The movies are not kind to older actors, and yet Newman walked away from this merciless business seemingly unscathed. During his second and third acts, he kept his dignity partly by playing me who seemed to have relinquished theirs through vanity or foolishness. Some of them were holding onto decency in an indecent world; others had nearly let it slipped through their fingers.
Decency seems to have come easily to Newman himself, as evidenced by his philanthrophic and political endeavors, which never devolved into self-promotion. It was easy to take his intelligence for granted as well as his talent, which survived even the occasional misstep. At the end of The Drowning Pool, a woman wistfully tells Newman, I wish you’d stay awhile. I know how she feels.
Manohla Dargis, in her obit in the International Herald Tribune. Goodbye, Butch Cassidy. There goes part of my childhood. And no, I wasn’t born when that movie was first shown, but it was still one of my favorite movies growing up. Like a lot of his generation, my dad sneered at the taste of younger people, so he exposed us kids to the movies and music of “old people” as we thought of it then. Growing up in our household, it was kinda hard to defend 80s New Wave when Dad pitted it against, The Beatles, let’s say. Same with movies. Aside from watching old Dracula movies with him (hence my love for horror movies and books), we kids got exposed to his kind of films. Like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the first movie I think I watched where the heroes died. Before this, I thought that movies were all about happy endings—the hero gets the girl, they kiss and walk off into the sunset. Not end up dying in a hail of bullets. But what an ending, yes?