Success Story: Matt Love Reveals Behind-the-Scenes Stories about the Oregon Coast Filming of a Paul Newman Movie

Matt Love, arguably the most important documentarian of Oregon’s social history, has just released a new book about the filming of Sometimes a Great Notion. 

Sometimes a Great Movie: Paul Newman, Ken Kesey and the Filming of the Great Oregon Novel focuses on the summer of 1970. In Sunday’s Oregonian interview, Matt discusses how he decided to pursue this project.

“Not long after Ken Kesey died in 2001, I was in the Bayhaven, a bar on Newport’s Bayfront that was in the movie, and a man told me he witnessed a drunk Paul Newman come into a Toledo tavern one night during the filming and cut the legs off a pool table with a chain saw. Finding out whether this incredible story was actually true was the guiding editorial mission of the book and the story kept coming up over and over again, all over Lincoln County. Something did happen that night and I figure it out by the end of the book.”

Does that make you want to read this book or what?

I’ve been a fan of Matt Love’s work since I was managing editor of a newspaper in Lincoln County and Matt was the local high school journalism teacher. His zealous protection of oral history around the state earned him the Stewart H. Holbrook Literary Legacy Award in 2009 from Oregon Literary Arts. I interviewed Matt last summer as part of the Seven Questions series, so check that out if you want to learn more about his work, his small press and his amazing ability to promote his books.

You can buy Sometimes a Great Movie through Powell’s, and if you live in Portland, mark Matt’s appearance there on your calendar. It’s scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, May 25, at Powell’s City of Books on Burnside. And check out the Nestucca Spit Press website for details on buying a deluxe edition.

Congrats on yet another important, and culturally fascinating, book, Matt!


About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Success Story: Matt Love Reveals Behind-the-Scenes Stories about the Oregon Coast Filming of a Paul Newman Movie

  1. yuvizalkow says:

    Wow. This sounds fascinating, Laura! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Laura, I love that you gave us just enough of a tease to prompt us to read the book 🙂 From the tenor of your review I can see that Matt has written his book with integrity and not grand standing. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi, Florence! As usual, you’re very perceptive. I haven’t read this particular book yet, but Matt is full of integrity, and he does such a service to the state of Oregon and its residents by recording oral history like this.

  3. I remember seeing Sometimes a Great Notion as a first-release. I would love to learn more about the filming. Great job, great post, Laura.

  4. 4amWriter says:

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I love learning about what goes on behind the scenes! Thanks for sharing.

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