For most film buffs, Paul Newman’s enormous appeal as an actor can be summed up in a slew of often-contradictory words and phrases: wry (Cool Hand Luke) and earnest (The Verdict); comical (Slap-Shot) and arrogant (Hud); fiery (Sometimes a Great Notion) and quietly sinister (Road to Perdition). Few of us ever think of him as downright feral — a quality that makes the most memorable scene in the (sadly, rather lame) espionage thriller Torn Curtain so hard to shake. Here, Newman’s character — an American spy named Armstrong — and a farmer’s wife kill an East German security agent, Gromek, in the kitchen of a farmhouse outside of Berlin. What’s shocking about the scene is not only how long it takes — Gronek is stabbed, battered with a shovel and eventually gassed in an oven — but that we’re made to feel somehow complicit in the carnage. In nightmarish “real time,” with barely a word spoken by those struggling to the death before us, we watch a life slowly, brutally extinguished.