Hud

Hud ★★★★½

The Next to Last Picture Show

Paul Newman so often played the silent, tortured soul that it really makes his George Roy Hill characters stand out as likable rascals. Not that he wasn't compelling as the tortured alcoholic but man do I love a good smiling, cocky Newman. The Newman smile is a thing of beauty but if he had a bag of tricks, he kept that one behind a glass case for special use only. Hud has a barrier to entry; fitting for the tortured title character who puts walls up on everyone in his orbit. Not my favorite Newman character but Martin Ritt's direction is ice cold. Like he transported the Arctic chill to Texas. You don't feel the heat of this corner of the world but the ice cold desolation of an era fading away. The "cattle scene" is one seriously haunting sequence. A mountain of pain and sorrow in this film.