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Hud


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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're an unprincipled man, Hud
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...
Published on June 6, 2004 by Steven Hellerstedt

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Same Actors, Same Acting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After watching Melvyn, Paul, Brandon, Patricia and co. in a few films I could not for the life of me differentiate any new approach to character development. If this were a silent film I would be enthralled, the visuals are inspiring, poignant, and magnificent! However, the dialogue is non-stop slick, too cool for...
Published 4 months ago by DoMeNiQuE CoE


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96 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're an unprincipled man, Hud, June 6, 2004
This review is from: Hud (DVD)
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 proceeds from there as deliberately, and inevitably, as a Greek tragedy.
Like other epics, and HUD deals with epic themes, there are great battles. Hud Bannon battles with his father, Homer Bannon (Melvyn Douglas) for the heart and mind of his nephew Lonnie (Brandon de Wilde.) Hud and Lonnie battle over their "half-wild" maid Alma (Patricia Neal.)
Hud, a man of little patience, is brutally direct in his approach to Alma. The inexperienced Lonnie admires her from a gentler distance. Director Martin Ritt includes two scenes that highlight this difference. One night Hud tomcats his way into Alma's room asking for a cigarette. The experienced and wary Alma gives - Hud lights the handout and blows out the match just as Alma asks for a light. With his back to her Hud drops the burnt out match into her hands and waits a beat before dropping the matchbook. It's a short throwaway that highlights Hud's loutish behavior. It gains relevance a little later when Lonnie takes a blow to the head and has to take to his bed. Alma brings him a glass of `fresh squeezed lemonade.' Lonnie takes the drink and a worried look beetles his brow. Alma puts her hand under his mouth and urges him to spit. `C'mon, honey,' she says, `they're just lemon pits.'
Lonnie spits his seeds into her hand, Hud a useless, burnt out stick, and Dr. Freud has just left the building. Maybe Ritt put those scenes in to delight louts like me four decades on. HUD is filled with powerful, multi-layered scenes. Another memorable one occurs when Homer Bannon's herd is driven into an enclosure. It is very long, maybe four minutes, and deliberately edited. I don't know if we'd see its like today, but its length and deliberation gives it awesome power.
Melvyn Douglas won an Oscar in this movie, and he portrays Homer Bannon as a man about as played out as his over grazed land and about as obsolete as the two longhorn he keeps solely for sentimental reasons. Neal also won an Oscar in this one, and her character is almost as worn out as the elder Bannon. Life has used her hard. Paul Newman was nominated as the title character, and in my opinion would not have made an embarrassing winner. One of the most charming and charismatic actors in movie history, Newman manages to play a man of hollow charm. When he flirts, we see the snake lurking behind his smile. HUD won a third Oscar for photography, and James Wong Howe presents a parched and arid black-and-white landscape.
This is an excellent movie, and well worth the investment of anyone's time.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent in every respect, August 12, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great western and a tale for our times, February 19, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Hud (DVD)
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 Bunch" it is about the dying of the West. The urban, progressive Hud is fighting against the rural ways of his father. Hud wants to dig for oil but Homer won't punch holes in his sacred land. Hud wants to sell sick cows to his neighbors to avoid a government quarantine. Homer wants to follow the law.
And that is what fascinates me about this film. People who watch this film identify more with Hud. He's the lovable rascal. Some viewers genuinely like him and wonder why Lon chooses the path of his grandfather. The grandfather seems rigid, self-righteous and even quietly harsh. Yet it is the hard way which is the right way in this film. Hud has destroyed all those around him - his brother, the housekeeper and ultimately the grandfather. It is a good lesson that wrong things sometimes come in pretty packages. It is a great lesson for today: who do we admire? Who are our heroes? Do they really deserve our affection and how does that pervert all of us.
Ritt is magnificent. He juxtaposes Newman's loud, kinetic Hud with the quiet and slow Homer. James Wong Howes cinemetagraphy captures the starkness of Texas but fills it with a quiet beauty. The acting is subtle and nuanced and O'Neil and Douglas deserved Oscars for their timeless performances. Newman, who has trouble keeping a Texas accent is overrated in this film but it hardly matters. The film is a masterpiece but a quiet masterpiece.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! This wonderful film on DVD., February 16, 2004
By 
Donato (California) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hud (DVD)
HUD, quite simply, has some of the best performances ever put on film by its four leading cast members: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal and Brandon De Wilde. Equally powerful is the black and white photography, which serves as the perfect background for the story and the performers. (B&W just can't be beat for some types of stories, and this is one of them.) Newman has never been given as much credit as he deserves, in my opinion, and he makes the tactless, self-centered, womanizing Hud come to life spectacularly. Patricia Neal, who won the Oscar for this, is amazing to watch, using her body language and her voice with consummate mastery. This film leaves you with an appreciation of how simple stories, handled by talented professionals, can pack a punch even forty years later. When compared to half of the "product" that's pumped out these days, HUD towers over most, propelled by character and story. Not a bad thing, if you ask me!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Newman At The Top Of His Form, August 19, 2001
This review is from: Hud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly GREAT Movie, November 15, 2002
By 
MLB "allforme" (Winder, Ga United States) - See all my reviews
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic!!! Score: 90 (out of 100)., December 15, 2001
This review is from: Hud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat for Paul Newman lovers, May 8, 2001
This review is from: Hud [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Newman: Actor, Not Just "Leading Man", December 20, 2005
This review is from: Hud (DVD)
Amid all of the critical appreciation that has been lavished upon Marlon Brando and James Dean, Paul Newman has largely escaped proper attention as one of the great antihero protagonists of 50's and 60's cinema. One viewing of "Hud" reveals how unfair history has been with that assessment. As the ingrate son of an aging cattleman, Newman is absolutely riveting in a performance all the more notable because, despite his good looks and considerable charisma, he manages to unflinchingly realize the character's unsympathetic nature. The film is a masterpiece on every level, from Martin Ritt's unobtrusive direction, to James Wong Howe's magnificently arid black-and-white cinematography, to the multi-layered moral complexities inside the deceptively simple narrative, to Patricia Neal's moving portrayal of a woman who would rather start over with nothing than deal with the unwanted advances of an egotistical lout.

This was the first film in what can be referred to as Newman's '4H Antihero Quartet,' to be followed by "Harper" in 1966 and "Cool Hand Luke" and "Hombre" in 1967. Treat yourself to all of them. It's time for history to reassess an actor who was a heck of a lot more than just a leading man.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great acting and a fascinating setting make this a special movie!, July 24, 2005
By 
This review is from: Hud (DVD)
This review is for the 2003 widescreen DVD release by Paramount.

I've always been intrigued with movies about life in rural Texas. The movie Hud features Paul Newman as Hud Bannon, a morally-bankrupt, hell-raising cowboy who lives with his father Homer (played by Melvyn Douglas) and Hud's nephew Lonnie on a large ranch in West Texas. In addition, Patricia Neal plays the role of their cook and cleaning lady. The storyline revolves around the wild life of Hud and how his lack of moral principals and irresponsible living soon puts a major strain on the entire household. The plot is solidly melodramatic and the ending is somewhat subdued, but the acting is what makes movie extra special, especially the Oscar-winning performance by Melvyn Douglas. The other thing that makes this movie so enjoyable are some great scenes shot in and around the nearby small rural Texas town. The sing-along inside the movie theater is priceless. All in all, Hud is a very well done movie, and if you like it, I'd also recommend viewing two similar, and in my opinion better movies, "Giant" and "The Last Picture Show".

The DVD is in widescreen black and white. The picture quality is near pristine with an occasional tiny dot of film deterioration showing up here and there during the movie, but nothing at all bothersome. The audio and soundtrack are outstanding. There are no bonus features on the DVD which is disappointing for a movie of this caliber.

Movie: A-

DVD Quality: A-
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Hud
Hud by Martin Ritt (DVD - 2003)
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