John Huston : courage and art

by Meyers, Jeffrey.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Allegheny Regional Non-Fiction Collection PN1998.3.H87 M49 2011
Location  CLP - Allegheny Regional
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  PN1998.3.H87 M49 2011
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PN1998.3.H87 M49 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PN1998.3.H87 M49 2011
From the acclaimed biographer of Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart, and
Errol Flynn comes the first complete biography of the legendary John Huston, the extraordinary director, writer, actor, and bon vivant who made iconic films such as The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle, and The African Queen --and lived one of the most vibrant, eventful lives in Hollywood history.
An actor in the 1920s and scriptwriter in the 1930s, John Huston made his dazzling directorial debut in 1941 with The Maltese Falcon . His career as a filmmaker spanned some fifty-seven years and yielded thirty-seven feature films. He made most of his movies abroad, spent much of his life in Ireland and Mexico, and remains one of the most intelligent and influential filmmakers in history. With equal attention given to Huston's impressive artistic output and tempestuous personal relationships, biographer Jeffrey Meyers presents a vivid narrative of Huston's remarkably rich creative life.
The son of the famous stage and screen actor Walter Huston, John Huston was born in Nevada City, Missouri, and suffered from a weak heart that forced him to live as an invalid for much of his childhood. One day, however, he impulsively left his sickbed, dove over a waterfall, swam into a raging river and began to lead a strenuous life. He became an expert sportsman as well as a boxer, bullfighter, hunter, soldier, gambler and adventurer. Though he didn't finish high school, he was a man of true genius: a serious painter and amusing raconteur, playwright and story writer, stage and screen actor, director of plays on Broadway and operas at La Scala, autobiographer and political activist who crusaded against Senator Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist witch hunts in Hollywood. He was a discerning collector of art and connoisseur of literature, food and wine. Passionate about horses and women, he had five successively younger wives. 

Meyers chronicles Huston's extraordinarily peripatetic life and examines his rise as a great masculine artist in the formidable tradition of Melville, Conrad and Hemingway, whose persona, ethos, prose style and virile code had a powerful influence on his life and work. Thirty-four of Huston's thirty-seven films adapted important novels, stories and plays, and Meyers perceptively describes how Huston brilliantly transformed the written word into the cinematic image. Huston's dominant theme is the almost impossible quest, tempered by detachment and irony. His heroes sacrifice honor in pursuit of wealth but fail in that venture, are mocked by cruel fate and remain defiant in the face of defeat. Based on research in Huston's personal and professional archives, and interviews with his children, friends and colleagues, this is the dramatic story of a courageous artist who, Meyers persuasively argues, is "one of the most fascinating men who ever lived."
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Veteran biographer Meyers steps into the ring with legendary movie director John Huston and proves adept at wrestling the larger-than-life figure onto the page. He does it by achieving a nice balance between the life and the work, playing off the flamboyant Huston's romantic escapades (five marriages and hundreds of mistresses), world-class drinking (often in the company of good friend Humphrey Bogart), and reckless gambling against his prodigious appetite for work (he directed more than 40 films, including multiple masterpieces, ranging from his first directorial effort, The Maltese Falcon, in 1941, through his finale, James Joyce's The Dead, in 1987). Stressing the point that Huston, unlike many auteur directors, favored adaptations of literary works over original screenplays and was fanatically devoted to the texts of those works, Meyers portrays an artist in ultimate service to the word. Movie buffs will find a wealth of insider information here from a detailed account of the stunning choreography and camera work in Falcon through revelations of the homophobia that marred Huston's relationship with Montgomery Clift but, finally, it is the multifaceted picture of how a flawed man produced so many nearly flawless films that makes this biography essential reading for anyone with an interest in twentieth-century moviemaking.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In his detailed, absorbing portrait of Huston (1906-1987), biographer Meyers (George Orwell, Samuel Johnson, and Somerset Maugham) captures the remarkable parallels between these two men as he narrates the life and compelling work of one of the world's greatest film directors. Drawing on original interviews with Huston's family and friends as well as on newly available archival materials, Meyers traces Huston's life from his peripatetic childhood-when he and his mother wandered from Missouri, Texas, and Indiana to St. Paul, Los Angeles, and Phoenix-to his stint in the army through his triumphs and failures as an actor, screenwriter, and director. Social and gregarious, Huston was also private and self-enclosed; he had a zest for life, and an aura of recklessness, ruthlessness and irresponsibility. He made war documentaries under fire, hunted tigers in India and elephants in Africa, and took near-fatal risks-sometimes with the lives of others-in filming The African Queen and Moby Dick. Huston caught the world's attention in 1941 with The Maltese Falcon, his first feature in which all of his talents as a writer, actor, and director finally came together. Meyers points out that the characteristic theme of Huston's major films is the almost impossible quest, but one tempered by detachment and irony.(Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Huston, John, -- 1906-1987.
Motion picture producers and directors -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Crown Archetype,2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xiii, 475 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780307590671
Other Classic View