Archives for posts with tag: Paul Newman

Many of Paul Newman’s characters excel at knowing how to play the angles. In “Slap Shot” (1977), he takes his hustle to the hockey rink as an aging player/coach whose career and team are skating on thin ice. He comes up with a plan to use “aggressive” play to boost the squad in the standings and at the box office. In real life at the time, professional hockey was being criticized for some teams’ use of physical thuggery. Newman’s team is so cartoonishly violent (the Hanson brothers are sports movie legends) it’s played for laughs while also mocking social norms.

For the first time in more than two decades, I sat down and watched “The Color of Money” (1986). Wow. It really holds up. Really. It’s not about billiards. Or Tom Cruise channeling Charlie Sheen. Or Paul Newman’s pornstache and tinted glasses. It’s a character study on gamblers, con artists, what motivates them and what brings them down. Pure Scorsese. Newman recreates his Fast Eddie Felson character from “The Hustler” (a 1961 classic), but you don’t need to have seen it to enjoy this one. And it’s nice watching Cruise play an actual character instead of Tom Cruise Action Hero.