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Wise Blood


John Huston

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Plot Summary

In this acclaimed adaptation of the first novel by legendary Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, John Huston vividly brings to life her poetic world of American eccentricity. Brad Dourif, in an impassioned performance, is Hazel Motes, who, fresh out of the army, attempts to open the first Church Without Christ in the small town of Taulkinham. Populated with inspired performances that seem to spring right from O’Connor’s pages, Huston’s Wise Blood is an incisive portrait of spirituality and Evangelicalism, and a faithful, loving evocation of a writer’s vision.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 19
  • Fresh: 17
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 7.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: One of John Huston's most original, most stunning movies. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Sep 19, 2014

Fresh: This time, Huston has found material that was all but guaranteed to fuel the battiest recesses of his imagination. – Frank Rich, TIME Magazine, Sep 19, 2014

Fresh: John Huston, with uncluttered direction and expert handling of actors, has fashioned a disturbing tale of the fringe side of overzealous religious preachers in the deep South. – Variety Staff, Variety, Sep 19, 2014

Fresh: Along with The Man Who Would Be King and The Dead, this is arguably John Huston's best literary adaptation, and conceivably his very best film. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Sep 19, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

"Where you come from is gone

...Where you thought you was goin' to weren't never there; and where you are aint no good unless you can get away from it"-- Motes

This book (O'connor) and film are spectacular. Nobody with a good car needs to be justified.

Wise Blood

Shake hands with Conga!! Great, great stuff.

Asks Spiritual Questions Unsentimentally

This movie is true to the quirky and dark novel. It is about a man obsessed by religious impulse. While Hazel Motes will literally scream to strangers that he doesn’t believe in Jesus, he also scourges himself as punishment for his sins. He can only approach God in fits and starts—just the way his automobile approaches the highway. As a foil to Hazel we have Enoch, who is sure that he has “wise blood.” His religious impulse is spontaneous and obtuse, and he just wants to share it. (As Conga, he wails that he only wants to say hello.) This movie has a lot to say, but not to the casual viewer. It must be examined to be valued. Good film and literature ask, rather than answer.