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John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988)

Biography of risk-taker and raconteur John Huston from his childhood to become one of the most highly respected filmmakers in the world.



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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Host
Marietta Tree ...
Michael Fitzgerald ...
Tom Shaw ...
Himself (as Ossie Morris)
Herself (as Zoë Sallis)
Lord Hemphill ...
Lady Hemphill ...


Documentary film tracing the colorful career of writer-director-actor John Huston, from his youth through early days as a soldier, writer, and director to his masterful achievements as one of Hollywood's great filmmakers. In addition to his films, his relationships with his father, actor Walter Huston, great friend Humphrey Bogart, and his children are explored. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Release Date:

1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Huston  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This can be found on the 2003 DVD release of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). See more »


When discussing "Key Largo", the narrator incorrectly states that "Key Largo" received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. In fact, it only received one nomination, in the Supporting Actress category. See more »


John Huston: [Last lines as he asks person filming him to leave] Go away. Leave me alone.
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References We Were Strangers (1949) See more »


That's Life
Written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon
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User Reviews

Not 100% complete, but among the better films about a particular director
2 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

John Huston was a very strange man--sort of like Ernest Hemingway (for good and bad) but with more of a commercial bent. He was an enigma, as he was supremely talented yet in addition to making many brilliant films (such as "The Maltese Falcon" and "The African Queen") he also made some films that were total crap ("Myra Breckinridge" comes quickly to mind). A terrific writer, director and decent actor, he was also a terrible husband and family man. He was also an amazing eccentric, owning monkeys and walking to his own drummer.

This film is a lengthy tribute about the man and his films--with a slightly emphasis on the man. Filled with clips of his films, interviews with family and movie stars from the late 1980s as well as a few clips of Huston later in his life. Unfortunately, the really interesting interviews were often missing--and you can't blame the film makers for not having a time machine to get them! But it would have been wonderful had there been some way to have interviews with Humphrey Bogart (one of his closest friends), ALL his many wives and John Wayne (who, unlike the rest, apparently hated the man and once decked Huston during one film shoot because of how Huston was treating the actors). Plus, a few people were alive but either were unwilling or unavailable for the film--such as Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando and many others. I am sure they tried, however, to get them but couldn't.

So how is the film overall? Well, it's excellent in many ways. Foremost, I loved that it was 129 minutes--too many film tributes on famous directors are just too short and cram too much into an hour or hour and a half. Also, while it was NOT exactly a 'warts and all' treatment of his life, it did discuss some of his MANY shortcomings--such as his wives, his time away from his kids, his ling and his drinking. BUT, it also felt a bit sanitized as well. How could the film fail to mention some of his most god-awful films--again, "Myra Breckinridge" comes to mind. Also, Huston was famous (at least earlier in his career) for mistreating his actors--yet the film talks about what a great guy he was--with Paul Newman saying how much he liked actors. I think the truth about the man is that while you probably would NOT want to have had him as a father or husband, he was an amazingly complex and talented man--one you CANNOT forget because of his oddness, his immense skills and his contributions to films.

Myra Breckinridge John Wayne--decked him

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