Thursday, November 7, 2013

403. Hud

Directed by Martin Ritt

I came down with a bad case of laryngitis and have completely lost my voice (which no doubt pleases several people).  Anyway, I took to bed and decided that a little Paul Newman would a sight for sore eyes.  Or in my case, a sight for a sore throat.

Hud has had a terrible relationship with his father ever since his brother was killed in a car accident when Hud was driving.  Once Hud's father's, Homer's, cattle are struck with foot and mouth disease, Hud is back in both his father's and his nephew's life.  Oh yeah and then Hud tries to rape the maid but she forgives him because she would have had sex with him anyway!  Um, okay?

So I don't have too much to say about this film partly because my throat is on fire and I just want to go to sleep.  I really just didn't get the point of it.  Were we supposed to think that underneath Hud's rough, rapist exterior he was a good man?  Were we supposed to feel sorry for him that he drove away anyone who ever loved him?  Or were we supposed to sympathize with the other characters because no matter what they did, Hud was always the same hateful guy?  I don't really care about the answers to any of these questions, though, because I found the movie to be quite dull and the pacing way too slow.

So not a great film but Paul Newman, as always, was fantastic so it is worth a watch.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Newman played the character Hud like a villain but many people consider Hud to be a hero.

So that this post was a bit half assed.  How many more times can I use the sick excuse?


  1. I love Paul Newman. Always have, always will. I do not think we were supposed to like Hud though. Good movie because Paul Newman was in it...otherwise, it would be total waste of time.

  2. I very much agree Amanda. But then I have never been all that at ease with these sort of characterisations.. The James Dean Type..doing the "forgive me beating you up/raping you/being a macho asshole, but it's really your fault for not realising I'm suffering inside and my Dad was mean to me".
    Now I'm sounding all intolerant and lacking empathy, which I don't mean to, but in some cases (not all said the bleeding heart liberal in me kicking in).. well, sometimes a macho asshole is a macho asshole.
    As you have probably guessed from reading somethings I say in Andrew's blog. I'm afraid I didn't like this one.

    1. I agree with you Ray. I mean, I am all for exploring the life of a troubled, even dangerous, individual but if that is what Ritter was going for here, it wasn't done well. It just seemed like Ritter was trying to say that Hud had a tough life and Alma was the type of girl who was asking for it.

  3. I think you were blinded by Paul Newman. He does attract our attention, but this is not a movie abour him, but a movie about his nephew, Lonnie. This is a coming of age story, where he has to decide his path in life: should he follow his stand-up and honorable grandfather or his fun, but amoral uncle? It is a more difficult choice than you would expect, because the grandfather's world is falling apart and because Hud is a charming as he his. A turd with cherries on top is still a turd, but Lonnie has to find that out the hard way.

    1. Lol well that's certainly possible. It's like looking at the sun.

  4. Interesting what you say that the movie was about Lonnie. He was the central character in the original book, but for the movie they reworked it so the minor character of Hud took centre stage. In large part, I think you're right.

    Or, if we just look at Hud, I still think it's interesting. Call me an old man in trousers, but you get to a certain age where you don't necessarily see the world as good or bad people. Yes, he was an arsehole. Was this caused by his upbringing with his father? Perhaps, although he's old enough to take responsibility for his own actions. I do feel sorry for him though. Not because it's not his fault, but because it IS all his fault and he lacks the strength to do anything about it and so he will forever be doomed to tread this path. There are plenty of people just like that.

    Funny with hindsight when Paul Newman makes a quip about salad dressing. Did he already know back then?