Wise Blood (film)
Wise Blood is a 1979 drama film directed by John Huston and starring Brad Dourif, Dan Shor, Amy Wright, Harry Dean Stanton, and Ned Beatty. It is based on the 1952 novel Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. As a co-production with Germany the film was titled Der Ketzer or Die Weisheit des Blutes when released in Germany, and Le Malin when released in France.
Original film poster
|Directed by||John Huston|
|Produced by||Kathy Fitzgerald|
|Written by||Benedict Fitzgerald|
|Based on||Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor|
Harry Dean Stanton
|Music by||Alex North|
|Edited by||Roberto Silvi|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
Hazel "Haze" Motes is a 22-year-old veteran of an unspecified war and a preacher of the Church of Truth Without Christ, a religious organization of his own creation, which is against any belief in God, an afterlife, sin, or evil. The protagonist comes across various characters such as teenager Sabbath Lilly Hawks, her grandfather Asa Hawks who is a conventional side-walk preacher; and a local boy, Enoch Emery, who finds a "new" Jesus at the local museum in the form of the tiny corpse of a shrunken South American Indian. Hoover Shoates is a promoter who wants to manage Hazel's career as a prophet while Hazel's landlady falls in love with him.
The director of the film appears in several fantasy sequences as Hazel's grandfather.
- Brad Dourif as Hazel Motes
- John Huston as Grandfather
- Dan Shor as Enoch Emory
- Mary Nell Santacroce as Landlady
- Harry Dean Stanton as Asa Hawks
- Amy Wright as Sabbath Lily Hawks
- Ned Beatty as Hoover Shoates
- William Hickey as Preacher
- J.L. Parker as Karl
- Marvin Sapp as Raymond
- Betty Lou Groover as Leora Watts
The film premiered out of competition at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival in May 1979. The film was amended, in particular, the soundtrack, and was shown at the New York Film Festival in September and then released in France in October. The film was released for an Academy Awards qualifying run for one week at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angeles in December before being released in the rest of the United States in February 1980.
At Cannes, the film received a mixed reception. Following its screening at the New York Film Festival, critic Vincent Canby called the film "one of John Huston's most original, most stunning movies. It is so eccentric, so funny, so surprising, and so haunting that it is difficult to believe it is not the first film of some enfant terrible instead of the thirty-third feature by a man who is now in his seventies and whose career has had more highs and lows than a decade of weather maps." Sam Jordison of The Guardian wrote in a retrospective review; "This adaptation is wonderful. It pulls off the rare trick of seeming faithful to the spirit and voice of the book, while being a work of art in its own right."
- Canby, Vincent (29 September 1979). "Screen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature:The Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- "New Line Sets Oscar Run For 'Wise Blood' After Pickup For U.S.". Variety. November 21, 1979. p. 3.
- "Festival de Cannes: Wise Blood". Cannes Festival website. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- "Wise Blood: A Matter of Life and Death". Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Jordison, Sam (21 December 2012). "Reading group: John Huston's Wise Blood is an unlikely cinematic feat". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Wise Blood, Rotten Tomatoes
- The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. The New York Times via Internet Archive. Published April 29, 2003. Retrieved June 12, 2008.