - Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon, 1986.   Newman and Robert Redford  wanted a third buddy movie.  This was the best their super-agent Michael Ovitz could find.  “But Bob hated the script.” So did director Richard Donner, who had every new draft by Shane Black lightened up by an uncredited Jeffrey Boam. Thus a franchise was born. Obviously not, if Butch and Sundance had made it.

    117 - Burgess Meredith, King Lear, 1987.    The contract  for bilious  auteur Jean-Luc Godard to tackle Shakespeare was signed (an hour after it had  been mooted) on  large napkin at the Majestic Hotel bar during the 1985 Cannes festival.  The film was just as ridiculous; Godard, himself, detested it.  Shuffling his kings from Norman Mailer to Rod Steiger, Godard also contacted Newman - to make the film at the Actors Studio.  He also set about  persuading Newman into  being Sigmund in someting called Dora et Freud.

    118 - Kevin Kline, Cry Freedom, 1987.  For the seventh of his dozen directing gigs, UK actor Richard Attenborough somehow managed to turn balck into white - making the true story of the young black activist Steve Biko’s murder by the South African state into the story of how his white journalist friend,  Donald Woods, fled the coutry of apartheid. Newman was hardly alone is noting this unforgivable error in the script… which also led, eventually, have a higher billing to the Mrs Woods actress than to Denzel Washington’s Biko!

    119 -  Bob Hoskins,  Who Framed  Roger Rabbit,  1987.      Mad  as it sounds, he was considered along with Harrison Ford as the live ’tec in the  cartoon world.

    120 - Gregory Peck, Old Gringo, 1989.   Jane Fonda’s first choice - as way off-beam as her last.  She thought he’d be overwhelmed by her.  What an ego!


    121 - Richard Dreyfuss, Always, 1989.    

    Steven Spielberg’s pet project ...  He loved Spencer Tracy (the father he never had) and was determined to re-make his 1943 weepie, A Guy Named Joe, Spielberg won the rights from MGM while going a step too far with his 1941 mess in 1979… and made much the same dog’s breakfast of his cherished project. Dreyfuss was Spielberg’s Tracy, but too young for Spence’s flying boots.  Butch and Sundance were called for the two leads.  Neither one bit.  Redford had done the pilot thing as The Great Waldo Pepper, 1974, and “No reason to re-make a movie that was pretty average  to begin with.” So  how about Paul…?  His opinions were invariably thisclose to Redford’s. (Billy Wilder always said for a guaranteed hit, “ you need a love story  between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a Boeing on fire flown by Barbra Streisand.”)  The project was postponed for a decade, until the director  (a) could land the right girl (b) Van Johnson’s successor (Brad Johnson!!!)  and (c) attain enough emotional maturity for a love story (he failed at all three)…  By which time Dreyfuss  looked, well,  older than his years!


    122 -   Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy, 1989.  Sonny Bono with the missus, Cher, as Tess, were set for a  70s’ musical version that never flew. Next came Ryan O’Neal in the early 80s. Then, Newman, Bruce Campbell, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford and even such total opposites as George C Scott and Tom Selleck were seen in ’89.  James Caan settled for a cameo as Splandoni.  Beatty agreed to direct if he could play Tracy, his boyhood idol. Disney suits spoiled the whole caper by making him slash his 135 minute cut by a half-hour!

    123 - Harvey Keitel, Thelma & Louise, 1990.

    124 - Garry Marshall, A League of Their Own, 1991.   Long-time ball fan, director Penny Marshall had never heard of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954) until seeing a 1987 PBS documentary. She swiftly contacted the makers to join her Hollywood writers to use their title for a fictional comedy-drama version.  Penny staged baseball tests for about 2,000 actresses - if you can’t play ball, you can’t play the Rockford Peaches.  (Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty were best). Also on the plate for the AAGPBL founder were James  Coburn, Paul Newman, Max Von Sydov (!) and the too expensive Christopher Walken. Garry Marshall is Penny’s brother;  she also cast his daughter, Kathleen Marshall, as 'Mumbles' Brockman, and her  own daughter Tracy Reiner as relief pitcher ‘Spaghetti’ Horn.

    125 - Tom Berenger, At Play In The Fields of the Lord, 1991.     For ten years, one of the most famous unmade Hollywood movies… . MGM snapped up Peter Matthiessen’s novel for Brando. John Huston and Milos Forman wanted to direct; David Lean and Arthur Penn did not. Paul Newman was keen on subbing  Brando as the sky jockey  hero, Lewis Moon, helped by his writer pal Stewart Stern and  director Richard Brooks.  Next, old schoolers Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck and newer guys Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, Patrick Swayze tried to Moon it. Hector Babenco preferred Berenger  the young Butch Cassidy, circa 1978)) for what Washington Post critic Desson Howe called artistic zilch: “three hours of lush jungle cinematography, picturesque natives and crackpot missionaries losing their minds.”


    126 - Kevin Costner, JFK, 1991.

    127 - Tommy Lee Jones, JFK, 1991.

    128- Tom Hanks, Toy Story, 1992.   Pixar’s  hyper-talented shirts (never suits!)  wanted Paul Newman and Jim Carrey - old and new Hollywood - to voice cowboy Woody and astronaut Buzz Lightyear. Except the budget was too tiny to pay such superstars.  Newman later voiced Doc Hudson in Pixar’s racing-car version of Toys - Cars, 2004  His final work…  and his biggest box-office hit. Go figure!

    129 - Ralph Waite, The Bodyguard, 1992.    Kevin Costner asked  Paul to play his father. “But the part wasn’t  big enough,” admitted Costner.  He won over Newman as  his dad in a better script six years later, Message In A Bottle, 1998. “Paul is  a very  handsome fella. My father is the most handsome man  I  know so I sometimes look at  Paul and think of my father  -  they're very similar.”

    130 - Robert Duvall, Falling Down, 1992.  “You're angry because you got lied to? Is that why my chicken dinner is drying out in the oven…?”  On his last day on the job, LAPD Sergeant Lester Prendergast  finds a guy, known only by his car number-plate, D-FENS, melting down, dangerously.  He’s Michael Douglas, in buzz-cut, glasses and, finally, his very own Cuckoo’s Nest.  Duvall won the cop from Gene Hackman, Jack


    131 - Gene Hackman, The Firm, 1992.   The early Sydney Pollack casting of Jeff Bridges and James  Whitmore became Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman  - in  the first of his three John Grisham films. This was the one where their law firm (ssh! not a word) was run by the Mafia. “The book moved at turbo speed… the movie crawls,”  complained Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “[Sydney] Pollack treats it like scripture.” 

    132 - Jeroen Krabbe, King of the Hill, 1992.  Based on the 1972 memoir by AE Hotchner, Newman’s  neighbour, friend and pal, and partner in Newman’s Own Organics.  They also co-founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a residential summer camp and year-round center for seriously ill kidss and their families. The King role was, in effect, Hotchner’s father - missing for most of the movie.  Newman never  made Hotchner’s  Papa Hemingway, either.,  (Nor did anyone else).

    133 - Don Johnson, Guilty As Sin, 1992.  Larry Cohen, the B-movie guy, writer and guerilla-style director, was knocked out when one of his heroes, director Sidney Lumet,  decided to go off-beat with what one critic would call  “zestfully trashy”  - a rare courtroom-noir mix. “But,” said Lumet’s biographer Maura Spiegel, “he felt that Sidney Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Jason Robards. had lost enthusiasm… when he couldn’t cast his first choice.”  Newman, quite simply, felt he was too old for a sociopathic gigolo.  Hud with a twist. Newman was 67;  Johnson,  42.

    134 -  James Caan, Flesh and Bone, 1993.    Too busy... “Every time I get a script, it's a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell.  It’s like falling in love. You can’t give a reason why.”

    135 - Kirk Douglas, Greedy, 1993.    After Newman refused, both Jack Lemmon and Anthony Quinn  were suggested for  Uncle Joe, a millionaire far removed from the other Douglas’ Douglas’ Gordon  Gekko’s “Greed is good.”

    136 - Morgan Freeman, The  Shawshank Redemption, 1993. Sidney Poitier missed the point.  He refused because playing a convict was not setting a good example. Did he not notice redemption in the title? (And what about Les Miserables?). Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman and Robert Redford had already been jailed  in Escape From Alcatraz, Cool Hand Luke and The Last Castle… So the A-Listers (Harrison Ford included) passed and thus it became Freeman‘s favourite movie -  the 43rd of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits. As if in a memo to Poitier, Chicago critic Roger Ebert noted:  “Some have said life is a prison, we are Red, Andy is our redeemer. All good art is about something deeper than it admits.”

    137 - Robert Duvall, The Paper, 1993.    For another of his tepid movies, director Ron Howard tried to add some punch by inviting Ndewman to be Bernie White, editor-in-chief the  New York Sun tabloid.  But he’d done his journalism movie  Absence of Malice in 1981.   And hated repeating himself. Besides he was into the Coen brothers’ Hudsucker Proxy.

    138 - James Garner, Maverick, 1994.   Now too busy with Nobody’s Fool to provide a cameo opposite Mel Gibson as a guy named Zane Cooper (after author Zane Grey and, of course, Gary Cooper).  “We didn’t want to go to Jim Garner for risk of offending him,” recalled director Richard Donner. “What else could we ask him to play except Maverick - here's the guy who created the role [in the TV series].  And he came in and he was aglow...  teaching Mel incredible one-handed card tricks

    139 - Ben Kingsley, Death and the Maiden, 1994.  Talked it over in June 1993… For  his film of Ariel Dorfman’s complex play, Roman Polanski wanted Sigourney Weaver to tie Newman to a chair, stuff his mouth with her panties and prove he is Dr Roberto Mirandca who raped her 14 times when she was a poliical prisoner in an unamed Chile. Glenn Close and Gene Hackman had the Broadway roles. Jack Nicholson  and his former lady, Anjelica Houston, were also asked to make the movie.  Like  Newman, they passed… Due to his Gandhi, Kingsley beat Newman to glory when The Verdict had been adjuded by many as  Paul Newman’s Oscar  picture.

    140 - Paul Scofield, Quiz Show, 1994.  A director  by the name of Robert Redford   asked his friend to play the literay scholar Mark Van Doren, fatehr of the notorious TV game shgow cheat, Chartes Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes). Newman was touched but said:  ”I sould be struggling with that patrician quality.  You can take the kid out of Ohio out you can’t take Ohio out of the kid.”

    141 -  Jack Nicholson,  Mars Attacks! 1995.  Tim Burton’s first two choices, Warren  Beatty and  Paul Newman,  absconded. So did  Tim Burton’s Batman, Michael Keaton, so The Joker took over took over the US President  - and showing off with a second role of a Vegas casino boss.   Didn’t help. Too many stars. Not enough satire.


    142 - Donald Sutherland, A Time To Kill, 1996.   

    Wise decision.   From a wise man.   “I’ve been accused of being aloof.  I’m not.  I’m just wary.”  But as he further  explained…  “Wherever I look,   I find parts that are reminiscent of Luke or Hud or Fast Eddie. Christ, I played those parts once and parts of them more than once. It’s not only dangerous to repeat yourself, it‘s goddamned tiresome.”  Plus he found the script's justification of murder distasteful.


    143 -  Ryan O’Neal, Faithful, 1996.    Instead of Newman and Liz Taylor, it was O’Neal birthday gifting his wife, Cher, with a hit-man - Chazz Palminteri, who scripted from his own play and  (naturally) co-starred.  All to no avail.

    144   - Jason Robards,  A Thousand Acres, 1997.  .   The producer – and star – Michelle Pfeiffer wanted Newman to play her powerful  father,  a farming king, with three daughters (the others are Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh) and he’s called Larry. So what we have here is Lear. Perfect to Newman, even better for Robards. So why did Pail pause?  Ace Chicago critic Roger Ebert seemed to know … “[The film] wants only to borrow plot elements of King Lear, not to face up to its essentials. We are denied even the old man's heartbreaking deathbed scene - -that goes to one of the daughters… The movie repeats the currently fashionable pattern in which men are bad and fathers are the most evil of all; there is not a single positive male character in the movie, unless you count the preacher who says grace before the church supper.” This was the second time he refused Lear - then again the first was a ridulous Cannon hodge-podge ”directed” by Jean-Luc Godard.

    145 - Willem Dafoe, Victory, 1996.   Among Louis Malle’s 1978 choices for Axel in  his 20-year-old dream project - the Joseph Conrad classic. (The others were Sean Connery, Robert Redford, Jon Voight).  But Paramount was not as keen as it had been for its 1940 version. Gradually, shooting was planned, a France-Australia-Germany-Canada co-production in Indonesia and the Philippines, for July-September  1979. Malle and his new lover (and co-scripter) Susan Sarandon went to Atlantic City, instead.

    146 - Robert Forster, Jackie Brown, 1997.    The  backers wanted yet another name.  Tough! Writer-director Quentin Tarantino had created the over-the-hill bail bondsman Max Cherry for Forster and no one else.

    147  - Bruce Willis, Icarus, 1997.    When David Willis found it for his brother's Flying Heart company, he had no idea that Robert Stitzel's script dated back to MGM, circa 1980, and had been set for Newman, before moving to Sylvester Stallone and, as the hero was a F-15 pilot (facing the trauma  of retirement), to  fly-boy John Travolta.


    148- James Caan, Poodle Springs, TV, 1998.   

    Lew Harper was Sydney Pollack’s first choice for ageing private dick Philip Marlowe - from an unfinished novel by Raymond Chandler, a mere synopsis and four chapters cut short by Chandler’s 1959 death and finished 30 years on by Robert     B Parker, creator of a later ’tec,  Spenser.   After Redford  also turned it down, it became        a bad  HBO movie by  director Bob Rafelson. “It sucked!” said the previous Philip Marlowe, Elliott Gould.  “Even with that wonderful British writer, Tom Stoppard, it was absolutely fucking horrible!”


    149 - Robert Duvall, A Civil Action, 1998.  The legend said auteur Steve Zaillian wanted Duvall, and no one else, as Jerome Facher. Except the rôle was also offered to  Marlon Brando and Newman.  The real Facher was thrilled by Duvall’s version of him in the drama,  based on a true court case about the pollution  deaths of 12 childen from leukemia. Chicago critic Roger Ebert nailed it as ”John Grisham for adults… The law is about who wins, not about who should win.” Sole surprise was the lightweight John Travolta appearing for the kids’ families.

    150 - Kevin Conroy, Batman Beyond, 1998.  The toon idea was an older Batman passing mask and cape to a high-schooler…Great efforts were made to persuade Newman into voicing an older Bruce Bat,  passing mask and cape to Keanu Reeves as the kid, Terry McGinnis, for 52 episodes.  That, of course, was before either of them heard scenarist Paul Dini admitting  the main reason for the series was to sell toys…    Conroy (a one time TV Ted Kennedy) was Batman’s TV toon voice (or voices, since he sounded  different as Bruce Wayne) started his Gotham life in 1992. He was then 37. He is still at it at age 62 in 2017. (Batman Beyond: The Movie was a 1999 compilation of five TV episodes).


    151- William Hurt, The Big Brass Ring, 1998. In the mid-80s, Orson Welles ran out of  financial gas while trying to set up his script of a Presidential candidate blackmailed over a gay affair with his main adviser.  For The First Couple, Welles tried real couples - the Newmans, the Cassavetes...  Netflix finally liberated the movie for its TV streaming service  in 2018.

    152 - Burt Reynolds, Waterproof, 1998.  Newman, Gene Hackman and Jack Lemmon were first sought for what became  the unlikeliest role of all for the doldrummed Reynolds  - Eli Zeal, the elderly  Jewish owner of a little grocery store in what had become an African-American neighbourhood.  Shot over 24 days in ’98, the film  never found a distributor. The re-make rights were bought by Cloud Ten Pictures in 2010. But this was not The Pawnbroker

    153 - Mel Gibson, Signs, 2001.    Originally,  the pastor-farmer  haunted by his wife’s death was older. This explains why sliding director M Night Shyamalan offered the dog-collar to Newman and Clint Eastwood.  But Depp…?  Aw c’mon, Johnny can play any age - anything! - you want. 

    154 - Richard Gere, Chicago, 2002.

    155 - David Kelly, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, 2004.    Grandpa Joe was Newman’s  last pass. Two of Tim Burton’s other  choices passed before passing (Gregory Peck, Peter Ustinov) and he gave it to the veteran Irish actor (“in three minutes”) on running into him at Pinewood studios on another film. The full Jo list also included: Richard Attenborough, Michael Caine, George Carlin (yes, not Carlin), Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, Richard Griffiths, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Lloyd (favourite of author Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy), Ron Moody, Peter O’Toole, Max von Sydow, Eli Wallach, David Warner.  

    156 - Robert Redford, An Unfinshed Life, 2003.   An ironic title considering the health of the two original stars - Newman and director Robert Altman. (They died in 2008 and 2006). Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom took over. Being somewthing of a dysfunctional family expert after What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?and The Cider Houser Rules.  He brought in Redford and Jennifer Lopez,  succeeding Naomi Watts as his battered daughter-in-law. Not released until  2005. Altman died in 2006.

    157 - Keanu Reeves, John Wick, 2013.   After three successive flops, , the toilet door had not quite closed on Reeves when his Matrix and Constantine stunt double Chad Stahelski turned director and saved his career with this first of three Wick(ed)  movies. Although writer  Derek Kolstad had created a hero in his 60s for Newman. Biut like everyone else, he was totally disinterested In the almost mute Wick. Not a quip on his lip. 


    158 - Nick Nolte, A Walk in the Woods, 2015.

    Billy Wilder always said for a guaranteed hit, “you need a love story  between Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a Boeing on fire flown by Barbra Streisand.” Both guys  wanted one last movie together.   Joining forces in Serpico, 1973,   was a crazy notion.  John Fusco’s Highwaymen never planned out,   The Front Runner gay athletics saga had long since faded from view and rumour. However, in 2005 Redford bought Bill Bryson’s book about hiking ther Appalachian Trail with a grumpy old pal… ”There was a time when I could read ten scripts and find a film I wanted to do,” said Newman. ”Now I have to plough through at least 150.   I’m a dinosaur.  I’m on my last legs. Spaghetti sauce is outgrossing my films.” Well, this script had it all: life, death, environmentalism, friendship. Perfect! Script was polished, directors sought (Barry Levinson, etc) and then in  the summer of 2007, they threw in the towel. ”It’s not happening, sadly,” announced Redford.  They couldn’t decide if they were too old for it; Bryson and his chum were in their 40s, Redford and Newman were 69 and 80.  ”Then we decded, let’s go for it. But time passed and Paul’s been getting older fast. Things deterioated for him. Finally, he called: ‘I gotta retire.‘ The picture was written and everything. It breaks my heart.”  Newman then told the world via  ABC’s Good Morning America.  ”I’m not able to work anymore as an actor at the level I would want to.  You start to lose your memory, your confidence, your invention. So that’s pretty much a closed book for me. I’ve been doing it for 50 years [actually 60].  That’s enough.”  He died in 2008, at age 86.   Redford retired at 79 ten years later. after completing The Old Man & the Gun.   “Well, that’s enough. And why not go out with something that’s very upbeat and positive?... And then just focus on directing.”


    159 - Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog,  2020.  Down-under auteur Jane Campion worried about “the voodoo on this story” - as Thomas Savage’s book (indeed, much of his life) had been optioned at least five times before (on e by Newman) and failed to make it to the screen. “Hey, if it’s good enough for Paul Newman, who am I to shy away from the opportunity,” said Cumberbatch. “Every time I hear that I go: Damn, I wish I’d seen that film.”



    Sometimes God makes perfect people - and Paul Newman was one of them” - Sally Field

    “He set the bar too high for the rest of us. Not just actors.  But all of us.” - George Clooney

    “There are two qualities that genuinely make a star. And neither of them has anything to do with acting: danger and sexuality. Paul, as a man, is a total sexual animal. That’s why he is a star.   When people see him, they feel it, whether they are aware of it or not.” – director Martin Ritt, who formed a company  with Newman and directed  him in six times A heavy guy, said Newman, ”the most graceful person on two feet.  He was like Zero Mostel – he could trp-toe across a floor and hardly cause a breeze.”

    “Wonderful actor, wonderful self-effacing man. Honoured his family and his profession… Hard  not to just stare in amazement at this wonderful, generous, ego-free, open, childlike, utterly on-the-ball couple.” – Alan Rickman

    “He was staggering - the beauty of the world.”  -  Patricia NeaL.

    “Paul, of course, is incomparable.  I find no flaws in him, as an actor  or as a man.  He’s a moral and ethical man, superb in every way; I so admire the way he has lived his life. He's never dramatised himself the way others in his league have done. Marlon, whom I admire tremendously, does dramatise himself, perhaps consciously.  Paul and Jack Nicholson live on the same street, but they have  different addresses.” – John Huston.

    “Everything about Paul Newman was real.” - Gene Hackman

    “ I have been watching Paul Newman in movies all of my life. He is so much a part of the landscape of modern American film that sometimes he is almost invisible: He does what he does with simplicity, grace and a minimum of fuss, and so I wonder if people even realize what a fine actor he is. We remember the characters instead: Fast Eddie Felson, Hud, Butch Cassidy, the alcoholic lawyer in The Verdict.  At the centre is Paul Newman. He is an exact contemporary of Marlon Brand,, who is said to have invented modern film acting. Yes, and he probably did, stripping it of the mannerisms of the past and creating a hypercharged realism. Like Brando, Newman studied the Method. Like Brando, Newman looked good in an undershirt. Unlike Brando, Newman went on to study life, and so while Brando broke through and then wandered aimlessly in inexplicable roles (especially since The Godfather 20 years ago), Newman continued to work on his craft. Having seen what he could put in, he went on to see what he could leave out. In Nobody's Fool, he has it just about figured out.” -  Roger Ebert, from his Nobody’s  Fool review, Chicago Tribune,  January 13, 1995.


























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