Tonight I wached the classic movie Hud. Below I republished the commentary I offered on my old blog following the classic Paul Newman's death.
1963 Paul Newman played the man-child Hud based on Larry McMurtry's story Horseman Pass By. I like the story because it introduces us to a typical Texas drugstore cowboy, or as we used to call them, Rexall Ranger, who cannot grow up. His narcism inevitably leads him to deep, wounding conflicts with his father. The father, played by veteran Melvyn Douglas, represented old fashioned, Bible belt sorts of values that Hud seemingly rejected most of his life. Caught in the middle was Hud's nephew who idolized Hud's wild side, but dearly treasured his grandfather's values. The scene below represents a defining moment in the young grandson's life-one we must all face, when the choice between immature youthful idealism and principled reality stand before us. Paul Newman played Hud the old fashioned way, with a bit of over dramatization emphasizing the complicated character of one who refused to look beyond himself. His spontaneity, overdone accent, and aloof disposition convincingly sold us on McMurtry's moral intent. Again, Like Hud we must all make choices and those choices thrust consequences upon us. In addition, the movie was filmed in Claude, Texas. I know the area well. It's a rough and tumble culture, a cowboy town. In 1963 Hud delivered a powerful moral message to young western boys exploring life, and questing for adulthood.