It’s Paul Newman’s day on Turner Classic Movie’s “Summer Under The Stars,” and at 10 p.m. Eastern, TCM will be showing a movie that was pivotal both in Newman’s career and in the history of Hollywood. Newman never really had any lulls in his long run of movie stardom, but he was approaching his mid-40s when Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid came out in 1969, and with this western—which had Newman playing an experienced outlaw alongside Robert Redford—he began to transition into playing grizzled elders rather than cool young studs. (More Eddie Felson in The Color Of Money and less Eddie Felson in The Hustler, in other words.) As for the movie, it arrived early in the “New Hollywood” era, and shared some qualities with its contemporaries—a dappled look, a preoccupation with antiheroes—while also delivering an entertaining story with likable characters, played by stars. Director George Roy Hill (part of the TV-trained generation, like Robert Altman and John Frankenheimer) and screenwriter William Goldman (a man with strong opinions and theories about storytelling) showed that this new wave of American movies could be fun as well as mature, and they were rewarded with a blockbuster hit, paving the way for the likes of Jaws and Star Wars in the decade to come.
August 19, 2014 newsreel