John Huston's Wise Blood

John Huston's Wise Blood

DVD - 2009
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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
1604651512
Branch Call Number: DVD MOVIE COMEDY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (106 min.) : sound, color and black and white ; 4 3/4 in.

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a
amoby
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.

z
zal1
Aug 10, 2015

For something that is in the library's storage Collection, I was expecting a "classic." I was quite disappointed to see a so-so treatment of Religion America and adds up to the cliche perspective of Hollywood of the subject. I came to know of this films since it was featured among the 10 films under the special feature of Sight and Sound magazine in one of their editions on the subject of "Southern Gothic."

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

John Huston’s adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s novel tries to say something about the capriciousness of faith and man’s unerring ability to shoot himself in the foot but winds up flat on its face instead. Young veteran Hazel Motes returns to his dusty Georgia roots only to discover most of the townsfolk have either died off or moved on. An intense, slightly unhinged creature who “don’t believe in nothin’ “, Hazel takes his cue and moves to the big city where he decides to exorcise the memories of his late grandfather, a fiery evangelist, by forming his own sect, The Church of Truth Without Christ, which denies both redemption and salvation and touts the idea of a wholly human and impotent Jesus. Preaching his secular gospel from the hood of a cheap used car, Hazel’s nightly tirades attract the unwelcome attention of a few fellow street ministers with their own schtick to sell (one pretends to be blind, the other doles out salvation while strumming a guitar) and before you can yell out “Praise the Lord” the struggle for a congregation is underway. 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 (Gorgo, the “Monarch of the Jungle” 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.

p
Purcell
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.

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a
amoby
Jul 01, 2015

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

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