Paul Newman as Harper – Brown Plaid Sport Coat

BAMF Style

Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966). Paul Newman as Lew Harper in Harper (1966).

Vitals

Paul Newman as Lew Harper, wisecracking private eye

Los Angeles, Late Summer 1965

Background

By the mid 1960s, Paul Newman had proved himself to be one of the most talented – and yet still down-to-earth – actors in the industry. He had racked up impressive performances in dramas like The Long Hot SummerCat on a Hot Tin RoofExodusThe Hustler, and Hud, but the world still had yet to see how well the charming blue-eyed actor could handle comedy.

Around this time, novelist and screenwriter William Goldman was desperately trying to get Ross MacDonald’s 1949 mystery novel The Moving Target turned into a film. The film rights were purchased, and Goldman completed his first ever solo screenplay, now titled Harper. Frank Sinatra was originally slated to play the protagonist, as he was looking for…

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