John Huston

Director: Frank Martin
Screenwriters: Martin Beagelman, Charles Beagelman

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


John Huston offers filmgoers a chance to revel in the life and career of the late director. Even after two h ours, the film still leaves you hungry for more. Filmmakers Frank Martin and Joni Levin combine film clips, home movies and interviews to trace Huston’s life, with narrator Robert Mitchum as a guide. Mitchum appears on an attic set filled with Huston memorabilia and props featured in his various films.

Perhaps the most interesting material, even beyond such things as color home movies taken on the set of Beat the Devil, are the dozen-or-so interviews Huston gave over the years, pulled together here for the first time. they allow Huston to remain an active participant in his life story, as he comments on everything from how generous Warner Brothers was to let him direct The Maltese Falcon to how his love for James Joyce led to his making The Dead.

The recent interviews with stars, colleagues and family contribute several amusing anecdotes, especially from cinematographer Oswald Morris, a frequent Huston collaborator. Morris recalls that when they were shooting Moulin Rouge, Huston ended up telling off the people from the Technicolor, who didn’t like the smoky look he was using for the film. Michael Cain also offers an interesting look at Huston, who was supposed to have been on his deathbed a decade ago. After bidding him and The Man Who Would Be King co-star Sean Connery farewell, Huston was not to see Caine again for several years, by which time, Caine notes, Huston had made four more films.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]