The Last Movie Stars


Directed by
Ethan Hawke
Edited by
Barry Poltermann
Executive Production
Martin Scorsese
Additional Editing
Matt Prekop, Ian Anderson, & Mike Moss
Production Partners
CNN Films & HBO Max

Rotten Tomatoes "Golden Tomato'
WINNER - Best Reviewed Docu-Series of 2022

The Last Movie Stars is a highly acclaimed six-part documentary from CNN Films and HBO Max that chronicles Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s iconic careers and decades-long partnership. Director Ethan Hawke brings life and color to this definitive history of their dedication to their art, philanthropy, and each other. Academy Award-winning director, writer, and producer Martin Scorsese serves as executive producer.

Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 9.2/10, based on 44 critic reviews. The website’s critics consensus reads, “The Last Movie Stars delivers the goods as a revealing retrospective of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s romance, but director Ethan Hawke elevates this docu-series into a revelatory exploration of marriage and stardom.” It was the winner of BEST DOCUMENTARY SERIES of 2022 at Rotten Tomatoes.

The series screened at The Cannes Film Festival and SXSW. Barry Poltermann was nominated as BEST DOCUMENTARY EDITOR

Hawke and his editor, Barry Poltermann, elegantly weave together their assortment of material. The readings of the old interviews are played mostly on top of the film clips, with the sound mixed so that the voices in the interviews and in the movies alternate, fading in and out. The result is charming, entertaining, and for the eyes, addictive,

Mike Hale
New York Times

The radical brilliance of Ethan Hawke’s penetrating look into the exceptional art and stormy marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward is essential viewing for fans and newbies alike and an outpouring of movie love you’ll never forget.

Peter Travers
ABC News

Hawke’s editor Barry Poltermann is a wizard at intertwining newsreel footage; stills; Zoom screens; and judiciously chosen examples of Newman and Woodward’s screen careers, from early live TV to Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990).

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

A longform documentary that manages to be both meta and charming, cerebral and deeply felt…

Sherri Linden
Hollywood Reporter

Aside from everything else, The Last Movie Stars is a masterwork of editing. Barry Poltermann pieces the archival aspects together from a wild variety of sources, while mostly sidestepping the kind of confusion into which Mr. Hawke’s scheme seems apt to topple. It’s a remarkable piece of work in the way it toys with structure and freewheeling impressionistic portraiture and creates a knowing account of what it meant to have a life in pictures, and marry it to another.

John Anderson
Wall Street Journal

The Last Movie Stars is a valentine to the collective illusion, those tricks of the light played by shadows on a wall, we still cling to known as “the movies” and those who become larger than life because of them.

David Fear
Rolling Stone