From the Babylon episode:
Don: Turns out Israel Tourism is considering becoming a client and I’m having a hard time getting a handle on it.
Rachel: And I’m the only Jew you know in New York City?
Don: You’re my favorite.
Rachel: Jesus, Don. Crack a book once in a while.
Don: I have. It’s all sentimental — WWII trivia, oranges, kids in blue and white hats. They’re doing a movie of Exodus with Paul Newman.
Rachel: Paul Newman? That’s nice. Now I have two reasons to see it.
Now we all have a reason to see it.
This weekend, we lost one of the greats of cinema. Actor, producer, racing enthusiast, business tycoon, and humanitarian Paul Newman died Friday at his home near Westport, Connecticut, after a long battle with cancer.
Largely known for portraying charismatic loners who build emotional barriers that shield themselves from the hearts, minds, and gestures of others, Newman’s most acclaimed screen performances easily could have served as the blueprint for Don Draper.
Newman’s movies, while diverse and unique in and of themselves, are largely about the obstacles he encounters in attempting to find meaning and fulfill himself as a human being, often resulting in personal tragedy because of his…aloofness.
In their obituary of Newman, The Los Angeles Times described him as:
The essence of the postwar American man: cool, cynical and confident while the known world of traditional values crumbles around him.
If that doesn’t describe Draper, then I don’t know what does. It even evokes the title credits of Mad Men, doesn’t it? I say if you want to understand Don, you need to pick up a few of Newman’s films from the 1950s and 60s: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sweet Bird of Youth, From the Terrace, The Young Philadelphians, Hud, The Hustler, and Cool Hand Luke are good starters.
“The history of movies without Paul Newman? It’s unthinkable,” asserts Martin Scorcese, who directed him to his first Academy Award in The Color of Money. “Unthinkable. It’s a great loss, in so many ways.”
I agree with this. Wholeheartedly. RIP.