Release Date: May 12
Writer: Flannery O’Connor (novel), Benedict & Michael Fitzgerald
Director: John Huston
Cinematographer: Gerry Fisher
Starring: Brad Dourif, John Huston, Harry Dean Stanton
Studio/Run Time: Anthea, 108 mins.
Intense adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s first novel lacks her poetry
“No man with a good car needs to be justified!” screeches delusional street preacher Hazel Motes of his self-made “Church Without Christ” in Flannery O’Connor’s first novel, Wise Blood, which legendary director John Huston faithfully adapted to the screen in 1979. Unfortunately, said car is a scrapheap—and the film clangs about, too. While intensely acted by the lock-jawed Brad Dourif (Billy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) Motes is a repulsive sort of ascetic, as he lashes out at the twisted, unsympathetic freaks surrounding him. Lacking the poetry of O’Connor (as well as her underlying faith), Huston opts for a dissonant tone throughout the film. The masochistic end result feelings wholly unjustified.