When I first saw The Long, Hot Summer, I was a sad 23 year old living in Saint Louis. It was July. I was alone. The film's title probably attracted me to it: it neatly summarized my experience of living in my recession-smacked college town the summer after I'd graduated, working for an architect I despised and biding my time until it was time to move to a large city. The film's Faulknerian bleakness somehow lifted my spirits. Paul Newman was the most beautiful man I'd seen in pictures or otherwise. He was what I wanted to be. He was what I wanted. He was a dense layering of powerful looks, powerful body, brilliant acting, and genuine (midwestern?) nonchalance, all transmitted in one movie role. Somehow, he was New York.