IMDb > Wise Blood (1979)
Wise Blood
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Wise Blood (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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Wise Blood -- Trailer for this film based on the Flannery O'Connor novel

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   2,703 votes »
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Down 41% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Flannery O'Connor (novel)
Benedict Fitzgerald (screenplay) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for Wise Blood on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 February 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
An American Masterpiece!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Worth Looking Into See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Brad Dourif ... Hazel Motes

John Huston ... Grandfather (as Jhon Huston)

Dan Shor ... Enoch Emory

Harry Dean Stanton ... Asa Hawks

Amy Wright ... Sabbath Lily
Mary Nell Santacroce ... Landlady

Ned Beatty ... Hoover Shoates

William Hickey ... Preacher
J.L. Parker ... Karl
Marvin Sapp
Richard Earle
Herb Kossover ... Jacob Wood
Betty Lou Groover
John Tyndall
Gillaaron Houck
Philip Mixer
Sharon Johnson
Joe Dorsey
Stratton Leopold ... Depressed Human
Leonard Holmes
Daniel Albright
Tommy Alson
Harold Horne
Jim Barbee
Gene Howard
Raymond Foskey
Vicky Dyer
Jerry Rushing
Ken Flower
Gladys Hill
Ray Wilkes ... Slade Bob Jackson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Albright ... Policeman (as Daniel Albright)

Allan A. Apone ... Gonga The Gorilla (uncredited)
Don Chambers ... Street Listener (uncredited)

William Finley ... Man (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Huston  (as Jhon Huston)
 
Writing credits
Flannery O'Connor (novel)

Benedict Fitzgerald (screenplay) &
Michael Fitzgerald (screenplay)

Produced by
Hans Brockmann .... associate producer
Kathy Fitzgerald .... producer
Michael Fitzgerald .... producer
Wolfgang Limmer .... co-producer
 
Original Music by
Alex North 
 
Cinematography by
Gerry Fisher 
 
Film Editing by
Roberto Silvi 
 
Casting by
Stratton Leopold 
 
Set Decoration by
Sally Fitzgerald 
 
Costume Design by
Sally Fitzgerald 
 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist (as Al Apone)
 
Production Management
Stratton Leopold .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gene Anderson Jr. .... second assistant director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
Tony Huston .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Tom Shaw Jr. .... property master
 
Sound Department
Colin Charles .... sound recordist
Michael Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Gary Weir .... boom operator
Elliot Tyson .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Bob Bremner .... gaffer
Bernard Ford .... camera operator (as Benny Ford)
J.L. Parker .... generator operator
Mike Rutter .... first assistant camera (as Michael Rutter)
Jimmy Waters .... key grip
Denny Mooradian .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Uta Freiwald .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Cesare D'Amico .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Michael Fronik .... music editor
Alex North .... music adaptor
Bob Badami .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Curt Sobel .... music editor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Marlowe Thompson .... transportation
 
Other crew
Angela Allen .... script supervisor
Dennis McCarthy .... assistant: Alex North
Barbara McKenzie .... title stills
Jim McCarthy .... post-production accountant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"John Huston's Wise Blood" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Company:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Continuity: Position of blanket around Hazel changes as he opens the door to his room.See more »
Quotes:
Old man storekeeper:Was ya' wounded, Haze?
Hazel:Yes, I was.
Old man storekeeper:How come you wasn't wearin' no Purple Heart?
Hazel:Well, I got one, but I didn't want people to know *where*... I was wounded.
See more »

FAQ

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Worth Looking Into, 27 October 2008
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

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.

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