It’s always easy to look back at bygone eras in art and assume they were somehow different, even better. It feels like in my lifetime, the biggest movie stars were either action movie meatheads or pretty boy idols. While the 50s, 60s and 70s were all about legit actors in serious roles. But just like the 80s had action stars, like Bruce Willis in Die Hard, who proved the action genre wasn’t brain dead, previous generations had plenty of vapid, vacant movie stars where their pursuit of fame greatly outweighed their desire to be great actors. Like Elvis in pretty much anything.
But one of the actors to perpetuate my belief that things were better back in the day, is Paul Newman. He had movie star good locks, he had movie star fame, he had movie star success. But with the years since his heyday, I have the benefit of only the real crackers remaining famous and relevant. So while I’m sure he made more than a few clunkers, his legacy means he’ll always be remembered for the crackers, like Sweet Bird of Youth. (more…)