“The history of movies without Paul Newman? It’s unthinkable. His presence, his beauty, his physical eloquence, the emotional complexity he could conjure up and transmit through his acting in so many movies–where would we be without him?” This quote by Martin Scorsese about the late actor is one of my favorites. The movie icon and great humanitarian was also a member of Enzian’s National Advisory Board and attended the very first Florida Film Festival back in 1992, and we’ve been working on a plan to honor Newman at the theater ever since his passing in September.
So what better way to pay tribute than to do a whole month of some of his most famous and acclaimed roles at the start of 2009? Easier said than done when you take into account how many of his favorites actually have no 35mm prints available for repertory screenings (a damn shame if you ask me), but we’re still able to line up some great stuff for four straight weeks in January.
It all kicks off next Thursday, January 8th, with a free screening of Robert Rossen’s pool hall classic, THE HUSTLER (1961), as the January Popcorn Flick free movie in the park (Central Park, Winter Park)–free popcorn and Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, too. How can you beat that? Next up on the following Tuesday, January 13, is the first of two Cult Classics for the month, the Coen Brothers’ over-the-top tribute to 1940s screwball comedy, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY (1994). Co-starring Tim Robbins and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Newman steals the show as the heartless and power-hungry boss of an industrial corporation. Sunday, January 18, George Roy Hill’s multiple Oscar-winner about two 1930s Chicago con men, THE STING (1973), has a special matinee screening as part of Enzian’s quarterly Membership Month celebration. Robert Redford and Roy Hill are back to make more BUTCH CASSIDY magic. And Tuesday, January 27, the Cult Classics series will close out the tribute month with a rare 35mm showing of Stuart Rosenberg’s COOL HAND LUKE (1967)–another essential Newman performance that earned him his fourth Best Actor nomination as a trouble-making chain-gang prisoner. The wonderful cast for this one also included the likes of George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Harry Dean Stanton, and Dennis Hopper.
The Popcorn Flick is free, Cult Classics are always $5, and the Membership Month event is free to Enzian Film Society members and $7 general admission. Be sure to come celebrate a legendary career and an amazing man with us. Happy New Year to one and all!