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
The name of the essay about the film included in the Criterion Collection's DVD booklet is "A Matter of Life and Death" by writer Francine Prose. See more »
Though the narrative never states what war Hazel is returning from, the synopses for the film usually say WWII. However, all of the contemporary car and truck models that appear are from the early 70's, which would mark the film as post-Vietnam. See more »
'Twas like where you're from weren't never there. Where you're going doesn't matter. And where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it!
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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 »
Vignette styled look at southern towns, corruption, hypocrisy, and the hidden 'evils' of evangelism. Has a atmosphere that is so thick you can almost taste it.
Dourif's performance is so good, so solid, and so powerful that it literally propels you through the story no matter which avenue it takes (and it does take some strange avenues). His performance should have won him the Academy award and shows just how poorly used he has been. This is for all those who think Chucky in CHILD'S PLAY is the best thing he has done.
Although never completely satisfying, the final 20 minutes do have some rather 'odd' twists that may stay with you even after it's long over.
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