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A Walk with Love and Death is a 1969 DeLuxe Color romantic drama film directed by John Huston and starring Anjelica Huston, Assi Dayan, Anthony Higgins, and John Huston.

A Walk with Love and Death
Walk with Love and Death poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byJohn Huston
Produced byCarter DeHaven
Screenplay byDale Wasserman
Based onA Walk with Love and Death
1961 novel
by Hans Koningsberger
StarringAnjelica Huston
Assi Dayan
Anthony Higgins
John Huston
Music byGeorges Delerue
CinematographyEdward Scaife
Edited byRussell Lloyd
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 1969 (1969)
Running time
90 min.
CountryUnited States


Plot and contextEdit

The story is based on the 1961 novel by Hans Koningsberger, set at the time of the 1358 uprising of the peasants of northern France known as the Jacquerie. Heron of Fois (Assi Dayan), a student from Paris, crosses territory devastated by the upheaval and the ferocious reprisals of the nobility. He meets with Claudia (Anjelica Huston), the aristocratic daughter of a royal official killed by the peasants, and they attempt to reach Calais. In the novel Heron's intended final destination is Oxford University while in the film "the sea" less specifically comes to represent an abstract freedom. While differing in their views of the Jacquerie—Heron sympathises with the exploited peasantry while Claudia sees their rising as mindless savagery—the young couple become lovers. In the end they fail to escape the chaotic violence around them but await death "strangely happy - we had stopped running from them and we had our hour".

Some contemporary reviewers considered that the film held up the past as a mirror of the events of 1968, when it was made. Comparisons were variously made with the Vietnam War or the Paris rioting of May/June that year, which required filming to be relocated to Austria and Italy. However a recent and detailed analysis of both novel and film by the essayist Peter G. Christensen concludes that the story is literally a period one, intended to evoke the turbulence of its 14th century setting, rather than illustrating cultural or generational issues of the late 1960s.[2]

The film marked the screen debut of Huston's daughter Anjelica Huston.[3] It also marked the screen debut of Israeli actor Assi Dayan, son of Moshe Dayan.[4] John Huston himself plays the role of a noble who defects to the rebels.

The film was not a box-office success,[4] although John Huston noted in his autobiography, An Open Book (1980), that it was highly praised in France, where there was a greater understanding of the historical context.



Anjelica Huston had been in the running to play Juliet in director Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but John Huston withdrew her from consideration when he decided to cast her as Claudia in A Walk With Love and Death. Huston felt that she was wrong for the role, and has commented on the experience that her father "miscast me first time out and I think he realized that. I was ready to act, but I wasn’t ready to act for him....I was difficult, I didn't want to act with no makeup, although I'd have done it for Franco."[5] Father and daughter had a fractious relationship on set, with the young Anjelica having difficulty learning her lines and focusing, while her father grew more impatient and angry at directing her. [6]

Box OfficeEdit

According to Fox records the film required $3,900,000 in rentals to break even and by 11 December 1970 had made $825,000 so made a loss to the studio.[7]


The musical score was the work of the French composer Georges Delerue. It incorporated medieval folk music themes, making extensive use of lute, harpsichord and recorders.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p256
  2. ^ Peter G. Christensen. John Huston. Essays on a Restless Director. pp. 160–172. ISBN 978-0-7864-5853-0.
  3. ^ A Walk with Love and Death at Allmovie
  4. ^ a b [ Long night's journey into day, Uri Klein, Haaretz
  5. ^ Susan King (2019-05-17). "Anjelica Huston's magical movie life, from 'Prizzi's Honor' to 'John Wick'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  6. ^ Anjelica Huston (2013). A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York. Scribner. p. 178.
  7. ^ Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 328.

External linksEdit