Welcome to the last Western. HUD is a chronicle of what killed the western ethos - it was done in by a man with a "barbed wire soul" driving a pink cadillac. Before HUD men raised cattle or plowed the earth, after HUD men ceded the land to the oil drillers. The movie opens with 17-year-old, wide-eyed Lonnie looking for Hud. The trail leads him past a busted up saloon and ends when he finds a married woman's high heel shoe carelessly flung on her front porch. Hud seems to have a taste for married women and a way with the bottle that the curious Lonnie finds attractive. When they get home Homer drives them out to a freshly dead heifer. There are no bullet wounds or other signs of injury and Homer decides to call the authorities. Hud disagrees. If the heifer died of a disease it could jeopardize everything, and Hud is too close to inheriting the ranch for that. Homer has more at stake, but burying the cow without an investigation would simply be wrong. The drama...
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...
In the pivotal scene in Hud, Homer Bannon (Melvyn Douglas) confronts his nihilistic son Hud (Paul Newman) while his nephew looks on. In one of the great scenes of all time, Homer tells his son: "Oh, you got all that charm goin' for you, and it makes the youngsters want to be like you. That's the shame of it. Because you don't value nothin.' You don't respect nothin.' You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself and that makes you not fit to live with." Later, he addresses his newphew Lon who chides the man for his harsh treatment of Hud and says "Lonnie, little by little the face of the country changes because of the men we admire. You're just gonna have to make up your mind one day, about what's right and what's wrong." This is the theme of Hud -- a youngster learning manhood from his two models -- his hedonistic, unprincipled uncle and his conservative, righteous grandfather who values integrity. And like Peckinpah's magnificent "Wild...
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