'Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman' enthralled by speed

Review: 'Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman' is an affectionate documentary on his need for speed

There was Paul Newman, the revered actor, and there was Paul Newman, the entrepreneur-philanthropist.

But beyond a good script or salad dressing, Newman's heart and soul were on the race track, as persuasively chronicled in the affectionate documentary, "Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman."

That need for speed was a calling Newman would heed later in life, at 47, after playing the role of a race car driver in the 1969 film "Winning." He assesses himself as a "slow study" in the wealth of archival footage here, but Newman eventually became a surprisingly aggressive contender, winning four national championships and placing second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans meet in 1979.

The sleekly assembled film, co-directed by comedian Adam Carolla and Nate Adams, combines those older Newman interviews with fresh recollections from Robert Redford, Patrick Dempsey, Jay Leno, Newman's "Winning" co-star Robert Wagner, Mario Andretti and "Cars" director John Lasseter, for whom Newman voiced the custom-made role of Doc Hudson.

Although he would put away his driving gloves at 83, mere months before succumbing to lung cancer in 2008, this energetic film satisfyingly brings viewers up to speed on Newman's remarkably enduring career detour.

"Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.

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