Hud (1963)

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Hud is a 1963 Western film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas and Patricia Neal. It was produced by Ritt and Newman's recently founded company, Salem Productions, and was their first film for Paramount Pictures. Hud was filmed on location on the Texas Panhandle and in Claude, Texas. Its screenplay was by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. and was based on Larry McMurtry's 1961 novel, Horseman, Pass By. The film's title character, Hud Bannon, was a minor character in the original screenplay but was reworked as the lead role. With its main character an antihero, Hud was later described as a revisionist Western.

The film centers on the ongoing conflict between principled patriarch Homer Bannon and his unscrupulous and arrogant son, Hud, during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease putting the family's cattle ranch at risk. Lonnie, Homer's grandson and Hud's nephew, is caught in the conflict and forced to choose which character to follow.

Hud premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, and was a critical and commercial success at its general release. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning three; Patricia Neal won Best Actress, Melvyn Douglas won Best Supporting Actor and James Wong Howe the Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematography. Howe's use of contrast to create space and his selection of black-and-white was favored by critics. In later reviews, the film received additional praise.

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