On Tuesday I watched Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason in the 1961 classic, The Hustler. All four actors received Academy Award nominations for this terrific movie. For Newman, his break through performance put him on the Actor’s “A” List where he would stay for the rest of his life. For Piper Laurie, it was the last movie she would do for 15 years while she raised her daughter. She restarted her film career in 1976 with another Oscar nominated performance in the movie Carrie. For George C. Scott, his Supporting Actor nomination put him in competition with Jackie Gleason for the same category. Scott refused the nomination because he didn’t believe in competing with fellow actors. Ten years later when he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Patton, he refused the reward because his feelings about competing with fellow actors hadn’t changed. For Jackie Gleason, this was his one and only Oscar nomination, his role of a lifetime.
In the six months that I’ve been writing this blog, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is digging into what’s underneath the surface trends in the movie industry and providing some data to better understand those discoveries. For example, when we watch a movie like The Hustler most of us look at the entertainment value of the film. But, for the actors in this movie, being in this movie changed their lives, their careers, and their attitudes about their craft. That’s what’s going on below the surface and I’m fascinated by that. This look at movie trends through data represents an evolution in my original intent for the blog and, I suppose, that’s okay. What I have discovered, though, is that this evolution requires me to give myself more time between posts to develop the research and data development that will continue to interest those of you who share my interest and check in on occasion.
So here’s the plan going forward. I’m taking a sabbatical for the next month while I take care of some personal obligations in my life. I will continue to update the lists on the site while I’m away. I will also post my two September movie preview posts on August 25th and 29th. When I return on September 15th, I will keep a one post a week schedule on Thursdays. This will give me a little more time to dig deeper into my topic of the week. The exception to this is that I will continue my two monthly movie preview posts during the last week of each month.
Of course, The Long, Hot Summer reference in the title of this post is from the filmography of Paul Newman. It was his second lead actor role for which he won Best Actor at Cannes. During the filming of a The Long, Hot Summer, which was released in 1958 he met and fell in love with his co-star Joanne Woodward, who became his bride shortly thereafter. Enjoy the rest of your “long, hot summer” knowing that Awards Season is right around the corner.