Welcome to the sixteenth Battle Royale here at The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World. It is an ongoing series that will pit two classic cinematic greats against each other - and you can vote for who is the greater by clicking your choice over in the poll at the top of the sidebar.
Both actors hail from the Midwest (McQueen from Indiana, Newman from Ohio), and both served stints in the US military (McQueen as a Marine, Newman in the Navy), and both were avid racing enthusiasts and owned a slew of classic cars between them, and eventually, both men starred together in the 1974 disaster flick, The Towering Inferno (a movie which had the two battling producers and each other for top billing), but that is where the similarities end. While Newman played the intellectual in life, always honing his craft on stage and screen, McQueen was a ruffian, getting into trouble with the law on numerous occasions, from being tossed in the brig while a Marine to having one of the most famous mugshots of any celebrity. Newman was a man who went to bat for the left on many occasions (the actor says being placed nineteenth on Nixon's enemies list was one of his greatest accomplishments). McQueen was a man who had problems with drugs and paranoia and the establishment. But on screen, both actors brought an intense humidity to their respective roles, and both men brought an utter coolness along with that heat.
Meanwhile, after several stage roles in NYC, and after a move to L.A. and many TV appearances, McQueen made his big screen debut in 1956, in a small uncredited part in Somebody Up There Likes Me (a film starring Paul Newman, no less), and followed that up with his first starring role in The Blob in 1958. After this McQueen starred in such classics as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Cincinnati Kid, Nevada Smith, The Sand Pebbles, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, and Papillion. Due to cancer, McQueen's career never lasted as long as Newman's, but during the height of these two actor's careers (late fifties through the mid-seventies), there was not anyone better at what they did than either Paul Newman or Steve McQueen - and no one cooler either. Which brings us to your part in all of this.
All you need do is to go on over to the poll, found conveniently near the top of the sidebar of this very same site, and click on who you think is the greater and/or the cooler of these two legends of the screen - these two sensitive studs. And remember, you can comment all you wish (and please do comment - we can never have too many of those) but in order for your vote to be counted, you must vote in the actual poll. After doing that, then you can come back over here and leave all the comments your heart desires. Who knows, maybe we will get some sort of lively cinematic discussion going. And also please remember to tell everyone you know to get out the vote as well. I t would be great to see us reach triple digits this time around. Voting will go until midnight, EST, the night of Monday, July 22nd (just over two weeks from the starting gate). The results will be announced the following day. So get out there and vote vote vote.