One of the great ones

Quite fittingly, there have been plenty of tributes to Patricia Nealfollowing her death earlier this week. Despite some of herconservative political views, it was difficult (at least for me) not to admire her tenacity and style in the face of a remarkably difficult life.

She didn’t make nearly enough films but was responsible for more than her share of completely unforgettable moments on screen.

The movie was marketed and is probably best remembered as a Paul Newman vehicle, but the second Patricia Neal starts talking inHud your attention shifts and the narrative reassembles itself around her so that you see everyone in the story through her eyes. Her screen presence is so striking you wonder why you haven’t heard more about her.

Like they say in the movies, she was quite a dame.

I don’t even know how many times I’ve posted aboutA Face in the Crowd, but I’ll probably continue to obnoxiously encourage anyone who hasn’t done so to watch it, preferably immediately, because it becomes more relevant every day. Neal’s performance is brilliant, electrifying really. Also heartbreaking.


5 thoughts on “One of the great ones

  1. A lot of people forget that she was also Howard Roark’s groupie, Dominique Francon, in King Vidor’s unintentionally hilarious “The Fountainhead.”
    I still get uncontrollable giggles every time I see the jackhammer scene in that movie, but, there’s no doubting that Neal plays it straight, and with one of the most expressive faces around. And she was only 22 at the time of filming, IIRC.

  2. Also montag, let us not forget The Day the Earth Stood Still : “Klaatu barada nikto”

  3. Her performance is Hud really was one for the ages. The scenes with Newman snap, crackle and pop with contempt and sexual tension. It’s a great film.

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