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Hud (1963)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 8,120

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Movie Info

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


Drama, Classics

Harriet Frank Jr. / Irving Ravetch

Dec 2, 2003

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5) | DVD (9)

The four principal actors -- Newman, Neal, Douglas, and de Wilde -- are so good that they might well form the nucleus of a cinematic repertory company.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where it falls short of the mark is in its failure to filter its meaning and theme lucidly through its characters and story.

January 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
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One of Ritt's best films.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (2)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Martin Ritt directed, putting a little too much dust in the dust bowl for my taste.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An interview with Patricia Neal, RIP.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source:

...a Western Gothic, where everyone is headed for trouble.

October 6, 2008 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

A blistering adult western which broke ground in its depiction of an unglamorous West and in the decidedly anti-heroic nature of its lead.

January 7, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

These questions are richer than they might have been in Hud because Newman...creates Hud as a sum of conscious choices, not an animal or an icon.

October 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Paul Newman established himself as a superstar in this uncompromising antihero role.

October 4, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Violating the the Producion Code, Martin Ritt's best film, which features Paul Newman in top form, includes forbidden words such as bastard and SOB, heard for the first time in American movie.

December 30, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Newman at his best

June 11, 2005

Ultimately, a heartbreaking film that refuses to take the easy, happy route of life.

June 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

James Wong Howe won the film's third Oscar for his beautiful widescreen, black-and-white, wide-open-spaces cinematography, but director Martin Ritt (who was nominated) keeps things a bit too serious and self-important.

February 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Hud understands that torches are more often extinguished than passed

December 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

More or less plays out as a home-on-the-range knock-off of Nicolas Ray's brilliant Rebel Without a Cause.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

wonderfully bleak

November 23, 2003 Full Review Source:

Built around a huge performance by Newman this is an immensely powerful character piece, intelligently written and visually striking throughout.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

[A] well-acted, authentic-feeling story.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films

Audience Reviews for Hud

I can't get enough of Larry McMurtry's West Texas, and Hud is yet another excellent film based on his novels (see: Last Picture Show, Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, and note that he wrote the screen adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's short story Brokeback Mountain, too). Paul Newman plays one of the angriest young men you'll ever see on screen, a farm boy too wild for his home who has a terrible relationship with his father, and maybe a drinking problem. Brilliant for its esoteric nods to remote, small town life, and memorable for the Oscar-winning performances by Patricia Neal and Melvyn Douglas, Hud tells a classic story that, though it slows a little by times, frequently punches you in the gut like only McMurtry can. The writing is incredibly economical, too. As Chekhov said, if there's a gun on the mantle in Act I, it had better go off in Act III. Every new element that comes into the story pays off, to the point that, with every new revelation, you ask, "Now where is THIS going to go," and you're never disappointed. It's a very good film.
December 29, 2011

Super Reviewer

Bleak, beautiful, and well acted = my kind of film.
June 2, 2011
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Paul Newman at his best, managing to make a severely flawed character incredibly charming and sympathetic. This has some extremely beautiful black and white images and definitely sets the mood for a very depressing story. At first glance, this isn't even something I would consider a western. However, the story is such an important step in the western genre because it goes beyond the cowboys and indians scenario. I would say that this is the most important modern western in that it analyzes the idea of a true cowboy and proves that they are a dying breed and incompatible with current morals and values.
March 7, 2011

Super Reviewer

Movies always portrayed cattlemen as married to their life as if it was the only thing they thought about and their life was caught in a time warp of only having a horse or maybe an old pick up truck. Hud shatters that American image of the rancher as married to his land, to a degree. It's like a new generation has come to take the reigns of what once was, even if the old generation wants it to happen or not.

Paul Newman plays the title character, a life long rancher by day and a gigolo by night, drinking and fighting and leaving Mrs. Whoever's house at six in the morning. He lives and works with his father Homer (Melvyn Douglas). Their relationship is as estranged as you can get while living together. There's a definite chill in the air when both are present. Also on the ranch is Hud's teenage nephew Lon (Brandon De Wilde), an impressionable young man who is torn between the influence of his uncle and his grandfather. Patricia Neal plays the housekeeper Alma, a presence that represents the opinion of the opposite sex in a world full of men and causes some sexual tension within the household.

The film begins with one of the herd dying of an unknown ailment that suddenly becomes a dire situation when the fear of foot and mouth disease suddenly becomes a possible reality. Homer is despondent, worrying throughout the film while Hud continues trolling around in his pink Cadillac and drinking and fighting and screwing throughout the town. It's like a morality piece between the old ways and the new ways.

What Hud represents is actually the battle for Lon's soul. Homer shows his grandson that work and dedication are the ways to get where you want in life. Hud's philosophy is to take as much as you can. When the first talk of foot and mouth Hud's plan is to make a quick sell of the cattle and be damned if their sick or not, much to the displeasure of his father. The two are polar opposites with Lon stuck in the middle. The question that this film offers is what path will Lon follow? Is he strong enough to follow his grandfather's example or is Hud to much of an influence on the young boy.

Paul Newman gives a stellar performance as what is essentially the bad guy. Of course he was written as the bad guy, but in an era that was post James Dean and Marlon Brando you can see him as more of a rebel than an opportunist, though it can be said that Brando learned a lesson during the Wild One. Hud learns nothing from start to finish. Melvyn Douglas is Newman's equal as the old and broken down Homer. Homer is still calm and cool, even in the face of everything he's up against. He's old school all the way.

Directed with a great eye for the landscapes by Martin Ritt, the film doesn't let them overtake the film. There are no sweeping John Fordesque Monument Valley shots that become the centerpiece of the film, but there is some terrific landscape that fills in the areas that the actors aren't taking up. It's really a mesmerizing film based on the work of Larry McMurtry, whose work would later show the real life in a Texas town with The Last Picture Show.

Hud is really the first gleam of Paul Newman's excellence as an actor. His portrayal of Hud is a hypnotic piece of acting. Is Hud a bad man? It's hard to say. He could just be like every cattleman's son in Texas. Maybe no one ever fought for his soul?
November 30, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Hud Bannon: Hud Bannon: You're half native already. I've never seen you in a pair of shoes since you have work here.
    2. Alma Brown: I wore'em once. I think to get married in. White satin pumps. I don't have'em anymore or the man.
    – Submitted by Helen O (21 months ago)
    1. Hud Bannon: Hud Bannon: Man like that sounds no better than a heel.
    2. Alma Brown: Aren't you all?
    3. Hud Bannon: Honey don't go shooting all the dogs 'cause one of 'em's got fleas.
    4. Alma Brown: I was married to Ed for six years. Only thing he was ever good for was to scratch my back where I couldn't reach it.
    5. Hud Bannon: You still got that itch?
    6. Alma Brown: Off and on.
    7. Hud Bannon: Well let me know when it gets to bothering you.
    – Submitted by Helen O (21 months ago)
    1. Homer Bannon: You're an unprincipled young man Hud.
    2. Hud Bannon: Don't let that worry you none. You got enough for both of us.
    – Submitted by Godzilla K (2 years ago)
    1. Hud Bannon: I'll remember you, honey. You're the one that got away.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
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August 9, 2010:
Patricia Neal: 1926-2010
Oscar-winning actress Patricia Neal, known for her roles in "Hud" and "The Fountainhead," has passed...

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