Review: ‘Wise Blood’

John Huston, with uncluttered direction and expert handling of actors, has fashioned a disturbing tale of the fringe side of overzealous religious preachers in the deep South.

John Huston, with uncluttered direction and expert handling of actors, has fashioned a disturbing tale of the fringe side of overzealous religious preachers in the deep South.

Taken from a short novel by Flannery O’Connor, film is grim and Gothic in feeling, but balanced by an underlying tenderness for these fringe people.

Brad Dourif is effective as a young man home from the wars, probably World War II. He visits his now boarded-up house in the country and then doffs his uniform to buy clothes making him look like a preacher.

He goes to a city where he is attracted by a blind preacher with a teenage daughter who gives him lubricious looks. Flashbacks reveal Dourif as the grandson of a fire and brimstone preacher, played by Huston himself.

Wise Blood

US - W. Germany

Production

Ithaca/Anthea. Director John Huston; Producer Michael Fitzgerald, Kathy Fitzgerald; Screenplay Benedict Fitzgerald, Michael Fitzgerald; Camera Gerry Fisher; Editor Roberto Silvi; Music Alex North

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Brad Dourif Ned Beatty Harry Dean Stanton Dan Shor Amy Wright John Huston
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