Original film poster
|Directed by||John Huston|
|Produced by||Kathy Fitzgerald|
|Written by||Benedict Fitzgerald|
|Based on||Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor|
Harry Dean Stanton
|Music by||Alex North|
|Edited by||Roberto Silvi|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|October 24, 1979|
Wise Blood is a 1979 American drama film directed by John Huston and starring Brad Dourif, Dan Shor, Amy Wright, Harry Dean Stanton, and Ned Beatty. It is based on the 1952 novel Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor.
The film was shown out of competition at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival, and was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection on May 12, 2009. As a co-production with Germany the film was titled Der Ketzer or Die Weisheit des Blutes when released in Germany, and Le Malin when released in France.
Hazel "Haze" Motes is a 22-year-old veteran of an unspecified war and a preacher of the Church of Truth Without Christ, a religious organization of his own creation, which is against any belief in God, an afterlife, sin, or evil. The protagonist comes across various characters such as teenager Sabbath Lilly Hawks, her grandfather Asa Hawks who is a conventional side-walk preacher; and a local boy, Enoch Emery, who finds a "new" Jesus at the local museum in the form of the tiny corpse of a shrunken South American Indian. Hoover Shoates is a promoter who wants to manage Hazel's career as a prophet while Hazel's landlady falls in love with him.
The director of the film appears in several fantasy sequences as Hazel's grandfather.
- Brad Dourif as Hazel Motes
- John Huston as Grandfather
- Dan Shor as Enoch Emory
- Mary Nell Santacroce as Landlady
- Harry Dean Stanton as Asa Hawks
- Amy Wright as Sabbath Lily Hawks
- Ned Beatty as Hoover Shoates
- William Hickey as Preacher
- J.L. Parker as Karl
- Marvin Sapp as Raymond
- Betty Lou Groover as Leora Watts
In a 1979 review, critic Vincent Canby called the film "one of John Huston's most original, most stunning movies. It is so eccentric, so funny, so surprising, and so haunting that it is difficult to believe it is not the first film of some enfant terrible instead of the thirty-third feature by a man who is now in his seventies and whose career has had more highs and lows than a decade of weather maps." Sam Jordison of The Guardian wrote in a retrospective review; "This adaptation is wonderful. It pulls off the rare trick of seeming faithful to the spirit and voice of the book, while being a work of art in its own right."
- "Wise Blood: A Matter of Life and Death". Criterion Collection. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- "Festival de Cannes: Wise Blood". Cannes Festival website. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Canby, Vincent (29 September 1979). "Screen: 'Wise Blood,' Huston's 33d Feature:The Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Jordison, Sam (21 December 2012). "Reading group: John Huston's Wise Blood is an unlikely cinematic feat". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Wise Blood, Rotten Tomatoes