Last night I watched Hud by myself. Hud is a good movie. I’ve got a real soft (wet?) spot for all those early 60′s, pre-Inside the Actor’s Studio movies, when it was actually inside the Actor’s Studio, not a Bravo TV show, and no one even knew who Denzel Washington (“The Greatest Actor of Our Generation”) was. The whole Paul Newman-Marlon Brando-James Dean era, it’s just amazing. Seriously. I want to perform a love crime on these men. Also, I’m real big on father-son conflicts, for some very hidden and hard to understand reasons that only a licensed therapist who went to COLLEGE and ADVANCED COLLEGE could understand. There is this really great scene in Hud where Paul Newman (Hud) is having the climactic argument with his father, played by Melvyn Douglas, who has never liked him. Anyhow, his father is just really tearing into him, calling him an awful person, and telling him how he always hated him since even when he was a little kid, and then there’s this close up of Paul Newman, who is all soaking wet and in shadow, and his face is looking very angry and STONE COLD and then he smiles and says “Well, my mama loved me. But then she died.” POW! What a scene. Fuck you Wes Anderson, and Napoleon Dynamite, and, and fucking, fucking Quentin Tarantino and I Heart Hucakabees, which was fine, but emotionally corrupt. TAKE THAT D IN YOUR MOUTH!
The other thing I really like in these movies are the flashes of wanton sexuality that always surprise me, because this is pre-sexual revolution, and although it’s not the 20′s or even the McCarthy-era 50′s, I still half-expect my pre-hippy cinema to be clean. But here are a few choice lines from Hud:
Alma (to Hud): Ooh, I smell Chanel Number Five, and I know it ain’t me ‘cuz I can’t afford it. I take it it wasn’t horses you was riding this afternoon.
Alma: The only thing [my ex-husband] was good for was scratching my back where I couldn’t reach.
Hud: You still got that itch.
Hud: Well, let me know when it gets to bothering you.
LET’S DO IT!