Hud

I found that I had another legal document to sign. I looked at the next exam I was going to give, and I found that I was already getting questions about the fall semester. I had to buy some food. The best thing that I bought was the mango slices. I went home to take a shower and do my laundry. I had two weeks’ worth of dirty socks. One person asked me what the A’s Opening Night was like. I finished my work feeling tired. I got back home to watch “Hud.” It was a classic that felt like it was related to “The Last Picture Show.” My favorite scene, in fact, was the brief bit in the movie theatre, where the people in town paid 65 cents for a ticket. Before the show, the audience would follow the bouncing ball on the screen and sing along to songs like “Clementine.” The song always makes me think of Tom Lehrer. Audiences don’t do things together these days. They live apart from each other through cell phones. Paul Newman was still young enough to play a young man, a rebellious type who fought with his father until the bitter end. There are mysterious little bits of information that go unexplained. I thought Newman was great in this movie, although I’ll remember him for “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke,” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” too. Patricia Neal was never in a better movie that I can recall. I couldn’t quite accept her accent, though. I felt that she couldn’t have come from Texas. In this town, a scoop of peach ice cream is a real treat. I thought about how as a child, it really would have been the case. Hud’s father seemed to enjoy sweets. I thought the Melvyn Douglas was excellent in this movie. There was a moment at the end where he expresses anger in his defeat that was very moving. He was an old man in this movie, so in “Being There” he was an extremely old man. I wonder what drove him to be in movies all those years. The story revolves around the cattle and whether or not they have a disease. It’s almost like seeing if your pet is ill. The sight of the government men in their raincoats was frightening. It had implications of Nazis and concentration camps. I remembered that Bill Cosby used to do a routine based on a scene in this movie. There was the suggestion that Mexican cattle infected the Texan cattle. I thought that was almost funny and wondered if there was some kind of racial connotation there. Lonnie, who was Hud’s nephew, wants to listen to his country music, but the adults hate it. They don’t take pleasure in things like music. I wouldn’t have minded hearing a Hank Williams song in this atmosphere. There’s a scene where Alma gives him some lemonade. Lonnie also eats a big burger at one point. Food, drink, alcohol, and women are focal points in this Texas landscape. Some people smoked too much. As in “The Last Picture Show,” people want to leave a place like this. The rest of the world changes, and the old people become relics. Some of the most impressive work in the movie was the cinematography by James Wong Howe. He seemed to have a concept of the sky and the clouds, and some of the shots of Lonnie were interesting. It’s hard to forget this movie, with life and death, the isolation, and the sadness of having to part ways. The director was Martin Ritt. I watched some of “The New Centurions” on television. Stacy Keach was so young and so different from what he was in “Nebraska.” I noticed in one scene the music was Bread’s “Make It with You.” George C. Scott could go from telling an anecdote over the phone to being suicidal in a moment. I thought he was a great actor. He commented on Paul Newman’s work in “The Hustler” and “Hud.” I guess an actor can stink in one picture and be fantastic in another, according to people like Scott. I remember reading the book of “The New Centurions” when I was a kid, and I thought it was compelling. I wasn’t so impressed with the camera work in this one. Watching these movies back to back made me realize how good James Wong Howe was. Erik Estrada was in the last scene. I didn’t notice that before. He was a very young man and nothing like what we saw in his television show. I thought the last scene was rather flat dramatically. It seemed that it was impossible to have a decent personal life when you were a police officer. Jane Alexander was the wife. I had the feeling that her speech reflected someone’s real life. Isabel Sanford was also in the cast. The next movie was “Tony Rome.” The opening shows Frank Sinatra drinking a Budweiser, with Nancy singing the theme song. I thought that Sinatra seemed like he was in the wrong decade. Jill St. John and Sue Lyon were two of the stars in the picture. Sinatra reminded me that I liked him more in the days of “Pal Joey.” Jill St. John looked like she belonged in this setting, where she looked out of place in the F. Scott Fitzgerald story. Simon Oakland was in “Psycho” and “West Side Story.” I would not put him in the upper class of actors after his explanation of Norman Bates’ behavior. Sinatra’s face didn’t show too much age. According to my movie guide, “Tony Rome” showed the new amorality and fashionable violence for 1967. I thought that Sinatra was too much of a fat cat to be able to run after anyone. How would he do in real life in a fistfight with a younger man? “Anna and the King of Siam” was the next movie, but I didn’t want to stay up to watch it. “The King and I” was always enough for me. Some of the people who died on April 16 include Fay Bainter (1968), Edna Ferber (1968), Yasunari Kawabata (1972), David Lean (1991), Ralph Ellison (1994), Michael Ritchie (2001), and Robert Urich (2002). Today is a birthday for Jon Cryer (50), Ellen Barkin (61), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (68), and Bobby Vinton. According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 16, Buddy Holly’s first single, “Blue Days, Black Nights,” was released in 1956. In 1964, the Rolling Stones released their first album in the UK. In 1977, David Soul’s “Don’t Give Up on Us” reached Number One on the singles chart. In 2002, Robert Urich died of synovial cell sarcoma in Thousand Oaks, California at the age of 55.

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