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The Left Handed Gun

1958

NR CC

Academy Award winner Paul Newman stars as the legendary gunman Billy the Kid in this film adaptation of Gore Vidal's play.

Starring:
Paul Newman, Lita Milan
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Western
Director Arthur Penn
Starring Paul Newman, Lita Milan
Supporting actors John Dehner, Hurd Hatfield, James Congdon, James Best, Colin Keith-Johnston, John Dierkes, Robert Anderson, Wally Brown, Ainslie Pryor, Martin Garralaga, Denver Pyle, Paul Smith, Nestor Paiva, Jo Summers, Robert Foulk, Anne Barton, Emile Avery, George Bell
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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