Hud, based on the novel by Larry McMurtry, directed by Martin Ritt, with Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas
10 out of 10
This will be a look at this extraordinary film, using Positive Psychology glasses or said otherwise:
Through a Glass Brightly
1963 was the year of 8 ½, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and Tom Jones, the Best Film at the Academy Awards
But I would say that Hud was just as good, if not better, even if it won three Oscars, without getting nominated as Best Motion Picture
There are three generations in this superb artwork and they have a complicated relationship with each other
Paul Newman is outstanding, as always, in the role of Hud Bannon, a complex personage that has a more prominent negative side
Homer Bannon is Hud’s father, who does not like this remaining son, responsible for the death of Lonnie’s father.
Lonnie is the third generation, grandson to Homer and an important moral and working support in his old age
Homer I not without faults, as a father he has been rather hard, we would call this abusive today
However, he has plenty of the Character Strengths identified by the father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman:
Integrity, Persistence, Bravery, Perspective, Citizenship, Fairness, Mercy, Leadership, Modesty
This hero also proves:
Vitality, Love, Kindness, Social Intelligence, Gratitude, Hope, Self- regulation, Spirituality and Prudence
Hud on the other hand stands accused of being:
Selfish…you only think of yourself
That’s why you can’t be with others…says Homer Bannon
Indeed, the main character I almost a negative hero, the bad guy that would need someone to fight him
Not that Hud engages in too few fights
The “hero” is Brave, has Vitality, Persistence, some Perspective, maybe Love of Learning and Social Intelligence
But he I not at all Modest or Fair, he shows no Gratitude, on the contrary, he thinks his father was rough with him
Hud might have gotten at least some of that right
Nevertheless, he now tries to get control of the farm, by having his father declared unfit to manage it and get the land under his administration
Lonnie is seventeen and in the first part of the film admires Hud, wanting to be pretty much like his uncle.
Nevertheless, when he sees the way Hud treats his father, contributing to his collapse and ultimate downfall, Lonnie rejects his uncle
Furthermore, Hud I violent and repulsive in his treatment of Alma, the woman that is hired as house cleaner and cook at the farm.
One night, after harassment and pestering the hired help, Hud gets drunk and attacks Alma, trying to rape her.
The escape is narrow.
In fact, it is only the intervention of the nephew that allows the woman to get off the floor and eventually leave the place all together.
Hud has an affair with a married woman, whose husband arrives just as the lover was leaving the house.
It is very early in the morning and the husband is sure there is something wrong with strangers leaving at that time
Bud blames this event on…Lonnie
Somehow, the charm of Paul Newman transfers to his character in the film, but I think this helps make the movie more intriguing an interesting, with a character that is not all despicable.
There are glorious performances from all those involved in this memorable motion picture, winner of three Oscars.