Sunday, July 26, 2015
SPOILER ALERT! The plot will be discussed.
Hud's rebelliousness against rules involving sex, drinking, and the treatment of others is attractive to his nephew.
scorns his son, especially after Hud wants to sell off the herd before it
becomes known that they are suffering from hoof and mouth disease. Douglas has two long-horned steer that he
raised, and which are becoming extinct, much like Douglas'
code of ethical behavior. When we see Hud's bedroom, he has steer horns over
his bed, emphasizing that his type of person is responsible for the death of an
old morality. We see Hud give his car keys to his nephew to drive to town after
Douglas gives him a nasty stare. We later
learn that de Wilde's dad died in a car accident when Hud was drinking and
does not want to shelter his nephew. He
tells him he deserves to go out with women and sow his oats. But, Hud is still dispersing those wild seeds
into his thirties, and doesn't care where he plants them.
Patricia Neal (another Oscar winner for this film) plays the housekeeper, who has had a negative past with a man. But, she too, is attracted to Hud's sexuality, flirting with him, but backing off when he is too forward, fearing a repeat of past experiences. The way Neal and de Wilde devour food symbolically shows the effect Hud has on their appetites. On the other hand, the housekeeper's nurturing ways make an impression on the nephew, who sees her as a good person, and leads him to respect women in a way his uncle does not. When in a drunken rage Hud tries to rape Neal, it is de Wilde who comes to the rescue. Although it is Newman who withdraws from beating his nephew, pulling back on his own drives.
Ritt depicts Hud on the outside of circles of people, emphasizing his anti-social ways. He is the winner in the pig catching contest (it takes one to know one), stealing one animal off of a fellow contestant. He wants to shoot the buzzards that are close to the cattle that are to be examined for disease.
him that the birds are necessary in the life cycle, but Hud has only contempt
for that circle of life. Hud wants to
forget about raising animals, which along with the ranch, represent the life
process. Instead, he wants to make money drilling holes for oil, grave robbing
the earth for profit. Hud’s plan is a blasphemy to his father. When they have to kill the herd,
including the father’s beloved two steer, and bury them, it is Douglas' way of life that also has died. He tells Hud he always despised him because
he just didn't give a damn about anything and had no control over his selfish appetites.
When the father is thrown from a horse and physically dies, it is after he was