[VIDEO REVIEWS]Still eluding the sting of the aging processTime has been kind to Paul Newman, who is now 77; decades turned his dashing good looks into a dignified handsomeness. Since his acting debut in 1954, Newman and his magnetic blue eyes have been making women swoon. But acting never came particularly easy for the man who played Butch Cassidy. He once said, "Acting is like letting your pants down -- you're exposed." His latest film, "Road to Perdition," came out last Friday. To compare how well he is holding up, here are two other Newman gems, which you can rent at your local video shop.
"The Hustler" (1961)
Directed by Robert Rossen. Starring Newman, Jackie Gleason and Piper Laurie.
This movie is responsible for legions of young men fancying themselves experts with the pool cue. Newman is "Fast Eddie" Felson, an up-and-coming hustler with an overconfident attitude. Unable to control his bravado, he challenges a big-time hustler, "Minnesota Fats" (Gleason), to a high-stakes game and loses. Clean broke, Felson has to start from scratch again.
Newman cemented his career with this stylish, smart and intense flick, which spawned a sequel, "The Color of Money," directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Newman as an old-timer and Tom Cruise as his protege. Newman won his only Oscar for best actor in the Scorsese film.
"Nobody's Fool" (1994)
Directed by Robert Benton. Starring Newman, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith and Dylan Walsh.
Newman this time stars as Sully, a ne'er-do-well handyman living in rural upstate New York. He abandoned his wife and son long ago and goes on mildly but ostensibly flirting with Toby (Griffith), the young wife of Carl (Willis), the local contractor. But eventually the rascal has to take on the adventure of being a family man, when his long-lost son Peter (Walsh) shows up.
In this smartly told tale of failures, Newman does his job deftly, giving the story powerful and uplifting doses of hope and meaning.
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