7.2/10
3,780
48 user 42 critic

Wise Blood (1979)

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The last 24 hours in the life of Geoffrey Firmin, a lonely, depressed English consul who retreats to alcohol for solace.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews
Fat City (1972)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
Phobia (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A psychiatrist involved in a radical new therapy comes under suspicion when his patients are murdered, each according to their individual phobias.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Michael Glaser, Susan Hogan, John Colicos
The Dead (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Gabriel Conroy and wife Greta attend an early January dinner with friends at the home of his spinster aunts, an evening which results in an epiphany for both of them.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In a story set during the Hundred Years War, a student who has abandoned his studies in Paris, pairs with a young noblewoman with whom he has fallen in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Assi Dayan, Anthony Higgins
Adventure | Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jennifer Jones, John Garfield, Pedro Armendáriz
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bizarre tale of sex, betrayal, and perversion at a military post.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Brian Keith
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A defrocked Episcopal clergyman leads a bus-load of middle-aged Baptist women on a tour of the Mexican coast and comes to terms with the failure haunting his life.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Arizona cop is sent to Switzerland to bring in the girlfriend of a dangerous mobster so she can testify against him. The mobster sends someone too - assassins.

Directors: Stuart Rosenberg, John Huston
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Rod Steiger
Certificate: M Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Cold War a Naval Intelligence officer endowed with a powerful photographic memory is transferred to the CIA to participate in a covert operation in Moscow.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Richard Boone, Nigel Green
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hazel Motes
...
Grandfather (as John Huston)
...
Enoch Emory
...
Asa Hawks
...
Sabbath Lily
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Landlady
...
Hoover Shoates
...
Preacher
J.L. Parker ...
Karl
Marvin Sapp ...
Raymond
Richard Earle ...
Jakob Winslow
...
Jacob Wood
Betty Lou Groover ...
Leora Watts
John Tyndall ...
Loki Martinson
Gillaaron Houck ...
Stranger #1
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:

Jhon 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?

Trivia

Reportedly, the size of the production crew for this picture totaled to only around twenty-five people. See more »

Goofs

At one point Hazel Motes' car dies as he is driving on a 2-lane rural road. He happens to stop next to a religious inscription painted on a rock. He is stopped for some time. A truck driver behind him asks why he is blocking road. We see there is a long line of cars backed up behind him. Although his car had stalled and stopped, he now starts it up without any problem, makes a U-turn and drives away. See more »

Quotes

Landlady: [on discovering Hazel mortifying his flesh] People quit doing things like that.
Hazel: People still doing it so long as I'm doing it.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Observations Under the Volcano (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Simple Gifts
(uncredited)
Shaker hymn written & composed by Joseph Brackett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Son of a preacher man.
23 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

John Huston used to describe the story as that of a young man who was disappointed by Jesus.

This is one of his least accessible works,not for the mainstream,and we can put it near "reflections in a golden eye" (1967),"under the volcano" (1984) and his final apotheosis "the dead" (1987)

"Wise blood" is a the story of a long suicide.It's a hell of a thing to tell the world "I believe in nothing" .the main character is so weird,so irrational,so unconventional that only an outstanding thespian could play him:that's what Brad Dourif does ,and his performance is remarkable:in the last third of the movie,he has almost nothing to say,and he must express everything with his face and his spellbinding eyes.In this last third,the only thing to do for the character is to nullify his life.

John Huston briefly appears as his father,the preacher man,but these flashbacks last hardly three minutes.

"Wise blood" is hustonian to the core.Vanity of vanities,all is vanity,all that man will try is bound to fail:it's everywhere in every milestone of Huston's career,from "the asphalt jungle" to "treasure of the sierra madre" and from " the misfits" to "the man who would be king" But here the hero does not even try :praying Jesus or denying him does not mean more to him than shaking the hand of a gorilla.And making money with his church without a savior does not even come to his mind.Around him,everybody needs something to lean on,be it a grotesque ape,a mummy or simply a man (see the landlady).

In 1979,Huston was more "modern" than the most daring young director.


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?