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These sort of movies are simply timeless. Even though they are being set in a certain time period the story is one of all times and one of all places. It makes "Hud" just as good, effective and relevant to watch, as almost 50 years ago.

It's actually a quite simple story, that remains deliberately so, in order to make the movie feel authentic and realistic. You could say this movie is like a random slice of life but not without any of the added drama. The drama however becomes never melodramatic and also never feels forced or artificial.

It above all things remains a real character movie, in which Paul Newman plays the lead role. He's a rebellious playboy, that messes around with married women among many other things and doesn't seem to think or care about the consequences of whatever he is doing but that is just the surface of his character of course. There is far more beneath all of his layers and it wouldn't be a good drama if there wasn't and you wouldn't really start to care about him as a character that way. Same basically goes for all of the characters, who all go through transitions throughout the movie. Besides a drama and character study the movie can also be seen as a coming of age movie. It's all put together really well in this neath and tidy package, called "Hud".

It's a movie that got deliberately shot in black & white, to enhance the movie its style and atmosphere. It's more a movie that reminds you of the '40's period than the '60's period really, while it's actually being an 1963 movie in fact. It's black & white cinematography by James Wong Howe also won this movie an Oscar.

But all style, story and directing aside, the movie still mostly remains a successful one thanks to its actors. Paul Newman was so excellent in this movie and a real shame he didn't won an Oscar that year. Actors that did win an Oscar though for their roles in this movie were Patricia Neal and Melvyn Douglas. I can especially agree on Melvyn Douglas win, who had been a leading man ever since the 1930's but won his first ever Oscar, after being nominated for the first time as well, for his role in this movie. I wasn't too fond of former child actor Brandon De Wilde's performance though.

One fine timeless movie, that you can also watch over and over again.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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