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Newman is the materialistic son of a texas rancher who doesnt ride to the occasion when the ranch falls on hard times. Instead he pursues an uninterested neal in this western for modern times and changing morals. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/17/2006 Starring: Paul Newman Patricia Neal Run time: 112 minutes Rating: Nr Director: Martin Ritt
Based on a Larry McMurtry novel, this Martin Ritt film was a testament to the sex appeal of the young Paul Newman. Playing the title character--a total rotter who, by the end of the film, has double-crossed or screwed over everyone he knows, including his hard-working father and brother--Newman turns him into an intriguing antihero. Things are tough on the ranch and Hud's dad (Melvyn Douglas) needs help, but Hud is too busy looking out for number one, even as things fall apart. And guess who's going to land on his feet? Beautiful black-and-white cinematography by James Wong Howe won an Oscar, as did performances by Douglas and Patricia Neal. --Marshall Fine
- Major Babe......
...one of Newman's finest, bless his heart. Paul couldn't do a bad job of acting if he tried. Dang good film....more info
- One of My Favorite Movies
Martin Ritt only made two great pictures and this is one of them (the other was Norma Rae later in his career). A classic (1963) Hollywood picture, nominated in most of the major Oscar categories (and winner of several including Patricia Neal for leading actress, Melvyn Douglas for supporting actor, and its awesome cinematography), it is a perfect blend of great acting from all the leads, great screenwriting (from an early Larry McMurtry book), great direction and great production. This film is often played on AMC (which means, unfortunately, that it is not shown in wide screen). Why this is not available on DVD is beyond me. Highly recommended....more info
- One of the most fascinating character studies of all time...
Quite possibly one of my all time favorite movies ever, `Hud' is an extraordinary example of how subtlety can be so overwhelmingly powerful. Using the swagger of its stars, `Hud' immortalizes itself as one of the strongest character studies I've ever had the pleasure of watching. Sadly, all too many individuals don't see `Hud' for what it was intended to be. They view Hud Bannon as a sort of anti-hero; a villain to be adored and or idolized when in reality he is a despicable and selfish human being not worth our adoration. We watch the film waiting for the good in Hud to shine through, but it's not there, and no matter how much we want to take his side and defend him we can't; or at least we shouldn't.
That is the beauty of `Hud', for when taken properly it is a magnificent depiction of human morality at its lowest.
Not many films make the most morally reprehensible their focal points, but `Hud' is certainly all about Hud Bannon. Working on his father's ranch, Hud has a feeling of being owed by everyone around him. He views the ranch as his personal investment, something to reap from once his father dies. He lives his life the way he wants to, violently and immorally, starting brawls and courting married women. He drinks like a fish and this leads to emotionally scarring outbursts between Hud and his father. All the while Hud's nephew Lonnie is soaking in the very essence of Hud, trying to decide if he is a man to admire or judge.
The audience is in the very same predicament as Lonnie, trying to decide just who this man really is, and how we should feel about him.
Caught in the middle of this battle of testosterone is the beautiful and sincere Alma Brown, Homer Bannon's (Hud's father) housekeeper. She witnesses the interactions between Hud, Homer and Lonnie and she also sees the affect that Hud has on the entire household. She watches Homer struggle to find the light within his son and she watches Lonnie come into his own manhood, battling the ways of Hud that are manifest within himself. She loves Homer, Lonnie and Hud, but she is a much more balanced person than the rest of them. She is not shut off to Hud as Homer seems to be, and she is not blinded by admiration as Lonnie seems to be; and she is no where near as self concerned as Hud seems to be. She is the films moral compass, and the most engaging and emotionally beautiful character in the bunch.
The performances within `Hud' are marvelously full, delving deep into these characters and delivering truly astonishing pieces of work. Melvyn Douglas won the Oscar for his portrayal of Homer. His obvious disappointment with his son is tragic, and Douglas makes his disappointment its own character, breathing life into that emotion beautifully. Even more impressive though is Brandon De Wilde who plays Lonnie. He gives Lonnie this adolescent naivity without ever making him appear stupid. He struggles with his view of Hud, but it is portrayed in a very honest and believable fashion. Paul Newman is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite actors ever. It's sad to me that it took his death to wake me up to his career (I had only seen two of his films before his death, and since then I've seen ten) but with every tragedy comes beauty, and if his passing has inspired others to research his career then he will be able to live on and continue to enrich the lives of others. His portrayal of Hud may very well be one of my favorite performances of his. He understands his characters vileness and is able to portray it without losing his natural charm, a charm needed to make the struggle over intentions believable and engaging.
As great as the men are, the film belongs to Patricia Neal, who also won the Oscar. As Alma Brown she is a complete and utter revelation. She wears her emotional responses so well that one cannot help but adopt her view of things, relating with her and agreeing with her every step of the way.
I don't think that I would be too presumptuous to say that it appears that Ang Lee may have been inspired by Martin Ritt's direction when filming `Brokeback Mountain'. Now the two films are no where near one another when you consider subject matter, but the films are constructed very similarly. The use of the score, both of which are acoustically blessed, is a sharp similarity; but the way Lee caressed the screen with each rich depiction of character is very reminiscent of Ritt's powerful work here. Both films are based in the south, and both films embrace the culture brilliantly. Add to that the fact that both films contain conflicting moral dilemmas and you have two very strong yet comparable bodies of work. I know that some may not see where I'm getting at, but watch the two films back to back and see for yourself.
In the end I highly, highly recommend this film, for it is a brilliant masterpiece of cinema and definitely one of the finest ever made....more info
- Classic, must see
Great classic Newman movie. Bought it for my 34 yr old son(and my grandson, "Hudson") who never heard of it!...more info
- The classic HUD
This is one of my husband's favorite classic movies, I bought it as a surprise for him, he loves it!...more info
- Almost, but doesn't quite get there
There are two things that stop "Hud" from being a truly great movie: Newman's very good but not quite good enough performance, and an often strong but fatally flawed script.
First the script, which by the way adapts a Larry McMurtry novel. For me, the movie slipped away in the big confrontation scene between Hud and his father after Hud has brought his nephew home drunk. It violates the most basic rule of good writing, especially film and theater writing: Show it, don't tell it. That's a shame, because there's a lot wonderful about this film, but in that jaw-droppingly contrived passage of dialogue, where the writer just steps into the film and sticks a tiresome detailing of the film's theme and (wince) moral into his poor character's mouths, all the grit, sweat and drama drain right out of the movie. (And this is the worst but not the last such moment.) It's like the movie in its first hour had launched itself daringly into the '60s...and then suddenly collapsed back into '30s Warners melodrama. Too bad.
And then there's Newman. He's very good, for sure, and the fact that his performance doesn't quite get there may finally be mostly matters of script and direction. But in fact he's not as good as either Melvyn Douglas, as Hud's old-school father, or, especially, Patricia Neal, as the hard-bitten cook and housekeeper warily weighing Hud's charms. Newman doesn't quite get inside Hud's skin--his performance is a bit too from the outside in. And he doesn't finally show us enough of what makes the character tick, or make him more than a selfish, cynical (if charming) cypher.
Yes, there's a lot good here: the stark B&W cinematography that uses the wide screen so well; the remarkable above-noted performances; the prescient story that contrasts not only an old and new West but an old and new American capitalism. (Am I the only one who saw a lot of George W. Bush in Hud?)
But for me "Hud"'s flaws, especially in the script, ultimately do it in.
- "Whudya got lined up there junior...sodi pop or something?"
Classic story of a Texas heel. Without question Paul Newman's best work ably supported by a dissaproving Melvin Douglas and evasive Patricia Neal, both showing more wear than we were accustomed too but very effective. This film has something unique that we just don't see anymore, four sympathetic main characters. They are all tortured for their own reasons, and polarized from each other, yet drawn together at the same time. An amazing screenplay, artful direction by Martin Ritt, yet this classic was overlooked by the Academy for Best Picture. Makes you wonder doesn't it?
Newman was great in these roles, next to Ben Quick I'd say Hud Bannon is my favorite immoral character of all time. ......more info
- A truly great modern Western
Hud, adapted from the short novel (Horseman, Pass By) by Larry McMurtry, is one of the greatest Westerns of all-time. Paul Newman plays the title character, and it's arguably his best performance. His father, Homer, (Melvyn Douglass) is a cattle rancher, and the two of them are constantly at odds. Homer is the kind of character we're used to seeing in Westerns - upstanding, honest, and a lover of the land. In contrast, Hud cares only about himself and his own pleasure, including chasing married women. Torn between the two is Lon (Brandon de Wilde), the son of Homer's older son who died. He admires his grandfather and is a cattleman at heart, but he cannot help but be drawn to the wild Hud and his much more exciting lifestyle.This push and pull ends up having tragic consequences for all. Patricia Neal is also on hand as the family's maid and the only major female character. Of interest, in the book, Neal's character is African-American and race relations are explored.
The acting is truly top-notch; the performances are so natural and easy-going that it's easy to overlook the greatness of the cast. Patricia Neal won the Oscar for Best Actress and Melvyn Douglass won for Best Supporting Actor. Despite the oustanding acting, the real star is the theme - the death of the old west and the rise of a new Texas. As such, the movie is very bittersweet. If you like this movie, you should also check out the novel, as well as the novel and movie "The Last Picture Show," which was also written by Larry McMurty and explores similar themes. Highly recommended....more info
- "Horseman, Pass By"
This movie stands in a class reserved for the best of best in western theme films. Based on the book by Larry McMurtry, "Horseman, Pass By", it also features a very credible performance by Brandon DeWilde as Lonnie, grown up from the little boy he once portrayed in another legend, the unforgettable "Shane" which was filmed about 10 years before. Lonnie worships Hud, who is his father's brother, and the realization that this man of his own blood is not of good character, is a concept too deep for him to grasp until the final turn of events mature him past his youth in the course of one day . The events surrounding this relationship are at the core of the storyline, and also at the core of the conflict between Hud and his old father, Homer, played by Melvyn Dougas.
Newman's star was at it's Zenith when he made this movie. His extraordinary talent, independent of his looks, are both showcased as an integral part of the character in this role; and play off each other to his advantage for him in this, what I considered to be one of his best movies. His character assessment of Hud was something that came easy to him; he nailed the selfish, self-centered, narcissistic personality that was the man named Hud.
Melvyn Douglas as the crusty old rancher who has seen the times pass him by, gives a performance truly outstanding as he struggles for his last stand of independence, threatened not only a dread disease that is spreading through his entire herd of cattle, but by his own failing health, seized on by the least respected of his blood kin, Hud, who sees the vulnerability that had never been there open up opportunity at last, and intends to take control of the ranch. The knowledge that he is no longer the man he was in the face of disaster, takes the heart and courage from the old man, the one thing he could always count on before; he is finally at the end of his rope. The interaction between Douglas and Newman is truly remarkable, and the casting could not have been better chosen.
Patricia Neal, unarguably one of the premiere actresses of her era, is perfect in the role of the ranch cook, a "rainy day" woman making her way alone in rough country and lean times; who thinks she has at last found a home with this family and even believes for awhile she can handle the subtle advances of Hud, complicated by her own unspoken physical desire for him - and put it in the proper perspective, since she knows him for what he is; she's seen many like him, but it doesn't occur to her that he will become unmanageable.
I write this review as tribute to them all, on this, the time of Paul Newman's passing to join all the rest of the cast who went before him. Even the ending is one of a kind - the slamming of the old kitchen door.
"Horseman, Pass By"...more info
- "It don't take long to kill things; not like it does to grow."
The movie opens with scenes of endless barren Texas flatland, and a dusty small town caught in the middle of it like a spot on a napkin. Open spaces characterize the film, which takes place on a ranch surrounded by lonesome roads. It feels like open space; a breath of fresh air from the wishy-washy, politically correct, happy-ending Hollywood films of today.
Based on Larry McMurtry's novel "Horseman, Pass By," "Hud" is a gruff, manly meditation on life and death, loneliness, and moving on. An old cattle rancher's hopes are shot to death, and his few relatives are left to carry on his legacy.
Hud is an arrogant, untamed cowboy who has more trouble to him than he reveals. His father (the old wise rancher known as Granddad) resents his freewheeling irresponsibility and misses the older brother that Hud killed by accident. Lonnie is the young optimistic grandson (nephew to Hud) who takes strongly to Hud's wild ways yet also admires his solid reliable grandfather. Halmea is the housekeeper, a temptress to both Hud and Lonnie who escapes them both in the end. Granddad's cows are diseased and he is unsure of what the future of his ranch will be. He is old and may not see much more of it. He's a wise man who's seen a lot of life, Hud's in his middle years and being forced to come to terms with it, and Lonnie is young, yearning to pass into manhood.
"Hud" possesses the quiet understatement of the desolate landscape that surrounds it. The characters are honest (except Hud) people and live life at their own pace. It is a curiously detached life, in the middle of nowhere, one in which the characters fight a constant battle to fend off loneliness. It is an unpretentiously philosophical movie. Each character ponders life and death, and because of several disastrous family deaths before the movie starts, it haunts each of them like a ghost over the gaping desert. "No one gets out of life alive," reflects Hud as he and Lonnie are on their way into town for some wild carousing. The theme of mortality floats through the film, as does the theme of moving on. The ending is not happy; it's matter-of-fact and understated.
That's "Hud:" life. Rugged, rough, and quietly contemplative life.
This is one of Newmans best, because he plays a completely dispicable
person with no redeeming qualities. He has no scruples and no character.
It is a great departure for Newman and he does a Great job....more info
- A Truly GREAT Movie
This movie was made when Hollywood knew how to make great movies. It isn't full of special effects, violence or sex. It doesn't need these. The story and characters make this movie. I've always been a fan of Paul Newman, but his is by far my favorite of his movies. The first time I saw this movie I was a teenager, but it has remained one of my all time favorite movies. I can't believe it has not been released on DVD yet. Will be waiting to add this one to my DVD collection when it does come out. If you have never seen this movie, do yourself a favor and rush out and rent it. I guarantee you won't be disappointed....more info
- Perfect in every way.
This is not a movie you watch, you experience it. I remember seeing this many years ago and the impression it left on me. Decided to go ahead and get it on DVD now rather than wait for the blu-ray release.
Can't add much to what the other reviewers have said here except to say this movie stays with you. I find myself still thinking about it days later. The stark realism and bleakness, the bitter sadness of the ending.
A masterpiece of film making and a triumph for Paul Newman....more info
- Now this is a five star movie
... This movie deserves that rating. Paul Newman is great but Patricia Neal is even better.
Another thing this movie deserves is to be released on DVD......more info
- A CLASSIC WORTH REVIEW
IT SEEMS IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF NONSENSE MOVIES, THE ENLIGHTENED OFTEN HAVE TO SCOUR THE ARCHIVES TO FIND CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT.
DESPITE PAUL NEWMAN'S CONTEMPORARY 'LIBERAL' MINDLESSNESS 'HUD' REMINDS US THAT HE WAS A GOOD ACTOR ONCE.
HE PLAYS HUD BANNON, REBELLIOUS SON OF A BIG TEXAS RANCHER.
HUD AND HIS FATHER (MELVYN DOUGLAS) LOCK HORNS FREQENTLY AS THEIR PERSONALITIES AND MORALITY ARE FAR FROM COMPLIMENTARY.
HUD IS BASICLY A SELF SERVING, EGOTISTICAL OVERAGE BRAT THAT SEES THE WORLD AS HIS PERSONAL PLAYGROUND DESIGNED TO BENEFIT HIM AND HIM ALONE.
THE PATRIARCH FATHER IS FROM THE OLD SCHOOL, AND IS THE CONSIENCE OF THE FILM. THE DAD IS A STAND UP, DO THE RIGHT THING TYPE THAT USE TO BE MORE THE RULE IN PEOPLE RATHER THAN THE EXECPTION AS IT IS TODAY.
A 'LOOKING FOR A ROLE MODEL' NEPHEW IS THROWN INTO THE MIX (BRANDON DEWILDE) OF 'SHANE' FAME, AND THIS KID BECOMES THE CATALYST FOR EMOTIONAL SHOWDOWNS BETWEEN THE ROGUE AND THE GRANDPA.
ALL PARTS ARE PLAYED WELL AND IT IS A SHAME DEWILDE WAS KILLED SHORTLY AFTER THIS MOVIE CAME OUT. HE PROVES TO BE A TALENTED ACTOR WHO OBVIOUSLY HAD PROMISE IN THIS ARENA.
'HUD' IS A MORALITY PLAY BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE RIGHT AND VARIOUS SHADES OF GRAY REALITY.
IF YOU CAN GET PAST NEWMANS FLIMSY POLITICS AND JUST WATCH THIS ONE FOR WHAT IT IS, YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING AND BE ENTERTAINED IN THE BARGAIN....more info
- The look of the country changes because of the men we admire
Manipulative and unscrupulous, Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) doesn't care about anybody but himself. In stark contrast is Hud's father Homer Bannon (Melvyn Douglas), a cattle rancher and paragon of the traditional values and work ethic that made America great. Homer cautions his grandson Lonnie (Brandon de Wilde) not to emulate his Uncle Hud, saying "little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire." Lonnie has to decide what kind of man he intends to be, given the temptation to emulate his Uncle Hud, a charmer who gets lots of women and has all the fun. Superb direction by Martin Ritt, an incredible cast turning out their career best performances, (this is what Paul Newman should have won the Oscar for), a great screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, and James Wong Howe's brilliant black and white cinematography, combine to make "Hud" a truly great American movie....more info
- Doesn't Get Much Better
Films don't get much better than this. Director Martin Ritt is a superb story teller. Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal and Brandon de Wilde, whew, what a cast, great performances. This is a perfect example of why some films should still be shot in black and white. Would not have been as powerful a film in color.
If you have never seen HUD watch it!...more info
- A treat for Paul Newman lovers
This is among my favorite Paul Newman films. Newman plays Hud Bannon, a roguish son of a respectable rancher who spends most of his time drinking and womanizing. He is idolized by his nephew Lonnie (Brandon De Wilde) who is always trying to tag along so he can become just like Hud.
When a cow on the ranch comes down with hoof and mouth disease, Hud tries to get his aging father (Melvyn Douglas) declared incompetent so he can take over the ranch. This is a brilliant character study of an unrepentant and self-centered scoundrel and the people he uses people to fulfill his own wicked desires. Director Martin Ritt ("Norma Rae", "Murphy's Romance") takes a well-crafted screenplay and delivers a powerful presentation that never drags despite its depth. He brings us a subtle struggle between good and evil, pitting the saintly father against the malevolent son with the soul of young Lon hanging in the balance. The fact that Hud is such a charismatic character makes his nefarious nature both seductive and despicable, leaving the viewer hoping he will learn his lesson and reform. This takes the story one step beyond the standard white hat versus black hat Western.
The most important part of any character study is the acting. In this film, the acting is superb. Newman brings a forceful haughtiness to the screen along with a heart of granite. He was nominated for an Oscar for best actor, but was beaten by an electrifying performance by Sidney Poitier in "Lilies of the Field". Patricia Neal is earthy and tough as the live-in domestic, a role that earned her the Oscar for best actress. The sexual tension between her and Newman sizzles. Melvyn Douglas also won an Oscar for best supporting actor. He endowed Homer Bannon with a noble character and high integrity, an archetype of good that served as a perfect contrast to Hud's immorality. Brandon De Wilde is best known for his role as Joey in "Shane", but I believe this is his best performance. As he did in "Shane", he plays a young man idolizing another only to be disappointed in the end. This mature performance might have helped De Wilde bridge the gap between precocious child star and the adult roles for which he longed. Unfortunately, he had a promising career cut short by his tragic death in an auto accident at age 30.
This film is a powerful look at the human condition at its best and its worst. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three. It is difficult to find a film with a stronger moral. I rated it a 10/10. This film is required viewing for Newman lovers....more info
- Magnificent in every respect
I cannot say enough about this movie. Paul Newman ("HUD") is completely convincing as the narcissistic son of an aging cattle rancher (Melvyn Douglas) who takes all he can get from life, leaving only destruction in his wake. Perhaps the reason Newman is so convincing is that, despite HUD's reprehensible character, one is drawn in to the allure of his personality, just like those on the screen that are used and tossed aside. Although we may not be "rooting" for HUD, we become more than a little sympathetic to his cause, probably a reflection of our own selfish natures. And it is a tribute to Newman's acting ability to draw out these conflicting emotions from the audience.
The supporting cast in this "character study" is nothing short of superb. Melvyn Douglas as the pious and self-righteous father is the perfect mirror image of HUD. Patricia Neal (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress) is simply outstanding as the earthy, motherly yet somewhat-still-sexy housekeeper who both HUD and Lon (Brandon De Wilde) have sexual yearnings for, but for very different reasons. James Wong Howe's cinematography is top notch and his choice of black and white film really makes this movie work - far more than it would have in color.
There are also other "small touches" that add so much to the film. When HUD picks up Patricia Neal by the side of the road with her groceries, she offers him a Fig Newton. The same effect was used again when Lon is discussing the book "From Here To Eternity" with the local drugstore owner. Not a just a "cookie" or a "book", but real pieces of "Americana" the help set the mood, tone and timeframe of the film.
There is one last item I think is worth commenting on, because it is often overlooked. That is the seeming genuine affection that HUD has for his nephew (Lon). Yes, HUD is a scoundrel out for himself first and foremost, but there are many scenes where HUD appears almost human (particularly when HUD finally tells Lon how his father died), and those scenes are always with Lon. This is why, if the movie has any flaw in my mind, it is the ending where Lon is leaving the ranch and HUD is left all alone. I get the sensation that HUD is practically begging Lon to stay, though outwardly this isn't the case at all and HUD tries to act aloof and non-caring, shouting one of his famous lines "This world is so full of ..., a man's gonna get into it sooner or later whether he's careful or not." Whether my reaction was the one Martin Ritt had in mind I am not sure, but the last scene always leaves me unsettled, at least in terms of HUD's humanity.
Regardless, a first class film in every way. There are very few this good....more info
I ordered this item on 2/24/09 and still have not received it. I contacted the seller two weeks ago and they claimed the item had been shipped. I have requested Amazon to refund my money.
John T. Griffin...more info
There is so many superlatives to talk about when it comes to describing this excellent piece of film making, that it is difficult to know where to begin. I suppose a good place to start is to note the excellent adaptation of Larry McMurtry's early ("Lonesome Dove") work. Count on dead-on insights into the lifestyle of the American cowboy. Add the steady guidance of one time Hollywood blacklisted Martin Ritt, who's work resume' is testament to excellence as one of our finest directors. Choosing black and white photography is always a risk in this modern era of filmmaking but was surely the right choice here. Then there is the cast. Oh what a cast. Melvyn Douglas (Homer Bannon) the tired, honest, heartbroken rancher who long ago accepted a painful reality that despite his best efforts as a father, he sired a worthless son in Hud. Patricia Neal effortlessly defined Alma, the average looking, earthy and durable domestic, a simple housekeeper who could with a subtle unconscious gesture, make lemonade all the sweeter by just handing it to you. Her deferred sexuality was well grounded in a gritty personal reality, her innate pragmatism served as protection from the not all together unwelcomed advances of opportunistic men. Finally, there is Hud masterfully portrayed by Paul Newman. Rotten to the core. Hud saw the world and all who inhabited it as flawed and corrupted. So everything and everybody in it was fair game in his selfish, destructive pursuit of self-gratification. For a time, his nephew Lon, somewhat stiffly played by Brandon De Wilde was utterly facinated by his pleasure seeking uncle. Homer, ever mindful of his son's corrupting ways gently guides his grandson by way of word and example down a more honorable and steady path to self-realization. Homer however, is faced with the loss of his cattle ranch by the discovery of hoof-and-mouth disease and is constantly challenged by Hud who shamelessly seeks to take control. The movie ends as realistically as it begins. No Hollywood contrivance here. In fact, one could argue that the ending made the film ripe for a sequel. But thankfully, that sort of narrow shortsighted opportunism was never taken advantage of in a way that may have been to Hud's liking....more info
- Timeless Classic!!! Score: 90 (out of 100).
Here is a movie that looks like it was made yesterday. Paul Newman's character, Hud Bannon, is a spoiled-rotten, waste of a man. He is the personification of selfishness - booze, adultery, and various other sins are his way of life. He has even distanced himself from his aging father, Homer (Melvyn Douglas - Best Supporting Actor Oscar). Homer is a principled, upright rancher. When Homer faces a crisis, his relationship with Hud is put to the test. Homer turns to Hud for advice, and Hud responds, "he didn't ask me about anything in fifteen years."
Homer is familiar with Hud's persona. Homer states "you live just for yourself (Hud)." Homer's housekeeper, divorcee Alma Brown (Patricia Neal, Best Supporting Actress Oscar), knows Hud's type of person, too. After Hud makes advances on Alma, she tells him "I done my time with one cold-blooded bastard. I'm not looking for another." The tie that binds the three of them happens to be Lon Bannon - Hud's nephew. Lon idolizes Hud. Homer is fearful of this and he doesn't want him to be like Hud. Gradually, we come to find out toward the end of the film what has alienated Hud from his father, and vice versa. In the end, Lon learns Hud's true identity after several more tragedies.
Neal and Douglas are brilliant. James Wong Howe won Oscar for cinematography. The film was also nominated for Best Actor (Newman), director (Martin Ritt), screenplay (Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch), and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Robert R. Benton, Sam Comer, Tambi Larsen, Hal Pereira). This is Newman's BEST movie!!!!
Pros: Acting, direction, cinematography, screenplay
Cons: Adult, depressing atmosphere
Score: 90 (out of 100)...more info
- Newman At The Top Of His Form
Melvyn Douglas stars as a cattle ranch owner faced with every cattleman's worst nightmare - foot and mouth disease which could lead to the mandatory destruction of his whole stock. Paul Newman is his selfish son Hud, a man with an appetite for the ladies and his own interests that has caused his morally driven father a lot of grief over the years. Brandon de Wilde is Douglas' grandson by his oldest son, a boy torn between the morality projected by his grandfather and the fun, careless image of his uncle. Patricia Neal stars as the housekeeper, a woman wise beyond her years who has seen a lot in her life and finds Hud dangerously attractive. These four characters are the heart of this character driven film, shot in beautiful, stark black and white that emphasizes the emptiness of the land around and the lives of those living on it. The conflicts are well presented, with sharp, revealing dialogue, and in the hands of these terrific actors, each character comes to life. Enough praise can't be given to each actor for their work here, although Paul Newman must be singled out. This is as good as he gets, and that says a lot. There's not much in Hud's character to admire, but in some ways, the viewer does. He's dangerous and doesn't pretend to be anything else. He lives for himself, and makes no apologies. Hud is an unforgettable character. This is a movie that everyone should make a point to watch....more info
- There's trouble on the ranch and the tension smolders
This 1963 film is a classic that has aged well. Based on an early novel of Larry McMurtry's, the landscape of a cattle ranch and dusty Texas town is familiar. Filmed in black and white, the cinematography won an academy award as did the performance of Melvyn Douglas as the aging patriarch whose strong moral values are in constant conflict with his son Hud, a hard-drinking, selfish anti-hero, played by Paul Newman. Brandon DeWilde is the teenager on the brink of manhood who has both of these men as role models. And Patricia Neal, who also won an academy award for her performance, is cast as the housekeeper, whose hard-edged sensuality keeps the sexual tension high.
There's trouble at the ranch; the cattle seemed to have hoof and mouth disease. Everything the old man has worked for all his life is likely to be destroyed. Hud is mean and petty. He'd be willing to sell the diseased cattle, just as he'd be willing to have his own father declared incompetent so he could take over the ranch. He's unlikable with not one single redeeming value. But he sure is sexy. My personal favorite lines occur between him and Patricia Neal. She's talking about her ex-husband and says that the only thing the ex-husband was good for was scratching her back in places she couldn't reach. Paul Newman gives her a smoldering look and says, "Well, let me know if you ever get an itch."
I enjoyed the film, especially the acting. Towards the end I found myself getting a little restless because by then I anticipated the ending. But the story and the acting and the wonderful setting made up for all of that. Definitely recommended.
- A Greek Tragedy Clothed as a Western
This is a unique Western for so many reasons. It's not so much about the old West as about the end of the old West. It has very few scenes of action. It's not about train bandits or Indian killers or saloon card games. It's about values - the values that built America and the values that will tear it apart. And for that reason, I think it is the best Western ever filmed.
Different people react to different lines of the film...the movie is so well written. The line I remember best is that "America changes based upon the men we value." In our American politics, all of us have seen the significance in the type of Presidents selected to lead the country.
This film is more like a play, a Greek tragedy, of the rift between father and son. The father - a cowboy of the old sort - believes in the land, believes in personal freedom, believes in the importance of reputation, and believes in himself. The son - a cowboy of the new sort - believes in nothing - or at minimum, just in looking after himself.
The total lack of morals of the son named Hud (performed brilliantly by Paul Newman) tears apart everything that the father has built on the ranch. In the end, the father prefers to die. Yes, the son has obtained control of the ranch in this way...but it seems an empty gain.
So much of the film is figurative and metaphorical. This gives the movie such richness and depth. I was amazed how compelling the story was with so little action. You might say this is a thinking man's Western. Indeed the violence of Hud is always misplaced...and somewhat distasteful. Contrast that with the typical Western or Science Fiction film which (impliedly) praises the violent hero who wipes out his enemy with a gun.
Indeed, when certain violent scenes are restrained, the film gains additional power. There is a moment where the ranchers have to kill 100 herd of cows who have contracted hoof and mouth disease. In detail, the modern film would depict the blood and gore and suffering of the animals. But that's unnecessary. The death of the animals is more meaningful by showing the shooting, then the burial of these animals.
"Hud", the film, is simply superb. I recommend it for all adults and perhaps for children 13 and over who have the attention span to give the film all it deserves.
- You're a sociopath, Hud
"Hud" is one of Newman's greatest movies but, interestingly, I find his father, the old man, more compelling. Hud, as his old father notes, has his share of charm and even guts but he has no soul. He doesn't care. He doesn't care about people and lives only for himself. He uses others, especially women, but ultimately he is his own worst enemy and his reward is a emptiness.
Initially, Lonnie, his 17 y.o. nephew admires him and wants to be Hud's kind of man. Gradually, perhaps inevitably, the nephew learns all too much about Hud both from his grandfather and Hud's own selfish and reckless behavior. A cow dies. Hud wants to leave the carcass to the buzzards but his father, although he has much to lose, insists on a veterinary examination. The veterinarian suspects hoof-and-mouth, a disease that requires the slaughtering of entire herds. Hud wants to sell off the herd before the veterinarian returns with his report. His father refuses and Hud sees a lawyer to have his father declared incompetent...with Hud as administrator of the estate.
Too late for Hud, the veterinariam returns with a report postive for hoof-and-mouth. We grieve for the old man having to kill his cattle and livelihood in a bulldozer-excavated pit. Hud is disgusted that he couldn't offload the cattle before this happens.
Hud, as usual, gets blind drunk. Then tries to rape the housekeeper. Lonnie has to protect her from his drunken uncle. By this time Lonnie's admiration for his self-centered uncle hits rock bottom. The old man, thrown from a horse, dies of pure discouragement. Lonnie leaves the ranch and doesn't look back. We are left with Hud in an empty house and an empty ranch having a beer and shrugging off his nephew as if it doesn't matter. Of course, nothing ever really matters to Hud, especially not himself.
There are multiple levels that this film can be viewed. We can view Hud as the product of an unloving father but, more correctly I think, Hud is a self-made man, worthy of contempt.
Ron Braithwaite, author of novels--"Skull Rack" and "Hummingbird God"--on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico...more info
- Must-have for Paul Newman lovers
Hud is a little-known gem. We've always known about it because it was filmed in the little town where my granddad grew up. As a Paul Newman fan, I also recommend the film itself. As usual, Newman doesn't disappoint in this movie....more info