Paul Newman was one of the most talented and beloved actors of his time. He had a career that spanned over five decades, and during that time, he starred in a number of iconic films that have stood the test of time.
Newman was known for his striking good looks, his talent as an actor, and his philanthropic work. He was also a director, producer, and entrepreneur.
Newman starred in a wide range of films, from dramas to comedies to thrillers. He was nominated for numerous awards throughout his career, and he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in “The Color of Money” in 1987. In addition to his acting career, Newman was also a race car driver and a successful businessman.
Best Paul Newman Movies
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Paul Newman movies, highlighting some of his most memorable performances and showcasing the range of his talent as an actor.
1. The Hustler (1961)
“The Hustler” is a classic American drama film released in 1961, directed by Robert Rossen and starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, and George C. Scott. The movie is based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.
The story follows the life of “Fast” Eddie Felson (played by Newman), a talented pool player who travels from town to town hustling for money.
He meets and falls for Sarah Packard (played by Laurie), a troubled alcoholic who helps him regain his confidence after a devastating loss to legendary player Minnesota Fats (played by Gleason).
As Eddie climbs the ranks in the pool world, he faces numerous challenges, including a dangerous partnership with the ruthless gambler Bert Gordon (played by Scott).
“The Hustler” is known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the seedy pool halls and characters of the time.
The film received nine Academy Award nominations and won two, including Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. It was followed by a sequel, “The Color of Money,” released in 1986, also starring Paul Newman as Eddie Felson.
2. The Sting (1973)
“The Sting” is a classic American film from 1973, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
The film is set in Chicago during the 1930s and tells the story of two con men, Johnny Hooker (played by Redford) and Henry Gondorff (played by Newman), who team up to pull off a complicated con on a wealthy and corrupt businessman named Doyle Lonnegan (played by Robert Shaw).
The film is known for its intricate plot, witty dialogue, and stylish production design, as well as for its use of ragtime music, which was composed by Marvin Hamlisch and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.
“The Sting” was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it went on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Hill, and Best Original Screenplay for David S. Ward.
It is often considered one of the greatest American films ever made and has had a significant influence on the heist genre in popular culture.
3. The Verdict (1982)
“The Verdict” is a legal drama film released in 1982, directed by Sidney Lumet and written by David Mamet. It stars Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, and James Mason in leading roles.
The film follows Frank Galvin (played by Paul Newman), a struggling alcoholic lawyer in Boston who takes on a medical malpractice case. Galvin is given the opportunity to represent a woman who was left in a coma due to a botched surgery by a prominent Catholic hospital.
Despite initial reluctance from the woman’s family and pressure to settle the case, Galvin decides to fight for justice and take the case to trial.
As Galvin investigates the case, he uncovers a web of corruption and deceit involving the hospital and its powerful legal team.
He faces numerous challenges, including a biased judge, a manipulative opposing counsel, and his own personal demons.
With the help of his former law partner Mickey (played by Jack Warden) and a dedicated nurse named Laura (played by Charlotte Rampling), Galvin prepares for a high-stakes courtroom battle to expose the truth and seek justice for his client.
As the trial progresses, Galvin’s determination and legal skills are put to the test, and he must confront his own flaws and past mistakes.
The film builds suspense as the trial unfolds, revealing unexpected twists and turns that keep the audience engaged until the final verdict is delivered.
“The Verdict” is renowned for its powerful performances, particularly Paul Newman’s portrayal of Galvin, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
The film also received critical acclaim for its realistic depiction of the legal system and its exploration of moral and ethical dilemmas. It remains a classic in the genre of legal dramas and is considered one of Lumet’s finest works.
4. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
“Cool Hand Luke” is a classic American film released in 1967, directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Paul Newman as the title character, Luke Jackson.
The film tells the story of a man who is sent to a Florida prison camp for cutting the heads off parking meters while drunk.
Luke’s rebellious spirit and refusal to conform to the rules and authority of the prison system make him a hero among his fellow inmates, but also put him at odds with the prison’s warden, played by Strother Martin.
Throughout the film, Luke engages in various acts of defiance, from refusing to participate in a group exercise session to eating 50 hard-boiled eggs in an hour.
Despite his defiance, Luke also earns the respect and admiration of his fellow prisoners, who see him as a symbol of hope and rebellion against an oppressive system.
“Cool Hand Luke” is often considered a classic of American cinema, known for its powerful performances, memorable characters, and themes of rebellion, conformity, and the struggle for freedom.
It has been widely praised for its cinematography, score, and direction, and remains a popular film among audiences and critics alike.
5. The Color of Money (1986)
“The Color of Money” is a 1986 drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. The film is a sequel to the 1961 film “The Hustler” and is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis.
The story follows the character Fast Eddie Felson (played by Paul Newman), a retired pool hustler who takes on a young and talented protégé named Vincent Lauria (played by Tom Cruise).
Fast Eddie becomes Vincent’s mentor, teaching him the tricks of the trade and helping him to develop his skills. As they travel across the country hustling in pool halls, Fast Eddie also confronts his own past and his feelings of regret and missed opportunities.
“The Color of Money” was critically acclaimed and received several nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Paul Newman), and Best Supporting Actress (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio).
Paul Newman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film. The film is considered a classic of the sports drama genre and is often cited as one of Martin Scorsese’s best films.
6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a popular American Western film released in 1969. Directed by George Roy Hill, the film stars Paul Newman as Butch Cassidy and Robert Redford as the Sundance Kid.
The screenplay was written by William Goldman, and the film features a memorable musical score composed by Burt Bacharach.
The film is loosely based on the real-life story of two notorious outlaws, Butch Cassidy and Harry Longabaugh (also known as the Sundance Kid), who were active in the late 19th century in the American West.
The story follows Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as they lead a gang of train robbers known as the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, engaging in various heists and evading law enforcement.
One of the film’s most iconic elements is the chemistry between Newman and Redford, who have an undeniable on-screen rapport and charisma. Their performances, along with Goldman’s witty and clever screenplay, are often cited as highlights of the film.
The film was well-received critically and commercially, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of 1969. It won four Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay for Goldman, and it has since become a classic in the Western genre.
The film’s memorable moments, such as the famous “raindrops keep fallin’ on my head” bicycle scene, have become iconic in cinema history.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid remains a beloved and enduring film that continues to captivate audiences with its blend of action, humor, and camaraderie between its lead characters.
7. Hud (1963)
“Hud” is a 1963 drama film directed by Martin Ritt, starring Paul Newman in the titular role. The film tells the story of Hud Bannon, a charismatic and selfish rancher who clashes with his father and his nephew over the future of their family ranch.
Newman’s performance in “Hud” is one of his most iconic and memorable. He embodies the character of Hud with a swagger and confidence that is both captivating and unsettling.
He portrays the character’s selfishness and disregard for others with nuance and subtlety, creating a complex and compelling anti-hero.
The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving seven Academy Award nominations and winning three, including Best Actor for Newman’s performance.
“Hud” is a powerful drama that explores complex themes of family, morality, and legacy, and Newman’s performance is a major reason why the film remains a classic to this day.
8. Absence of Malice (1981)
“Absence of Malice” is a legal drama film released in 1981, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Paul Newman, Sally Field, and Bob Balaban. The movie was written by Kurt Luedtke.
The plot of the movie revolves around Michael Gallagher (played by Newman), the son of a deceased Mafia boss who is wrongly accused by a prosecutor of being involved in a union leader’s disappearance.
Megan Carter (played by Field), a newspaper reporter, writes an article based on the prosecutor’s statements, causing Gallagher’s life to be turned upside down. As the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that the prosecutor was using Gallagher to further his own political ambitions.
“Absence of Malice” explores the themes of journalistic ethics, legal ethics, and the power of the media.
The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor for Newman and Best Supporting Actress for Melinda Dillon. It was also a commercial success, grossing over $40 million at the box office.
9. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is a classic American film from 1958, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams. The film was directed by Richard Brooks and stars Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.
The story takes place in Mississippi and centers around a wealthy family, the Pollitts, who are gathering to celebrate the birthday of patriarch Big Daddy Pollitt (played by Burl Ives).
The family is in turmoil, however, due to various secrets and tensions that have been simmering beneath the surface.
Brick Pollitt (played by Newman) is an alcoholic former football player who is mourning the loss of his friend Skipper, while his wife, Maggie (played by Taylor), is desperate to win back his affection and secure her place in the family.
The film deals with themes of family, mortality, mendacity, and sexual desire, and is known for its intense performances, particularly from Taylor and Newman.
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” received six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Newman, but ultimately did not win any awards.
Despite this, the film has since become a classic of American cinema and is widely regarded as one of the greatest film adaptations of a stage play.
10. Nobody’s Fool (1994)
“Nobody’s Fool” is a comedy-drama film released in 1994, directed by Robert Benton and based on the novel of the same name by Richard Russo. The film stars Paul Newman, Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, and Melanie Griffith in leading roles.
The film is set in a small town in upstate New York and follows the life of Donald “Sully” Sullivan (played by Paul Newman), a 60-year-old construction worker and perpetual slacker. Sully is a charming but flawed character who spends his days drinking, gambling, and avoiding responsibilities.
He has a strained relationship with his estranged son, Peter (played by Dylan Walsh), and his ex-wife, Toby (played by Melanie Griffith).
Sully’s life takes an unexpected turn when his son leaves his own son, Will (played by Alexander Goodwin), in Sully’s care while he goes on a business trip.
Sully finds himself reluctantly taking on the role of a caregiver to his young grandson, despite his lack of experience and maturity. As he spends time with Will, Sully starts to reassess his own life choices and confront his past mistakes.
In the midst of dealing with his newfound responsibilities, Sully also navigates his relationships with the townspeople, including his landlord, Miss Beryl (played by Jessica Tandy), and his best friend, Rub (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince).
He also becomes involved in a romantic relationship with a local widow, Carl (played by Bruce Willis), which adds another layer of complexity to his life.
As the story unfolds, Sully grapples with his own flaws, reconciles with his past, and learns the value of family and community.
The film portrays a bittersweet slice of small-town life with its joys, struggles, and complexities, and Newman’s performance as Sully is widely praised for its authenticity and depth.
“Nobody’s Fool” received critical acclaim for its performances, screenplay, and direction. Paul Newman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Sully, and Jessica Tandy received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The film is regarded as a touching and humorous exploration of human relationships and the complexities of life, and it remains a beloved gem in Paul Newman’s filmography.
11. Road to Perdition (2002)
“Road to Perdition” is a 2002 American crime drama film directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, and Jude Law. The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner.
The film is set in 1931 and follows the story of Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), a professional hitman working for the Irish Mob in Chicago.
After Sullivan’s wife and younger son are killed in a hit gone wrong, Sullivan goes on a mission of revenge with his surviving son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), and ultimately takes on his former boss, John Rooney (Paul Newman), who had betrayed him.
As the story progresses, Sullivan and Michael Jr. become fugitives, pursued by Rooney’s son, Connor (Daniel Craig), and an eccentric and sadistic assassin named Harlen Maguire (Jude Law).
The film is known for its stunning cinematography, haunting score, and strong performances, particularly from Hanks, Newman, and Law.
“Road to Perdition” was a critical and commercial success, receiving positive reviews for its direction, performances, and visual style.
It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won for Best Cinematography. The film is often cited as one of the best examples of the crime drama genre and has since become a cult classic.
12. Fat Man and Little Boy (1989)
“Fat Man and Little Boy” is a 1989 historical drama film directed by Roland Joffé, starring Paul Newman, Dwight Schultz, and John Cusack. The film is based on the true story of the Manhattan Project, the top-secret government program that developed the atomic bomb during World War II.
The film follows the work of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Dwight Schultz) and the team of scientists and engineers working on the project, including General Leslie Groves (played by Paul Newman).
The project faces a number of technical and ethical challenges as the team races against time to develop the bomb before the war ends.
The film explores the moral implications of the project, as the scientists grapple with the devastating power of the weapon they are creating and the potential consequences of using it in warfare.
It also delves into the personal lives of the scientists, including their relationships with their families and each other.
“Fat Man and Little Boy” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising its performances and historical accuracy, while others criticized its pacing and lack of emotional depth.
Despite its mixed reception, the film remains an important historical drama that sheds light on one of the most significant scientific and military projects of the 20th century.
13. The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
The Long, Hot Summer is a classic American drama film released in 1958, based on a series of short stories by William Faulkner. Directed by Martin Ritt, the film stars Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Orson Welles, and Lee Remick.
The film is set in a small town in Mississippi during a sweltering summer and revolves around the life of Ben Quick, played by Paul Newman, a charming and charismatic drifter who arrives in town and becomes embroiled in the lives of the wealthy and influential Varner family.
Ben is taken in by Will Varner, played by Orson Welles, a wealthy plantation owner who sees potential in him, and Ben becomes involved in a complicated romantic relationship with Will’s daughter, Clara Varner, played by Joanne Woodward. Lee Remick plays Jody Varner, Will’s daughter-in-law, who is also drawn to Ben.
The film explores themes of family, ambition, love, and societal expectations in the deep South.
Paul Newman’s performance as the enigmatic and rebellious Ben Quick is widely regarded as one of his breakthrough roles and helped establish him as a leading man in Hollywood. Joanne Woodward, who would later become Newman’s wife, also delivers a standout performance as Clara Varner, showcasing her talent as an actress.
The chemistry between Newman and Woodward on-screen is palpable and adds depth to their characters’ complex relationship.
The film’s screenplay, written by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr., is known for its sharp dialogue and compelling storytelling, drawing from Faulkner’s source material. The film’s cinematography, capturing the sultry Southern atmosphere, and its musical score by Alex North, also contribute to the film’s overall appeal.
The Long, Hot Summer was well-received critically and commercially upon its release and is considered a classic of American cinema. It was nominated for several awards, and Joanne Woodward won the Best Actress award at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival for her role in the film.
The Long, Hot Summer remains a significant work in film history, showcasing the talents of its cast and crew, and its portrayal of complex characters and relationships in a Southern setting continues to captivate audiences.
14. The Young Philadelphians (1959)
“The Young Philadelphians” is a 1959 drama film directed by Vincent Sherman, starring Paul Newman as Anthony Judson Lawrence, a young lawyer from a working-class background who navigates the social and political complexities of Philadelphia high society.
Newman’s performance in “The Young Philadelphians” is a standout, showcasing his range as an actor. He portrays the character of Anthony with both confidence and vulnerability, highlighting his struggle to fit into a world that is not his own.
Newman’s chemistry with his co-stars, including Barbara Rush and Alexis Smith, is also notable, adding depth and nuance to the film’s interpersonal relationships.
The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving two Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Rush’s performance.
“The Young Philadelphians” is a gripping drama that explores issues of class, race, and morality, and Newman’s performance is a major reason why the film remains a classic to this day.
15. Harper (1966)
“Harper” is a crime drama film released in 1966, directed by Jack Smight and starring Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, and Julie Harris. The movie was based on the novel “The Moving Target” by Ross Macdonald, and the screenplay was written by William Goldman.
The plot of the movie follows private detective Lew Harper (played by Newman) as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy businessman named Ralph Sampson (played by Robert Wagner).
As Harper delves deeper into the case, he encounters a range of eccentric characters, including Sampson’s wife (played by Bacall), his mistress (played by Harris), and a washed-up actress (played by Shelley Winters).
Harper soon discovers that the case is much more complicated than it initially seemed, and he is drawn into a dangerous web of deceit and corruption.
“Harper” is known for its stylish cinematography, snappy dialogue, and strong performances from its cast. It was a commercial success and led to a sequel, “The Drowning Pool,” which was released in 1975 and also starred Newman as Harper.
16. Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
“Somebody Up There Likes Me” is a biographical film from 1956, based on the life of the famous boxer Rocky Graziano. The film was directed by Robert Wise and stars Paul Newman in the lead role.
The film follows Graziano’s life from his early years as a street gangster in New York City to his rise to fame as a professional boxer. Graziano is portrayed as a rough and tough fighter who uses his fists to escape poverty and gain respect.
Along the way, he struggles with personal demons, including a troubled marriage and brushes with the law.
Newman’s performance as Graziano was highly praised and helped to establish him as a major Hollywood star. The film also features supporting performances from Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane, and Eileen Heckart.
“Somebody Up There Likes Me” was a critical and commercial success upon its release and was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction and Best Cinematography.
It is considered a classic of the boxing genre and a notable example of the biopic format.
17. From the Terrace (1960)
“From the Terrace” is a drama film released in 1960, directed by Mark Robson and based on the novel of the same name by John O’Hara. The film stars Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Myrna Loy in leading roles.
The film follows the story of Alfred Eaton (played by Paul Newman), a young man from a wealthy family who aspires to achieve success on his own terms.
Alfred, known as Al, is a World War II veteran who returns to the United States and joins his father’s successful business. However, he becomes disillusioned with his family’s wealth and lifestyle, and aspires to make his own mark in the world.
Al meets and falls in love with Mary St. John (played by Joanne Woodward), a beautiful and independent woman who comes from a different social background.
They get married and Al pursues a career in business, but he faces numerous challenges and setbacks along the way. Al becomes entangled in a series of business and personal conflicts, including a troubled relationship with his father (played by Leon Ames) and a tumultuous marriage with Mary.
As Al strives to achieve his ambitions, he faces moral dilemmas and makes difficult choices that have far-reaching consequences.
He becomes involved in a risky business venture, but also finds himself drawn to other women, including the sophisticated widow, Martha (played by Myrna Loy), which further complicates his personal and professional life.
The film portrays the struggles and complexities of ambition, love, and family dynamics, as Al grapples with his desires, shortcomings, and the pursuit of success. It also touches upon themes of social class, gender roles, and the changing cultural landscape of post-war America.
“From the Terrace” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release, but it was a commercial success at the box office.
The film is remembered for the performances of its lead actors, particularly Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who were real-life husband and wife at the time and had great on-screen chemistry.
The film also features stunning cinematography and a memorable musical score. It remains a notable entry in Paul Newman’s filmography, showcasing his talent as a versatile actor.
18. Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990)
“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” is a 1990 American drama film directed by James Ivory and starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
The film is based on two novels by Evan S. Connell, “Mrs. Bridge” and “Mr. Bridge”, which follow the lives of a conservative, upper-class couple, Walter and India Bridge, in Kansas City during the 1930s and 1940s.
The film explores the Bridge family’s relationships with their children, their neighbors, and each other, as they navigate changing social norms and the challenges of modern life.
The couple’s differing personalities and values are highlighted, with Walter (Paul Newman) being more traditional and strict, and India (Joanne Woodward) being more open-minded and sensitive.
The film is known for its beautiful cinematography, attention to detail in recreating the time period, and the strong performances of its lead actors. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who were married in real life, deliver compelling performances as the Bridges, capturing the complexity and nuances of their characters’ relationship.
“Mr. & Mrs. Bridge” received critical acclaim upon its release and was praised for its performances, direction, and script. While it was not a commercial success, the film has since become a cult classic and is considered a must-watch for fans of period dramas and character-driven stories.
19. Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
“Sweet Bird of Youth” is a 1962 drama film directed by Richard Brooks, based on the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. The film stars Paul Newman and Geraldine Page in the lead roles.
The story follows a drifter named Chance Wayne (played by Paul Newman) who returns to his hometown with an aging, alcoholic actress named Alexandra Del Lago (played by Geraldine Page).
Chance is determined to reclaim his former lover, Heavenly Finley (played by Shirley Knight), but he must contend with her powerful father, Boss Finley (played by Ed Begley), who is determined to destroy Chance and protect his daughter’s reputation.
The film explores themes of love, power, and the price of success in American society. It also deals with issues of aging, regret, and the search for meaning in life.
“Sweet Bird of Youth” received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising the performances of Newman and Page, while others criticized the film’s melodramatic tone and deviations from the original play.
Despite its mixed reception, the film remains a notable adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ work, and it is remembered for its strong performances and lush cinematography.
20. The Towering Inferno (1974)
The Towering Inferno is a classic American disaster film released in 1974, directed by John Guillermin, and produced by Irwin Allen. The film features an all-star ensemble cast, including Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Fred Astaire, Richard Chamberlain, and many others.
The film is set in a state-of-the-art skyscraper, the Glass Tower, located in San Francisco, which is the tallest building in the world. During a star-studded gala event to celebrate the building’s opening, a fire breaks out due to electrical issues, quickly spreading and trapping guests and staff on the upper floors of the building.
The film follows the efforts of the building’s architect, Doug Roberts (played by Paul Newman), and the fire chief, Michael O’Hallorhan (played by Steve McQueen), as they work to rescue those trapped in the towering inferno and bring the situation under control.
The Towering Inferno is known for its gripping action sequences, intense suspense, and stunning visual effects, including the innovative use of miniatures and practical effects to create the illusion of a towering skyscraper on fire.
The film’s large ensemble cast delivers strong performances, with Steve McQueen and Paul Newman anchoring the film with their charisma and screen presence.
The film addresses themes of heroism, teamwork, and the human response to crisis situations, as well as the potential dangers of modern architecture and technology.
It also delves into the dynamics between the characters, including the conflict between the building’s architect and its owner, played by William Holden, and the romantic subplot between Paul Newman’s character and Faye Dunaway’s character, who is the fiancée of the building’s owner.
The Towering Inferno was a commercial success, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of 1974. It received multiple Academy Award nominations and won three Oscars for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Song.
The film’s impressive visual effects and thrilling story continue to make it a standout entry in the disaster film genre, and its star-studded cast and suspenseful storytelling have earned it a place in cinema history.
21. The Prize (1963)
The Prize” is a 1963 thriller film directed by Mark Robson, starring Paul Newman as Andrew Craig, an American writer who travels to Stockholm to accept a literary prize, only to become embroiled in a complex web of espionage and murder.
Newman’s performance in “The Prize” is dynamic and engaging, as he portrays Craig as a witty and resourceful character who is both charming and determined. His chemistry with his co-stars, including Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson, adds depth and complexity to the film’s plot.
The film was a critical and commercial success, receiving two Academy Award nominations, including Best Cinematography. “The Prize” is a suspenseful and engaging thriller that showcases Newman’s talent as an actor, adding to his legacy as one of the greatest performers of his generation.
22. Slap Shot (1977)
“Slap Shot” is a sports comedy film released in 1977, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, and Strother Martin. The movie was written by Nancy Dowd, based in part on her brother’s experiences playing minor league hockey.
The plot of the movie follows the Charlestown Chiefs, a struggling minor league ice hockey team in New England.
In an attempt to save the team from bankruptcy, player/coach Reggie Dunlop (played by Newman) develops a strategy of using brutal violence and dirty tricks to win games.
The team’s fortunes begin to turn around as they become notorious for their rough play, but the strategy eventually leads to chaos both on and off the ice.
“Slap Shot” is known for its raunchy humor, gritty depiction of minor league hockey, and memorable performances by its cast. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the greatest sports movies of all time.
It was followed by two direct-to-video sequels, “Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice” (2002) and “Slap Shot 3: The Junior League” (2008), neither of which featured Paul Newman.
23. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
“The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” is a Western film from 1972, directed by John Huston and starring Paul Newman in the titular role. The film is loosely based on the life of the real Judge Roy Bean, a notorious figure in the American Old West.
The story follows the life of Bean, who establishes himself as the law in the town of Vinegaroon, Texas, dispensing his own brand of justice with a mixture of humor and violence.
Along the way, he becomes infatuated with a beautiful actress named Lily Langtry (played by Ava Gardner), who he has never actually met but idolizes from afar.
The film features a strong supporting cast, including Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Perkins, and Roddy McDowall. It also includes a memorable score by composer Maurice Jarre.
“The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” received mixed reviews upon its release but has since gained a cult following.
The film is notable for its irreverent tone, blending elements of comedy, drama, and Western action, as well as for Newman’s charismatic performance as the eccentric and unpredictable Judge Roy Bean.
24. Torn Curtain (1966)
“Torn Curtain” is a political thriller film released in 1966, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film stars Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in the leading roles.
The film follows the story of Michael Armstrong (played by Paul Newman), an American physicist who travels to East Berlin during the height of the Cold War to attend a scientific conference.
However, he soon reveals to his fiancée and assistant, Sarah Sherman (played by Julie Andrews), that he is not actually there for scientific purposes, but rather on a secret mission to obtain information about a defecting East German scientist.
As Michael tries to carry out his mission, he becomes entangled in a web of espionage, deceit, and danger. He is pursued by East German agents and must rely on his wits and resourcefulness to evade capture and complete his mission.
Along the way, Michael and Sarah face numerous challenges and obstacles, including a tense escape attempt and encounters with various suspicious characters.
As the plot thickens, Michael and Sarah’s relationship becomes strained as secrets and betrayals come to light. They must navigate a treacherous landscape of espionage and intrigue, unsure of whom they can trust, and must find a way to survive and accomplish their mission in the face of mounting danger.
“Torn Curtain” is known for its suspenseful plot and Hitchcock’s masterful direction. The film features thrilling action sequences, clever twists, and a sense of impending danger throughout.
Paul Newman delivers a compelling performance as the determined and resourceful protagonist, while Julie Andrews portrays Sarah with poise and intelligence.
The film also addresses themes of political intrigue, deception, and the moral complexities of espionage during the Cold War era.
Upon its release, “Torn Curtain” received mixed reviews from critics and was not as commercially successful as some of Hitchcock’s earlier films.
However, it has gained a cult following over the years and is considered a notable entry in Hitchcock’s filmography, showcasing his signature style of suspenseful storytelling.
The performances of Paul Newman and Julie Andrews, as well as Hitchcock’s direction, are often praised by fans of the thriller genre.
25. Exodus (1960)
“Exodus” is a 1960 American epic war film directed by Otto Preminger and based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Leon Uris. The film stars Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, and Sal Mineo, among others, and tells the story of the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.
The film follows Ari Ben Canaan (Paul Newman), a former member of the Jewish underground who is now working to smuggle Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine, then under British rule.
Along the way, he meets and falls in love with Kitty Fremont (Eva Marie Saint), a young American nurse.
As tensions rise between the Jewish and Arab populations in Palestine, Ari becomes involved in the struggle for Israeli independence, working to secure weapons and funds to support the Zionist cause. The film culminates in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the establishment of the state of Israel.
“Exodus” was a commercial and critical success upon its release, receiving three Academy Award nominations and earning a place in cinematic history for its portrayal of the founding of the state of Israel.
It is known for its epic scope, powerful performances, and stirring score by Ernest Gold, which features the iconic anthem “Exodus.” The film remains a classic of the epic war genre and a landmark in the history of Jewish-American cinema.
3 Reasons To Watch Paul Newman Movies
His versatility as an actor: Paul Newman was a highly skilled and versatile actor who could convincingly portray a wide range of characters, from antiheroes to romantic leads to tortured souls. He was equally comfortable in dramas, comedies, and action films, and he brought a unique depth and charisma to each role he played.
His contribution to film history: Paul Newman was not just an actor, but also a producer and director who had a significant impact on the film industry.
He founded Newman’s Own, a food company that donates all its profits to charity, and he was a vocal advocate for environmentalism and social justice.
He received numerous awards and accolades over the course of his career, including an Honorary Academy Award in 1985 and a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994.
His enduring appeal: Even decades after his death, Paul Newman remains an icon of American film and culture.
His movies continue to be popular and influential, and his legacy as an actor and activist has inspired generations of fans and admirers.
Watching Paul Newman movies is not just a way to enjoy great cinema, but also a way to connect with a timeless figure who embodied the best of Hollywood and humanity.
Best Paul Newman Movies – Wrap Up
Paul Newman was a legendary actor who appeared in numerous classic films throughout his career. Some of his best-known and most beloved movies include “Cool Hand Luke,” “The Hustler,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean,” and “Hombre.”
Newman was known for his talent, charisma, and iconic blue eyes, as well as his philanthropic efforts, which included the creation of his own food company, Newman’s Own, whose profits are donated to charity.
He was a beloved figure both on and off the screen, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers and actors.
Whether you’re a fan of classic Hollywood cinema or simply appreciate great performances and memorable stories, Paul Newman’s films are well worth exploring.