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4.7 out of 5 stars 264 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Having been burned by compromises to censors on his earlier films Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth, Paul Newman decided to star in as uncompromising a property as he could find. That property was Hud, inspired by a portion of Larry McMurtry's novel, Horseman Pass By. Hud Bannon (Newman) is a young Texas rancher who lives with his cattleman father Homer (Melvyn Douglas) and his hero-worshipping nephew Lon (Brandon DeWilde). Hud is an amoral, cold-hearted creature; his father, who holds Hud responsible for the death of his other son, tries to imbue Lon with a sense of decency and responsibility to others, but Lon is devoted to Hud and isn't inclined to listen. When hoof-and-mouth disease shows up in one of the elder Bannon's cows, Hud is all for selling the herd before the government inspectors find out. But Homer orders the cattle destroyed (the film's most harrowing sequence), driving an even deeper wedge between himself and Hud. Finally, Hud steps over the line by attempting to rape Alma (Patricia Neal), the earthy but warm-hearted housekeeper. Paul Newman was so repellantly brilliant as an unregenerate heel that his Oscar nomination for Hud was a foregone conclusion. Although Newman lost the Oscar to Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field, Oscars did go to Neal for Best Actress, Douglas for Best Supporting Actor, and cinematographer James Wong Howe.

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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal, Brandon De Wilde, Whit Bissell
  • Directors: Martin Ritt
  • Writers: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., Larry McMurtry
  • Producers: Martin Ritt, Irving Ravetch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AUHQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hud" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Hellerstedt on June 6, 2004
Format: 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.
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By A Customer on August 12, 2002
Format: 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).
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Format: 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.
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