Combustible Celluloid
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With: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal, Brandon De Wilde, Whit Bissell, Crahan Denton, John Ashley, Val Avery, George Petrie, Curt Conway, Sheldon Allman, Pitt Herbert, Carl Low, Robert Hinkle, Don Kennedy, Sharyn Hillyer, Yvette Vickers
Written by: Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank Jr., based on a novel by Larry McMurtry
Directed by: Martin Ritt
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 112
Date: 05/28/1963

Hud (1963)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Cow Boys

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This highly acclaimed and popular film features Paul Newman as a hellraising Texas cattleman who is constantly butting heads with his grumpy old man (Melvyn Douglas, who won an Oscar for this role). His nephew (Brandon DeWilde) looks up to him and his housekeeper (Patricia Neal, who also Oscared) puts up with him, grinning knowingly at his childish antics. James Wong Howe won the film's third Oscar for his beautiful widescreen, black-and-white, wide-open-spaces cinematography, but director Martin Ritt (who was nominated) keeps things a bit too serious and self-important -- the film's high point is a brutal scene in which a herd of sick cattle must be slaughtered. After this and The Hustler, Newman was convinced that a third "H" film would guarantee him another hit. The film he ended up with, Harper, flopped.

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