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Wise Blood (1979)

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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:

John Huston (as Jhon Huston)

Writers:

Flannery O'Connor (novel), Benedict Fitzgerald (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Mary Nell Santacroce ... Landlady
Ned Beatty ... Hoover Shoates
William Hickey ... Preacher
J.L. Parker J.L. Parker ... Karl
Marvin Sapp Marvin Sapp ... Raymond
Richard Earle Richard Earle ... Jakob Winslow
Herb Kossover ... Jacob Wood
Betty Lou Groover Betty Lou Groover ... Leora Watts
John Tyndall John Tyndall ... Loki Martinson
Gillaaron Houck Gillaaron Houck ... Stranger #1
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Huston's Wise Blood See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Anthea Film,Ithaca See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald reports that many of the small roles were played by non-professional locals from the Macon, GA, area, including the prostitute (a real-life prostitute) and the sheriff (the real-life sheriff of Macon).

[source: interview with Benedict Fitzgerald in Criterion DVD special features] See more »

Goofs

Toward the beginning of the movie when Hazel is in the cemetery behind his abandoned home, the headstone of Jerusha Ashfeld Motes spells 'angle' instead of 'angel' ("Gone to become an angle") See more »

Quotes

Hazel: This car is just beginning its life, a lightning bolt couldn't stop 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 City Lights: Episode dated 10 October 1979 (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
wise blood
17 October 2005 | by robertpiserSee all my reviews

Brad Dourif's performance as Hazel Motes is one of the finest I have ever seen. His talent is only matched by the brilliant direction of John Huston and the writing of Flannery O'Connor. Also Harry Dean Stanton and Amy Write are perfect together as the Father, Daughter team. It is sad, really, that films of this caliber aren't being produced anymore. Excellent acting. excellent writing. excellent direction. excellent soundtrack, and art direction. I applaud John Huston and the producers for doing the right thing here, and making a film that captured the feelings and the soul of a writer, O'Conner, and didn't give into basic, commercial self - interest.There was a time when FILMS meant something to people. We don't need another "Chucky get's Lucky" film; what we need are compelling films for people like Brad Dourif and the like minded talent in his company to have a chance to work in.


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