ABC Wednesday: N is for Newman

One of the things I just didn’t realize that I just did not see that many of Paul Newman’s films. I never saw either of the billiards pictures, The Hustler or The Color of Money, I managed to miss Hud. Though I swear I had seen Cool Hand Luke, when I was watching some PBS special about Warner Brothers pictures, WHICH SHOWED THE ENDING, I realize that I’d just seen several clips and not the whole thing.

I did absolutely see some of his films, though:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 – especially loved the knife fight
The Sting 1973 another film I enjoyed greatly
The Towering Inferno 1974 this not so much, but I went to see both shake (Earthquake) and bake (TI) in the day
The Verdict 1982 – possibly my favorite movie of his
Blaze 1989 – Paul as Huey Long
Nobody’s Fool 1994 – filmed in upstate New York; an underrated film, I think
Message in a Bottle 1999 – it was OK, but loved the scenes with Paul
It must be the presence he had in the films that I DID see that gave me the sense that I had see more of them than I had.

I read lots of things about Paul Newman after his death on September 26, 2008. Some were in obvious places such as People and Entertainment Weekly, and even Sports Illustrated. But my favorite piece actually appeared in Advertising Age, talking about the secret to marketing the Newman’s Own products. He realized that people might buy the product once because his name was on the bottle, and perhaps twice because the proceeds were going to charity. But if he wanted an ongoing relationship with his customers, he had to make sure the product was actually GOOD. A simple, perhaps obvious point, but one that many celebrity-owned businesses and other entrepreneurial ventures failed to realize.


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