Author Note: John Huston

The following Author Note is from a Toronto Public Library blurb for The Maltese Falcon: John Huston, Director (1995). I’ve been studying The Maltese Falcon (1941) as part of a Technology of Film (1) course at Ryerson University. Another relevant resource is Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade: The Evolution of Dashiell Hammett’s Masterpiece, Including John Huston’s Movie with Humphrey Bogart (2005).

The Author Note (see first link in previous paragraph) reads:

  • The son of Walter Huston, the well-known movie actor, John Huston directed numerous Hollywood films, including such classics as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), for which he won an Oscar as best director, and The Asphalt Jungle (1950). He wrote the screenplays for many of them, including the quintessential hard-boiled detective movie The Maltese Falcon (1941), which was also his directorial debut.
  • Huston’s protagonists are often either independent professionals whose tough exteriors hide a dedication to principle, like the detective in The Maltese Falcon, or losers whose obsession with a doomed quest leads to their destruction, like the three gold-seekers in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. But, in his 46-year career, he would try his hand at almost everything, from the grand comedy of The African Queen (1952) to the shaggy dog tale Beat the Devil (1954), the offbeat western The Misfits (1961), the rather bloated epic The Bible (1966), and the medieval allegory, A Walk with Love and Death (1970). As he aged, his films seemed to get deeper and better, starting with The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and continuing with Wise Blood (1979) and Prizzi’s Honor (1985). His final work, The Dead (1987), is an exquisite film adaptation of the short story by James Joyce.

Update

A Feb. 28, 2005 Salon article is entitled: “From ‘Red Harvest’ to ‘Deadwood.'”

 

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