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Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches. Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the consequences. There is bitter conflict between the callous Hud and his stern and highly principled father, Homer. Hud's nephew Lon admires Hud's cheating ways, though he soon becomes aware of Hud's reckless amorality to bear him anymore. In the world of the takers and the taken, Hud is a winner. He's a cheat, but, he explains "I always say the law was meant to be interpreted in a lenient manner." Written by
One Hell of a movie, and very nearly perfect. Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, and Brandon De Wilde star as three generations of a ranching family. Douglas is the patriarch, stern and strong, but clearly moving ever closer to the end of his life. Paul Newman, who plays the title character, is his youngest and only surviving son. There is an obvious but unspoken conflict between the two of them. In the middle is Brandon De Wilde, actually the film's main character (although all the choice acting moments belong to Douglas and Newman, and the yet to be mentioned Patricia Neal). His father, Newman's brother, died when he was very young. Growing up in Douglas' shadow, he worships the man and tries to emulate his moral code. However, his wilder side sees the untamed Newman as a sort of folk hero, and the rare times when he gets to hang out with his uncle seem to him to be the best of his life. Patricia Neal plays their maid (brilliantly, I should immediately state), after whom both uncle and nephew lust. A different conflict arises from this. As Hud, Paul Newman has many chances to be a second James Dean, exploding with emotion. Those scenes are excellent, of course, but where Hud succeeds most is at the edges of the screen. It is an enormously subtle film. The filmmakers should especially be commended for their amazing use of musical score. There is a really beautiful score, but it is never used, not once, to steer the audience's emotions. A good 90% of the film has no music in the background. Hud is an American masterpiece. 10/10.
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