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The Paul Newman Collection (Harper / The Drowning Pool / The Left-Handed Gun / The Mackintosh Man / Pocket Money / Somebody Up There Likes Me / The Young Philadelphians)

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Product Description

Paul Newman Collection, The (DVD)

Paul Newman's career slipped onto an unstoppable track with Somebody Up There Likes Me, his 1956 biopic about boxer Rocky Graziano. Of course that was his second picture, the first being the oft-joked-about bungle The Silver Chalice. Newman's Method-y intensity and dazzling good looks brought him stardom, and his intelligence and uncommon seriousness as an actor kept his movies interesting, especially as he tackled some of the best roles of the "antihero" era--an era he helped create.

Somebody Up There Likes Me is included in The Paul Newman Collection, a bulging seven-DVD package that shakes out thusly: three late-1950s titles from the beginning of his career, one mid-sixties hit, and three lesser films of the early 1970s. It's by no means a "best of" compilation, being limited to Warners and MGM titles, but it gives a flavor of Newman in his prime time. He got the Graziano role after James Dean died, and his performance is a very busy, post-Brando jumble of tics and mumbles. The movie holds up nicely as a boxing picture, and the location NYC shooting won an Oscar for cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg (you can see why director Robert Wise got hired to do West Side Story after this). Sal Mineo and Steve McQueen are in the cast as Newman's fellow j.d.s.

The Left-Handed Gun (1958), based on a teleplay by Gore Vidal, is a truly weird, compulsively watchable artifact from the psychological-Western genre. Newman plays Billy the Kid, glowering and grimacing like a rebel without a cause. It's one of those films that has much more to do with the time it was made than the time it is set; also notable as the big-screen debut for stage and TV director Arthur Penn. The Young Philadelphians (1959) is more conventional, an entertaining soap opera about a young lawyer (Newman) with an old-money Philly name but no money, who gets burned by love and decides to connive his way to the top. Young Robert Vaughn snagged an Oscar nomination for a showy turn as an alcoholic society lad.

Harper (1966) is chockfull of kooky mid-Sixties design and Rat Pack patter (courtesy screenwriter William Goldman). But it must be said that Newman is miscast as the melancholic private eye of Ross Macdonald's literary world, here re-imagined as a wisecracking hepcat who mugs his way through a missing-persons investigation. The supporting cast is a weird over-the-hill gang including Lauren Bacall, Janet Leigh, and Shelley Winters. That film's hero, Lew Harper (renamed from Macdonald's "Archer"), returned in 1976's The Drowning Pool, a more bearable if somewhat humdrum whodunit set in New Orleans. Newman's wife, Joanne Woodward, has a supporting part, but the picture is most notable for an early Melanie Griffith nymphet role.

Pocket Money (1972) is one of those only-in-the-seventies movies that pairs Newman with Lee Marvin in a drowsy, nearly plotless comedy. Both actors give elaborate performances: Newman plays a numbskull two-bit cattle broker who takes absolutely everything literally, and Marvin is his buddy in Mexico who signs on for an ill-considered cattle-buying job. One of the credited screenwriters is Terrence Malick, and the movie has a highly eccentric feel for language. Finally, The Mackintosh Man (1973) is one of the periodic duds that director John Huston would crank out in his otherwise starry career, with Newman as a spy on an incomprehensible case in England. The first half is a red herring, and Dominique Sanda (more recently of The Conformist) is out of depth with the English language. It's a bleak film with a kind of grinding fascination, and the Maurice Jarre score is catchy but fatally overused. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Harper (1966)
  • Commentary by screenwriter William Goldman
  • Introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Drowning Pool (1975)
  • Vintage featurette Harper Days Are Here Again
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • The Left Handed Gun (1958)
  • Commentary by director Arthur Penn
  • Pocket Money (1972)
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)
  • Commentary by Paul Newman, Robert Loggia, Director Robert Wise, Martin Scorsese, and Richard Schickel
  • The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  • Commentary by director Vincent Sherman and film historian Drew Casper

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Joanne Woodward, Lee Marvin, Barbara Rush
  • Format: Subtitled, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 779 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HWZ4DE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Paul Newman Collection (Harper / The Drowning Pool / The Left-Handed Gun / The Mackintosh Man / Pocket Money / Somebody Up There Likes Me / The Young Philadelphians)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 62 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 28, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've always liked Paul Newman. He was blessed with matinee idol looks and twinkling blue eyes and could've fully relied on those attributes to carry his film career. Instead, he went his own way and pretty early on established himself as a maverick personality, with an independent mindset and a determination to make it in La-La Land based on his acting, not his looks. Back in those days, when the Hollywood studios were still more in control of things, that streak of gumption could've spelled doom for an actor establishing himself. But, the thing of it is, Paul Newman can also act - and act exceedingly well. So he was given license to be a real actor, instead of a Hollywood puppet. He fought for the meaty roles he ended up with, when he could've made a solid living coasting in cinematic romances. So, yeah, I like Paul Newman.

For me, there are two utter gems in this collection: SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS. These are the first two Paul Newman films I saw, so they have special resonance for me. HARPER is almost as memorable, with its sequel THE DROWNING POOL and THE MACKINTOSH MAN being decent enough. Even POCKET MONEY and THE LEFT-HANDED GUN, two kinda bizarre films, have some justification for existing as motion pictures, because even at his least capable, Paul Newman still exuded style and swagger, that unmistakable Hollywood presence that made him a top cinematic leading man in his heyday.

Here's the cool thing: all the films in this collection are being released in dvd format for the first time. Now, the special features are listed by Amazon so there's no need to go into details.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Kenney on November 16, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Warners has been doing stand-up service; this is reasonably priced the extras are fine, the transfers are excellent, and even the weakest movie in this set (MACKINTOSH MAN) is an efficient genre picture with some offbeat locations, so I'll return to it even if it isn't a masterpiece. While the set may be short on Newman classics (a la THE HUSTLER, THE VERDICT, etc.), all the film are highly watchable; THE LEFT-HANDED GUN, an Arthur Penn film, is quite underrated, and POCKET MONEY is a funny change-of-pace. HARPER and DROWNING POOL are well-made old-school detective flicks; I actually like DROWNING POOL a bit better than HARPER, due to its New Orleans locations and Walter Hill's script, but HARPER is a classic of sorts. If you think you'll like it, you will.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on May 13, 2007
Format: DVD
Paul Newman is one of the all-time great movie actors with a career that now spans six decades. Among his biggest movies are The Hustler, Hud, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cool Hand Luke The Verdict, The Color of Money (for which he won the Oscar) and even Cars. None of these movies are in the Paul Newman Collection, which features seven of his second-tier efforts. That does not mean they are bad movies, merely not as big.

In chronological order, the first movie in the set is Somebody Up There Likes Me, a biopic of boxer Rocky Graziano. Directed by Robert Wise (who had previously made one of the best boxing movies ever, The Set-Up), this is an entertaining film of a man successfully wrestling his inner demons to become a success. In one of his earliest roles, Newman is already showing why he a cinema immortal.

The next movie is The Left-Handed Gun, a decent, if unspectacular, version of the Billy the Kid story (the best version of this story is Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid). Newman, as the title character, plays Billy similarly to his Rocky: a self-destructive outlaw. Unlike Graziano, however, Billy never finds redemption through family and friends.

The Young Philadelphians has a more easy-going Newman playing the ambitious Anthony Lawrence who climbs the social and business ladder, often with more than a little ruthlessness. When his best friend is accused of murder, his efforts towards acquittal threaten both his happiness and reputation. This is an entertaining melodrama. A little bonus is seeing a pre-Batman Adam West as a man who is very briefly married to Anthony's mother.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Regina Scruggs on December 9, 2006
Format: DVD
Seven lesser-known movies from Newman's heyday, all released on DVD for the first time. The most familiar is probably Harper, based on author Ross MacDonald's famous Lew Archer detective (Newman had the name changed to "Lew Harper" to fit in with his other hit movies - like Hud - which began with the letter H.) He reprised the character nine years later in The Drowning Pool. Other standouts in the set include Newman's breakthrough role as boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There, which was supposed to be James Dean's next role after Giant. My personal favorite is The Young Philadelphians, high-gloss soap opera with Newman as an ambitious lawyer from the wrong side of the tracks. Among the many people he's expected to please: his fiancée (Barbara Rush), his mother (Diane Brewster, who was 6 years younger than Newman in real life), the family friend (Brian Keith), his mentor's wife (Alexis Smith), and his Princeton pal (Robert Vaughn in an Oscar-nominated performance). What's hotter than that bedroom scene with Alexis? Look fast for Adam West! As for the set's extras, most of the films come with commentary from someone connected with the production, but it's too bad that Newman, 82 next month, didn't really participate. You hear him for only 10 minutes - on speakerphone! - talking to director Robert Wise about playing Graziano. Otherwise there are the standard trailers, and one featurette.
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The Young Philadelphians- Paul Newman Collection
my question, exactly. Love this movie; have it on VHS, debating whether to buy the collection just to get this movie. I hope they release it as a single. ALSO, if I do have to break down and get the collection, is "The Young Philadelphians" on a disc by itself? (There are seven... Read More
Nov 12, 2006 by Janet E. LaGrow |  See all 3 posts
The Young Philadelphians-Paul Newman collection.
yes it is.
Oct 15, 2006 by J. Hughes |  See all 3 posts
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