Wise Blood

Wise Blood

DVD - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
U.S. Army war veteran Hazel Motes may not be a believing Christian, but he somehow makes observations about the state of a run-down country church and understands that there are ridiculous frauds on the streets. When a cab driver insists he looks like a preacher in his new hat, Hazel takes on the part. He starts his own new Church of Truth, without the crucified Jesus. His first disciple is an 18-year old simpleton with a 'prophetic gift.'
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.?] : The Criterion Collection, c2009.
Edition: Widescreen version, special edition
ISBN: 9781604651515
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (106 min.) : sound, color and black and white ; 4 3/4 in.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 13, 2019

Well...it's evident that the incredible mind of Flannery O'Connor is behind this film somewhere.... The "moral" of this film/story seems to be that you never really know anybody, including yourself...and in many ways you are, in the end, what you were brought up to be. --A difficult truism (though try living without accepting it) that is thoroughly Flannery O'Connor...who was brought up to be thoroughly Catholic. It's wonderful.

May 06, 2019

I like oddball movies and religion is a topic that interests me greatly, but I have no idea what to make of this film. The characters are so grotesque that they're emotionally remote from the audience. The dark humor loses its charm after the first half hour and I quickly became bored with it. I do like some of the ideas-- con-artists using religion to scam people, the symbolism of blindness-- but the storytelling itself is lacking.

I don't know. Maybe a revisit some time later will impress me more. I don't hate this, but it's just left me baffled and cold.

Dec 09, 2016

I really want to say this film is great but the blatant racist racism in the crossing the street scene ruins all the rest of what I could like about this film.

Dec 13, 2014

The satirical jabs at southern Christian orthodoxy are painfully obvious throughout especially when a simple-minded disciple is attracted to Hazel’s rants and the nihilistic pastor begins to dabble in some messy mortification of the flesh. Furthermore, a brief aside involving a carnival sideshow rip-off winds up being a gorilla-suited hick highlights our essential gullibility. And everywhere is Huston’s signature critique on the foibles of human vanity which doom all our endeavours to ultimate failure. But the film’s slapdash appearance, narrative dead ends, and overdose of quirky southern eccentrics dull whatever edge the original story may have contained leaving us with a watered down contemporary parable. The cast of seasoned character actors do manage to breathe some life into their clichéd roles but I still found myself losing interest long before the downplayed moral of the story was revealed.

Aug 01, 2014

I saw this film at the Fine Arts in Fairway KS when it came out and I recollect a scene that I can't find on the DVD. Hazel and Enoch go into a cafe and Enoch becomes very familiar with the waitress who is very resentful of his attentions. It's in the novel, too.
This film is a terrific adaption of the novel, although I found the music in the background a little saccharine. I believe there is an adaption of an O'Connor short story that Gene Kelly did for TV in the late 50's she detested. Being she died in 1964 one can only speculate her reaction on this movie. The extra on the DVD of the Fitzgerald brother's interviews is very insightful. 4 stars.

totally boring, Perhaps because I am a non-american, I cannot connect with the plot or with the issues.

Feb 26, 2013

Absolutely an amazing adaptation, and stand alone film. Harry Dean Stanton and Brad Dourif's characters were incredible. So beautiful to look at as well - what a digital transfer job!

Jan 25, 2013

Quite bizarre, with very interesting performances all around. Quite the mixed bag. You can read my full comments here:http://everyjohnhustonmovie.blogspot.ca/2012/11/wise-blood-1979.html

Nov 11, 2012

This is a John Huston adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's novel about deep-seated, fundamentalist religion in the south in the mid-20ieth century. Although the film is well done, O'Connor's ideas no longer seem relevant.

Mar 22, 2010

A bleak representation of post-war America. The film is dark and meditative, with moments of humour to give some balance. If it weren't for the fact that it's a great movie, Brad Dourif's performance alone would make it worth watching. Why he isn't a household name, I'll never know.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Jul 01, 2015

"Nobody with a good car needs to be justified."

Feb 26, 2013

I know'd you wasn't blind!


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top