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Hud (1963) Filming Locations
This magnificently-crafted modern Western, features Paul Newman as Hud, the titular character whose callous behavior stands in stark contrast to the heroes of traditional Westerns. The film was built around characters from the Larry McMurtry novel, Horseman, Pass By, and like the novel, it explores the changing interpretation of what "The West" means in modern America.
The 1963 film was nominated for seven Oscars®, and won three, at the 36th Academy Awards® ceremony in 1964, yet Hud wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, possibly due to some of its controversial subject matter. Hud is one of those films that seems to be better-remembered than the Oscar® winner for Best Picture of the corresponding year, and it is a film that is still well worth watching.
Hud was filmed in and around tiny Claude, Texas (pop. 1,196).
If you have any tips on locations that I missed, please contact me on the Grahm's Guide Facebook page.
SPOILER ALERT: The descriptions below may include plot points of the film. If you haven't seen the movie, you can rent or buy Hud on Amazon.
While searching online for Hud filming locations, I had the good fortune to stumble upon a online photo album with detailed information for the film's locations. A gentleman named Jason McDaniel has images that map out precise locations where several scenes from the movie took place. Jason has graciously allowed me to link to this information, and I am grateful for his assistance. Thank you, Jason!
Driving Into Town
As the opening credits roll, a pickup truck is shown passing Cavins Lumber, crossing some railroad tracks and arriving downtown in (fictional) Vernal, Texas.
The truck is actually headed from north to south along Trice Street, Claude, TX 79019, and many of the downtown buildings appear much the same today as they did on film, including the Gem Theatre.
Reference: Knowing that Claude is one of the primary filming locations, it was easy to locate railroad tracks that pass through town.
Good Morning, Vernal
A pickup truck stops in downtown Vernal, and young cowboy "Lonnie Bannon" (Brandon De Wilde), steps out, on a quest to find his uncle, "Hud." As he listens to a transistor radio, we hear that the time is “twenty six after six.”
The downtown area seen on-screen is centered around 103 Trice St, Claude, TX 79019, which is seen as “Claude’s Cafe."
Reference: Jason McDaniel has a terrific reference that shows modern-day Trice Street and matches the buildings to the shops seen on-screen in Hud.
The Six AM House
Based on a tip, “Lonnie” heads to a local house, where he finds that “Hud” has spent the night with a lady. “Joe Scanlon” (George Petrie), the woman’s husband returns home, surprised to find two men on his front lawn, and asks, “Which one of you two’s coming out of my house at six o’clock in the morning?”
The house was located on the southwest corner of Hoffer Street and 7th Street, Claude, TX 79019, however it has since been demolished.
Reference: Jason McDaniel has the details for identifying the location of the house, which he appropriately billed as the "Six AM House."
As Hud races out of town on a dirt road, the family housekeeper, “Alma Brown” (Patricia Neal), waves him down. Ranch hand “Jesse” (Crahan Denton) is fixing a flat tire on the pickup, and Alma needs a lift back to the Bannon ranch.
The pickup truck was parked on the opposite side of the train tracks seen at the beginning of the film, on Trice Street, Claude, TX 79019, next to the former Cavins Lumber. The railroad depot seen on-screen has since been demolished.
Reference: Personally located, based on other Hud locations in Claude.
Later in the film, one person is sitting at the local bus station, as another comes out of the office of "J.A. Taylor, Attorney at Law."
The bus stop location is at the intersection of First Street at Goodnight Street, Claude, TX 79019. The J.A. Taylor office is in the low building to the left of the bus stop building.
Reference: Jason McDaniel's excellent reference photos show the bus stop location
The Portal to Texas History, hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries, features a wealth of historical documents, including newspapers. One of those papers is the Claude News from Thursday, May 17, 1962, when the cast and crew of Hud were beginning production on the film. As you read the front page of the issue, it's not difficult to imagine the excitement in that tiny town as the news spread that stars such as Melvyn Douglas, Paul Newman and Patricia Neal were coming to film a movie.