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Critic Reviews for Hud
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.
Where it falls short of the mark is in its failure to filter its meaning and theme lucidly through its characters and story.
Martin Ritt directed, putting a little too much dust in the dust bowl for my taste.
Audience Reviews for Hud
Look under the skin of the American dream and there's a dust bowl the size of Texas, where the wide open spaces still do not provide enough breathing room, where everything still feels too unbearably close.. Martin Ritt's film introduces us to a family running their own spread, cowboys all, but disease and dissatisfaction, selfishness, eat away at any semblance of decency. Newman makes his mark as the most honest soul walking and unhappy, unhappy, unhappy. Melvin Douglas and Patricia Neal are great here.
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.
Bleak, beautiful, and well acted = my kind of film.
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