Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman in "Hud"

Newman's co-stars remember him in the Los Angeles Times. And Manohla Dargis in the NY Times:

A lot of reviewers clucked about Hud and Mr. Newman’s grasping bad-boy ways (the word they used then was materialism), but the camera loves this cowboy Lothario so much — or, rather, the actor playing him — that his father’s high-and-mighty ways don’t stand a chance. Nobody else much does, either: when Hud hits on the family housekeeper (a smoky-voiced, smoking Patricia Neal), he sinks back in her bed and, with his nose deep in a daisy, asks with a leer, “What else you good at?” Rarely has the act of smelling a flower seemed as delectably dirty. It’s no wonder that Pauline Kael, who refused to buy just about anything else this movie was selling, gave Mr. Newman his due.

There are some men, Kael wrote, who “project such a traditional heroic frankness and sweetness that the audience dotes on them, seeks to protect them from harm or pain.” Mr. Newman did that for Kael, enough so that she was inspired to write about her own past and the California town that she “and so many of my friends came out of” — and, here, I think she means girlfriends — “escaping from the swaggering small-town hotshots like Hud.”

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