Homer Barron is the patriarch of the family, which consists of his 34 year old son Hud, and his nephew and his 17 year-old grandson Lon. Alma, the earthy and compassionate housekeeper, takes care of the woman's work for the family, spending her nights in a one room shack behind the main house. The ranch has a few cow hands, and about 200 head of cattle.
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Three men could be no more different than these. The elder Barron has lost a wife and son to death, but lives and believes character and honesty are the measure of a man's worth. The good-timing Hud fulfills his chores on the ranch, but prefers hard drinking, affairs with married women, and driving his pink convertible Cadillac fast and hard.
Lon, on the edge of manhood with all the expected appetites for food and women intact, admires both his grandfather and his uncle. He's a good boy, and spends his time trying to emulate and buddy up to Hud, while still pleasing his stodgy old grandfather. Lon has a foot in each man's character while developing his own.
They story begins with Lon searching for Hud from carousing in town the night before. He locates Hud at a married woman's house, just as the husband arrives home. The two quickly depart, the hustler being wrongly revealed as they drive away.
A cow has been found dead on the ranch, for no apparent reason. Homer wants to call the state vet, and pursue proper guidelines. Hud challenges his father, saying to keep the government out of their business, and to sell off the possibly sick cattle to the north while they still can. If this animal has died from hoof and mouth disease, all the cattle on the ranch will have to be destroyed, and the family will get only fifty cents per head, and have nothing for which to ranch. Homer declares Hud "a man of no principles," and calls for the state vet's assistance. The family must wait for over a week for lab results to clear or condemn the cattle.
The good old boys in town like Hud, and despite an attempted rape of Alma one late and drunk night, he usually gets what he wants. Hud cares for no one but himself. He contacts an attorney in the town to try to get possession of the ranch from his father, who he calls an old fool for buying sick Mexican cattle. Hud sees the old man as incompetent and a hypocrite.
Eventually all the cattle, as well as two special Longhorn cattle, must be destroyed to prevent spread of the disease, which is the worst news a cattle man can get. Bullets shower for over a minute, trailing off to the last three moving cows. Homer kills the two Longhorns himself.
The review of this Movie prepared by patrice75228
"Hud" is a modern-day cowboy with a penchant for women (mostly of the married variety), booze and beer joint brawling. The conflict with his father, Homer, is exacerbated by Hud's narcissim and unwillingness to admit responsibility for the death of his brother some years ago. Lon, Hud's teenage nephew, is seemingly corrupted by his uncle's influences and the two of them share a sexual affinity for the family's housekeeper, Alma. This exquisite example of "prairie pathos", filmed amid the sweeping vastness of the Texas panhandle, makes "Hud" a jewel of a movie.
The review of this Movie prepared by Ronald Ross King
Long before "Lonesome Dove," long before "Terms of Endearment" and "The Last Picture Show," Larry McMurtry's novel _Horseman, Pass By_ was made into the marvelous 1963 film called "Hud." Paul Newman played the slouching, sneering, hard-drinking and womanizing cowboy in contemporary Texas. His father (Melvyn Douglas) is an upstanding rancher, so the two don't see eye to eye, and Patricia Neal played the tough but sensual hired housekeeper around whom Hud sniffs when he's not chasing other men's wives. Hud's nephew Lonnie, a handsome and strapping teen (played by Brandon de Wilde, best known as the kid in "Shane" 10 years earlier), looks up to the wildcat and wants to be just like him until he gets a good hard look at his idol. The ranch faces a crisis when some cattle the old man brought up from Mexico infect the herd with hoof-in-mouth, and all the tensions burst to the surface. A hard, beautiful film with superb acting.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus
This is a movie exemplifying the two opposite positions on the ethics continuum-- absolutism and subjectivism. The film is appropriately black and white because it helps the audience recognize the symbolic nature of the story. This was originally a book written by the author of Lonesome Dove, and adapted into a screenplay written by the author of the novel.
The review of this Movie prepared by Whitney Fleming
Martin Ritt takes a short work by Texan Larry McMurtry (originally published as “Horseman, Pass By”) and notches Paul Newman's career as a serious actor. Hud, played
by Newman, is a young West Texan cattle man, alienated from just about everybody--he can't get along with his father, can't accept the West Texas tradition into which he was
born and reared, and, most importantly, can't even accept himself. He seems only interested in a sort of Texan hedonistic lifestyle, womanizing not being the least of his vices. Patricia Neal won Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal as the housekeeper. Melvin Douglas (who played the father) also brought home an Oscar, as did James Wong Howe for his cinematography. “Hud” is West Texas local color at its best, brilliantly filmed in black and white, and equally brilliantly scored by Elmer Bernstein.
The review of this Movie prepared by Bill Hobbs