Saturday, September 27, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Crying’s not for me
Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I’m free
Nothing’s worrying me.....

Butch Cassidy has ridden off into the sunset, and Cool hand Luke has eaten his last egg. Hollywood says goodbye today to one of their finest. Paul Newman passed away this morning at the age of 83. After breaking hearts with his stellar looks and inspiring souls with his on screen presence for years, Newman spent his later years with his Newman's Own salad dressings, coffee, charities, and his racing team that won 8 CART series championships. While often a serious face on screen, Newman always charmed me with his playful characters. Of course his partnership with Robert "Sundance" Redford in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", established the two of them as icons (can you ever forget Newman riding in a circle on that bicycle while Burt Bacharach's "Raindrops...." played?). Similarly, any guy can reference "Cool Hand Luke" with its "failure to communicate" and hard boiled egg showdown. For me, I just can't help love Newman as minor league manager/player, Reg Dunlop for the Charlestown Chiefs hockey team. In the 1977 comedy "Slap Shot", Newman leads a rag tag team to a championship in the vein of "Major League" or "Bad News Bears". Lingering more in your mind after you watch "Slap Shot" are the Hansen brothers (a trio of bottle-rim glasses wearing goons that beat the tar and fire out of everyone and simply fight their way through the league with much ballyhoo and hilarity).
You could talk forever about so many of his films - "The Sting", "The Color of Money", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Road to Perdition", "The Hustler", "The Long Hot Summer" and on and on and on. Nevertheless, there were not many like this guy. He wasn't the original "ol' blue eyes", but I'm pretty sure they'll remember him the same nonetheless. So long, Fast Eddie.

Slap Shot and the Hansens at their finest

NOBODY can eat 50 eggs!


jccvi said...

In a not all that eerie twist, I walked past B.J. Thomas singing at the Mid South Fair last week on my way to a deep fried snickers.