MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 10,683 this week

Wise Blood (1979)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  17 February 1980 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,707 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 34 critic

A Southerner--young, poor, ambitious but uneducated--determines to become something in the world. He decides that the best way to do that is to become a preacher and start up his own church.

Director:

(as Jhon Huston)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 18 Oct 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 20 Oct 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 04 May 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Search for "Wise Blood" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Wise Blood (1979)

Wise Blood (1979) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Wise Blood.
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Short Cuts (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The day-to-day lives of a number of suburban Los Angeles residents.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Andie MacDowell, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins
Happiness (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »

Director: Jim Jarmusch
Stars: John Lurie, Eszter Balint, Richard Edson
Withnail & I (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

London 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to leave... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Robinson
Stars: Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths
Slacker (1991)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caffeine
Rushmore (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The king of Rushmore prep school is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Insightful look at an unattractive 7th grader as she struggles to cope with un-attentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister, and her own insecurities.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Heather Matarazzo, Christina Brucato, Victoria Davis
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

One of Luis Bunuel's most free-form and purely Surrealist films, consisting of a series of only vaguely related episodes - most famously, the dinner party scene where people sit on ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Adolfo Celi, Michel Piccoli
Naked (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge
Amarcord (1973)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A series of comedic and nostalgic vignettes set in a 1930s Italian coastal town.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hazel Motes
...
Grandfather (as Jhon Huston)
...
Enoch Emory
...
Asa Hawks
...
Sabbath Lily
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Landlady
...
Hoover Shoates
...
Preacher
J.L. Parker ...
Karl
Marvin Sapp
Richard Earle
Herb Kossover ...
Jacob Wood
Betty Lou Groover
John Tyndall
Gillaaron Houck
Edit

Storyline

US Army war veteran Hazel Motes may not be a believing Christian, somehow observations like the state of a run-down country church, meeting the ridiculous frauds on the streets and memories inspire him to take up, after initially fierce refusal, the part of a traveling preacher when a cab driver insists he looks like one in his new hat. He starts his own new Church of Truth, without the crucified Jesus, his first disciple being an 18-year old simpleton with a 'prophetic gift'... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An American Masterpiece!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Huston's Wise Blood  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

As Hawks touches Hazel's face, in the next shot he's touching Hazel's hat. See more »

Quotes

Hazel: ...the Church of Christ Without Christ. Where the blind can't see, the lame don't walk, and the dead stay that way.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director John Huston is credited in all the titles as "Jhon Huston". Producer Michael Fitzgerald later explained that, wanting to have a child-like look to the credits, they had an actual child write the names. The child misspelled Huston's first name, but they liked it and kept it, as a metaphor for the artificial, off-kilter tone of the story. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Worth Looking Into
27 October 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

This is not an easy movie to get a handle on, so I'm not surprised reviewers either love it or hate it. Now, I've neither read the O'Connor novel nor lived in the South nor read the Bible since Sunday school. As a result, I have to take the movie as just that, a movie, without benefit of outside comparison.

I get the impression that underneath all the black humor and exaggerated characters, something profound is going on. But exactly what? Perhaps you need that outside reference to penetrate the subtext. Then again, perhaps the profound subtext is illusory, like Hazel's view of Christianity, such that the narrative amounts to little more than artfully eccentric entertainment, courtesy sly old John Huston.

The following are what I hope are helpful interpretations, generally not emphasized by other reviewers, many of whose commentaries were, nonetheless, very helpful to me.

Above all, Hazel has come to hate hypocrisy. His motto appears to be: If you own the Truth, then live it. For Hazel, Truth is the illusory nature of Christian metaphysics, (a disavowal that doesn't necessarily equate with atheism), and by golly he's going to live that truth in his own peculiar way. Thus, the hard-eyed obsessive stare, the refusal of commitment sex (Sabbath) but not commercial sex (an over-priced 4 dollars), and the rather heartless rejection of the pathetically friendless Enoch. In short, like his adversary, the true Christian proselytizer, Hazel is a driven man.

The trouble is that he knows only one way of spreading his truth-- by preaching angrily on street corners. Worse, his gospel is one of pure and insistent negatives (perhaps why atheism has never been popular), for example,"when you're dead, you're dead!" -- not exactly a crowd-pleaser. Nor, for that matter, is he going to allow Preacher Sholes (Ned Beatty) to dilute that negative message with a crowd-pleasing brand of hucksterism. Hazel may be strange, but he is no hypocrite.

Now, it's clear that the broken-down jalopy means more to Hazel than just another hunk of iron. He's always praising it, even as it coughs smoke and bleeds fluids. It's his chariot, and while it might not take him to heaven, it will take him to the next town to spread his Word. Note that he even uses it to slay the pathetic pretender who would take his place on the street corner. Moreover, it's not until Hazel loses that chariot (hilariously) that he takes on the role of the martyred prophet. After all, rejection now means he has no other place he can get to.

For me, the most revealing part of the film is Enoch's (Dan Shor) pathetic efforts at establishing contact with another human being. Huston, of course, doesn't play up the sentiment, but it's there anyway. Also, this may constitute the most damaging perspective on the dominant Christian culture of the movie-- even more damaging than Hazel's centerpiece non-belief. After all, if Jesus' message is unconditional love, why is Enoch alone and abandoned in an empty world of nominal Jesus followers. Nor, for that matter, is Hazel's brand of soulless non-belief any help either.

Then too, just count the number of happy smiles in the film-- practically none, except when the kids are reaching out to the fake human, Gongo the gorilla. Poor Enoch thinks that by donning Gongo's costume, people will finally reach out to him. But there's no such contact in this atomized world of social rejects. In fact, a dominant theme appears to be just that, rejection-- Hazel rejects Jesus, Sabbath, his landlady, Enoch, Preacher Sholes, while even the cop rejects Hazel's jalopy, at the same time, the whole seedy community rejects Enoch. Quite a commentary on an environment where Jesus is advertised on every big rock and sold on every street corner as a friend to the friendless.

Now, I don't know if there is any particular moral to the foregoing, but if there is, I suspect it's not a comforting one. Anyway, the movie is full of colorful characters, offbeat situations, and is never, never predictable. So, like the film or not, I expect that it's one you're not likely to forget.


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Would a black person sit through this? Astrid2266
DVD!!! Grozniak
Is this not the greatest cult film ever poetaster
Misspelling of John Huston's name braves_snl
Attempts much - accomplishes little flycal
John Huston Mod1911
Discuss Wise Blood (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?