Website owner:  James Miller

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Movie "Hud"

   I couldn't sleep last night and came upstairs and turned on the 
   TV and happened into a movie that impressed me.  It was a movie 
   by the name of "Hud", starring Paul Newman, on channel 88 which 
   specializes in Hollywood classics.  The setting was a cattle 
   ranch in the west.  When I turned into the channel the movie 
   was in progress.  The owner of the ranch, an old man, was 
   sitting out on the range in conversation with his boy Hud (a 
   young man of around 30 --- Paul Newman).  Hud was telling his 
   father he should sell all the cattle immediately, get rid of 
   them as quickly as possible.  The father was in shock and 
   rebuked him only with, "You are an unprincipled young man".  It 
   seems they had reason to believe that they had Foot and Mouth 
   disease in their herd and that, if it were so, the entire herd 
   would have to be destroyed.  Hud was saying that you have to 
   look out for yourself in this world, that the entire world was 
   all lie, sham and deception anyway, and the only intelligent 
   thing to do was to sell the cattle immediately, while they 
   still could.  The entire movie was about the conflict between 
   the old man and his boy Hud.  The old man was a person of 
   integrity and principles and Hud was a wild, carousing woman 
   chaser, with unbridled appetites, and concern for no-one but 
   himself.  Neither was able to stand the other.  Before the 
   movie had finished Hud had attempted to rape their attractive 
   cook and was scheming to get his father declared legally 
   incompetent, due to old age, so he could get control of the 

   One of the best scenes was the one where the father told Hud 
   the reason for his long antipathy to him.  Hud thought the 
   reason was the part he had played in the death of his brother.  
   His father told him that was not the reason, that his bad 
   feelings toward him went back to far before that incident.  Hud 
   wanted to know what the real source of the feelings were and 
   then declared "I don't give a damn", whereon the father said 
   "That is it!  That is the cause of my feelings.  You don't give 
   a damn.  You have never given a damn. You don't care about 
   anyone except yourself.  You have a certain power with people, 
   a certain wildness that they like.  Women are attracted to you.  
   People follow you.  You have the ability to gain the confidence 
   of people, to make them trust you.  But that just makes it all 
   that much worse." 

   Another important character in the story was a young boy torn 
   between his sense of right and his attraction to Hud.  The old 
   man once told him, "You have a decision you are going to have 
   to make".  At the end of the movie the old man dies and the 
   young boy packs his bags and leaves the ranch to find his 
   future elsewhere --- leaving the ranch in the hands of Hud.  
   The movie ends with Hud sipping beer. 

   Aug 1990

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