It struck me earlier today that Kenneth Lonergan‘s Manchester By The Sea is similar to Martin Ritt‘s Hud in that the lead protagonist doesn’t find salvation or redemption at the finale — no healing and certainly no parting of the clouds. What other films have a main protagonist who can’t find a way out of the pit or doesn’t care to find one, who finally says “aahh, the hell with it…I am who I am”?
From Hud Wikipage: “Paramount executives were unhappy with the film. They felt it was too dark; they were displeased by James Wong Howe‘s black-and-white cinematography and Hud’s lack of remorse and unchanged behavior at the finale.
“After Hud was previewed, Paramount considered dropping the project, feeling that it was not ‘commercial enough.’ But director Martin Ritt flew to New York and convinced the executives to release the film unmodified.
“Hud was acclaimed during its premiere at the 24th Venice International Film Festival. After opening on 5.29.63 it grossed $10 million, earning $5 million in theatrical rentals against a budget of $2.35 million.
“Although the Hud character was conceived as an outwardly charming but morally repugnant, audiences, especially young people, found him likable, even admirable.
“‘We thought [the] last thing people would do was accept Hud as a heroic character,’ Newman said. ‘His amorality just went over [the audience’s] head — all they saw was this western, heroic individual.'” Wells to Newman: No — they liked his irreverence, his rogue swagger and fuck-all attitude about old conservative traditions.