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The Silver Chalice (1954): He looks like Marlon Brando, some reviewers said of this movie's 29-year-old star, but those comparisons would soon end. Soon to impress with his own intense brilliance, Paul Newman made his movie debut in this Biblical saga in the mode of Quo Vadis and The Robe. Set in Rome during the early Christian era, it focuses on an ill-fated sculptor sold into slavery and torn between his adoring wife (Pier Angeli) and a wily temptress (Virginia Mayo) - and threatened in his work by a power-mad sorcerer (Jack Palance) bent on overturning Christianity and becoming his own "true messiah". The Silver Chalice's cast also includes Lorne Greene, E.G. Marshall and a blonde Natalie Wood. But Newman is the movie's heart. "This young man" director Victor Saville predicted, "is destined for great things".
The Helen Morgan Story (1957): Helen Morgan has beauty, talent, success. Yet they mean nothing to her without the love of Larry Maddox, the bootlegger who leads Helen on and drops her so often she finally hits bottom. Set in the roaring '20s, The Helen Morgan Story is also Maddox's story. In his fifth film, Paul Newman plays the mobster with slick assuredness. In her final movie, Ann Blyth portrays the troubled songstress (and Show Boat original cast member), with Gogi Grant performing vocals on signature Morgan tunes. Appearances by '20s icons Rudy Vallee, Walter Winchell and Morgan's real-life accompanist Jimmy McHugh bring bracing authenticity to this tale of a legend whose songs could heal any heart but her own.
The Outrage (1964): A notorious bandit confesses to rape and murder, and justice is sure to be swift. But wait. Witnesses to the outrage come forward, each offering different versions of the events. Does truth lie in the eyes of the beholder?
A year after Hud, star Paul Newman and director Martin Ritt teamed again and gave the Japanese classic Rashomon an Old West setting, crafting "a brisk and challenging drama far removed from the norm in film fare" (A.H. Weiler, The New York Times). Newman, drawing deep into his talent reservoir, portrays the brazen desperado at the center of conflicting events. Laurence Harvey, Claire Bloom, Edward G. Robinson and William Shatner offer luminous support in this tale of a quest for truth. And of the humanity or inhumanity behind it.
Rachel Rachel (1968): New England schoolteacher Rachel Cameron's life is small and safe. Too small and too safe for a warmhearted woman who wants to do something - anything - to keep from slipping into spinsterhood.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward joined their stellar talents on this powerfully human movie, he debuting as a director and she giving one of her hallmark screen performances. Both won New York Film Critics and Golden Globe awards for their work, and the film garnered four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. The Newmans teamed afterward on other masterful films (The Glass Menagerie, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, Empire Falls). But for tenderness, insight and artistry, none surpasses Rachel, Rachel.
When Time Ran Out (1980): Enough stars to light five marquees. Enough subplots of passion, power and greed to fill 10 movies. Plus fiery special effects galore.
A South Pacific island's dormant volcano unexpectedly erupts in fury. Among those imperiled are wildcat oil driller Paul Newman, hotel baron William Holden and Jacqueline Bisset as a PR executive who must choose between them. Which familiar faces will survive when there's no such thing as safe ground? Watch - and watch out - for yourself. As the lava flows, so also flows rare and rousing screen excitement!