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Paul Newman took out a full-page ad in Variety apologizing for his performance in his debut feature film, “The Silver Chalice”

Key Points:

  • Paul Newman’s debut feature film, The Silver Chalice, was a box office failure in 1954, leading him to publicly apologize years later.
  • In 1963, Newman placed a full-page ad in Variety, discouraging audiences from watching the TV broadcast of the film.
  • Ironically, Newman’s attempt to dissuade viewers backfired, and The Silver Chalice received unexpectedly high ratings during its television debut.

Paul Newman, the legendary actor known for his remarkable performances and iconic roles, took an extraordinary step early in his career when he publicly apologized for his performance in his debut feature film, The Silver Chalice. In a bold move, Newman took out a full-page ad in the entertainment trade publication Variety, expressing regret for his work in the 1954 box office flop.

Paul Newman’s Debut Film Disappointment

Paul Newman in The Sting via Universal Pictures
Paul Newman in The Sting via Universal Pictures

According to ScreenRant, The Silver Chalice, a biblical epic released in 1954, marked Paul Newman’s entry into the world of Hollywood films. Despite earning a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Male Newcomer, Newman was deeply dissatisfied with the film’s quality and his own performance. He later called it “the worst motion picture produced during the 1950s,” reflecting his disappointment with the project that launched his film career.

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In 1963, when The Silver Chalice was scheduled for its television debut, Newman took the unconventional step of purchasing a full-page ad in Variety, urging audiences to avoid watching the broadcast. However, his attempt to dissuade viewers from tuning in had the opposite effect. Ironically, Newman’s public apology piqued people’s curiosity, and The Silver Chalice ended up receiving unexpectedly high ratings during its television premiere.

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The Silver Chalice was released in theaters on December 16, 1954, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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