Nobody’s Fool (1994): Guest Review

Nobody's Fool starring Paul NewmanI’d like to talk about a movie made in the last 20 years that I think should be considered a “classic”. I’m not exactly sure what deems a film a classic; is it that it’s old? And what is considered old ? To a 30-year-old. a film over 20 years old could be considered a classic. To someone in my age bracket, an old codger starting his eighth decade, maybe it has to be older. I’m not sure.

The movie I’m referring to is Paul Newman’s Nobody’s Fool, from 1994. I certainly don’t have to laud Mr. Newman; his record speaks for itself, and I won’t bore you with a list of his credits. However, in my case, I was always torn between Somebody Up There Likes Me and Sometimes a Great Notion as my favorite Newman movie. But, since 1994 there’s no doubt in my mind that Nobody’s Fool is definitely now my favorite of his impressive list!

In my estimation this movie has everything a movie needs to be a classic: great dialogue, great photography, a remarkable cast, and a story that will never be dated.

The cast is a joy to watch, starting with the legendary Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, and of course Mr. Newman. The supporting, but by no means lessor, actors are superb in their own right. Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Gene Saks are stealing scenes with glee throughout the movie.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Officer Raymer, has three short scenes that are alone worth the price of admission. Josef Sommer, “the bank,” and Philip Bosco, “the judge,” both actors that you will surely recognize, only enrich this film. Margo Martindale as the stoic bartender at the local bar also adds to the fullness and warmth of this film.

This article may be “bringing coals to Newcastle” with the savvy audience of this site. However, I was amazed how many of my so-called savvy friends had never heard of this film. Therefore, if you have never seen this movie obviously I recommend it highly. The card game scenes will give you plenty of laughs, and a feeling that you’d like to be invited to join them.

I’ve often wondered, given the size of the roles some of the notable cast members had, that maybe they just wanted the chance to be in a movie with Newman. And Tandy ? I know I would have jumped at the chance, but no one asked!

 Bill Dunphy enjoys photography, cooking, reading, and, of course, movies–of which he has about 350 in his library.