In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, John Huston brings to life a world of vivid, poetic American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham. Populated with inspired performances that seem to spring right from O’Connor’s pages, Huston’s Wise Blood is an incisive portrait of spirituality and evangelicalism, as well as a faithful, loving evocation of one writer’s vision. —The Criterion Collection
Adventure in many forms is the theme of many of John Huston’s films. His characters are constantly searching for “the stuff that dreams are made of” (the famous closing-line of his debut film The Maltese Falcon). Huston glorified this chase despite its frequent disillusionment and false promise, since it represented a flight from the complacent virtues of ordinary life. Like Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Conrad, Huston regarded civilization as a false surface which thinly veiled a hostile nature. Only those who lived at the edge, on the margins of society were regarded by Huston as fellow travellers. In films as diverse as The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle and Under the Volcano, Huston celebrated men who circled the abyss; characters who are driven to plunge head first into the void.
The son of the great theatre and film actor Walter Huston (who would win an Oscar under his son’s direction for his role in The Treasure of Sierra Madre) and crime journalist Rhea Gore… read more
As I read Wise Blood, I kept thinking what a great film it would make. Then I found out Huston filmed an adaptation 30 years ago, and Criterion was bringing it back to life. Having seen it, I’m vastly… read review
I was recently drawn to a British film, Mike Leigh’s ‘Naked’ (1993) after reading the briefest of plot summaries and seeing a single film still. That night, I had a dream about that movie and conjured… read review
This film was the skeleton of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood. It never successfully realized her message of spiritual redemption through destruction. It lacked Flannery’s poetry, but nevertheless… read review