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The Legendary John Huston

January 18, 2013

John Huston was a larger than life figure in America cinema, yet there is surprisingly very little about his life and work in documentary or biographical form. I’m not sure why this is, but it is a tragedy. His talents and achievements in cinema are profound. Not only was he a director of over 40 pictures, he was also a successful screenwriter and actor, all of which he could have pursued as a career in itself.  His directorial debut was not only good, it has become a classic: The Maltese Falcon.

Huston wrote an autobiography titled ‘An Open Book,’ which is a fascinating read. Aside from that there is very little written about him that is worthy of any note.  The only other book I’m aware of that is worthy of any note is Robert Emmet Long’s “John Huston Interviews” in the wonderful Conversations with Filmmakers Series. I expected the AFI’s ‘The Directors’ series to have something on Huston, but they don’t.

Huston’s brilliance comes through in his AFI Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech.

Retrobites has a rare glimpse of Huston in his home in Ireland talking a bit about his working habits.

Sidney Lumet offers a little of what he appreciated about Huston the director.

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