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Wick's Review

Created Jul 08, 2012 09:19PM PST • Edited May 20, 2015 04:35PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Very Good 3.5

    Paul Newman wanted to be bad and got his wish with Hud. He plays a charismatic asshole, a user and abuser whose evil becomes increasingly evident as the movie rolls along. Three Oscars came in its wake, though King Cool himself had to be satisfied with just a nomination. Think Hud would’ve stood for that?

    The movie is an acting tour-de-force, though its story isn’t transcendent and its style hasn’t aged well. It is powerful, in no small part because of Patricia Neal and Melvyn Douglas’s Oscar-winning turns as a vivacious housekeeper and principled old man, and by the great Newman himself. As the poster boldly declares, he “is Hud,” the most charming bastard a superstar could become. That’s saying a lot.

  3. Great 4.0

    Newman worked on a cattle ranch for several weeks to prep for Hud, successfully turning himself into a realistic cowboy. The animal magnetism and rebellious spirit? Those seemed to come naturally. Hud was more than just a rebel however; he was a selfish bastard. Newman played him with such charisma that a generation of kids thought he was some kind of hero. Hollywood works that way.

    The Oscars went to his costars, Melvyn Douglas as his true-heart Father and Patricia Neal as their lively housekeeper. Douglas is achingly good, an old man who deserves better than the son he begat. Neal’s tough-n-tender journeyman housekeeper is a great movie character – strong and sexy.

    Brandon De Wilde touchingly plays Hud’s teenage nephew, a good boy who has to come to terms with his Uncle’s destructiveness. Child star De Wilde had shot to fame a few years earlier yelling Shane, come back!.

    Whit Bissell is the one notable supporting actor. Bissell went on to an extensive TV career in the 60s and 70s, perhaps most famously as Lt. Gen. Heywood Kirk in Time Tunnel from 66-67.

  4. Male Stars Really Great 4.5
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Small town Texas ranch living is well essayed. If only the story rose above its vast surrounds.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5

    Martin Ritt lived to show powerful people in a bad light, failing to realize that when you have them played by Paul Newman having too much fun, fans are going to want to be them.

  10. Play Good 3.0
  11. Music Very Good 3.5
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 2.4

    Hud is selfish when sober, boorish when drunk and dangerous when threatened. Forcing himself on an unwilling woman isn’t beyond him, though the movie pulls that punch, fortunately.

    The cattle get the worst of it in this movie however. Be warned.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.9
  16. Violence Brutal 2.9
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Glib 1.6
  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.7
  20. Biological Glib 1.6
  21. Physical Glib 1.4


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