On January 26th, 1925, a film icon was born, and on September 26th, 2008, he left us. Now, on September 22nd, 2009, you can keep Paul Newman’s legacy alive with The Paul Newman Tribute Collection on DVD. It would be impossible to include all of Newman’s accomplishments in one package, so Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has assembled a set highlighting 13 of his most beloved films. The set includes:
The Long, Hot Summer: Newman stars alongside his wife, Jane Woodward, as Ben Quick, a drifter who winds up in his father’s hometown in Mississippi. Thanks to his father’s bad reputation, Ben’s decision to stay in town for a while doesn’t go over well with the other residents.
Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!: Based on Max Shulman’s novel about a man driven crazy by his wife’s desire to attend every civic committee, things get out of control when the army decides to construct a missile base near town.
From the Terrace: This drama stars Newman as a young executive establishing a successful career on Wall Street while watching his marriage fall apart.
Exodus: This film clocks in at whopping 212 minutes. Its prime focus is the establishment of Israel as an independent nation. Newman plays the leader of the Jewish underground, which helps refugees make it through the British blockade to safety in Palestine.
The Hustler: Newman plays “Fast” Eddie Felson, a pool player whose talents are only surpassed by his ego.
Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man: A coming-of-age story about a young man who leaves home to go on a cross-country trip. Afterwards an attempt at landing a job as a reporter falls through and he decides to enlist in the Italian army during World War I.
What a Way to Go!: Shirley MacLaine stars as Louisa, a wealthy woman who fears her fortune is cursed. When she was a young girl, Louisa chose to marry a wealthy man over the man she truly loved. Since that mistake she has tried to forge relationships on love rather than money, but everything always winds up going extremely wrong.
Hombre: Newman stars as a white boy raised by Apaches. It isn’t until he inherits a lodging house in a nearby city that John “Hombre” Russel realizes most people don’t approve of his mixed background.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Newman stars alongside Robert Redford as a pair of infamous train robbers. When the law gets too close for comfort, the boys head to Bolivia.
The Towering Inferno: Newman plays architect Doug Roberts in this classic disaster film. To celebrate the completion of the Glass Tower, a huge party is thrown on one of the building’s highest floors. The party turns to peril when faulty wiring ignites garbage, turning the building into…well, you know.
Quintet: Essex (Newman) and his pregnant wife trudge through a frozen, deserted land in an effort to find Essex’s brother. When they finally find him, he’s in the company of a group of apocalyptic survivors enamored with a game called Quintet.
The Verdict: This courtroom drama finds Newman playing alcoholic Frank Galvin. Galvin strives to redeem his reputation as a reputable lawyer by trying to win a medical malpractice case.
In addition to the films, the set also includes a 136-page book that including images of Newman, excerpts from each film, and personal quotes from the actor.
Yes, Paul Newman was an exceptional man who had a major impact on the movie industry, but when the DVD set runs you $89.98, you’ve got to ask yourself whether or not it’s worth it. Simply put, if you’re a big Newman fan and enjoy most of his films, The Paul Newman Tribute Collection on DVD is a good buy, otherwise I’d recommend skipping the set and enjoying his films on an individual basis. It’s not an easy task to whittle down such an extensive resume in order to create a manageable DVD set, but those responsible for this collection did a respectable job.