Walter Huston

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The Devil And Daniel Webster Review


Extraordinary
It's the 1840s, and times are tough for New Hampshire farmer Jabez Stone, just as they are for other New Englanders. He's a hard-working, God-fearing man, but he's prone to cursing ("consarn it" is his favorite), and he doesn't always find time to attend church on Sundays. He has a good wife (named Mary, of course) and a Bible-reading Ma, but when he can't make his mortgage payments, that just doesn't seem like enough. In Washington, a heroic Massachusetts senator named Daniel Webster is introducing legislation that will ease his plight. But in the meantime, what's a working man to do?

In this folklore New England, the devil is a real thing, like a fox that steals hens or a dog that barks at nights, and if you want to make a deal with him, it's not too hard to do. One rainy day Jabez curses in the barn, and a little man named Scratch (Walter Huston) appears out of nowhere with a bargain to make: Jabez will have seven years' worth of prosperity and everything that goes with it, and at the end of the seven years, Scratch will get his soul. Jabez signs the contract, and Scratch kicks at the floor of the barn, where a pile of gold rises up from a loose plank. The devil is in the details though, and anyone who's ever seen a movie knows there's going to be Hell to pay.

Continue reading: The Devil And Daniel Webster Review

Duel In The Sun Review


Very Good
Condemned as indecent after its release, Duel in the Sun is a rare western, in the vein of Unforgiven, that upsets the traditional white hat/black hat baloney common to its genre. The story of two wealthy Texas brothers (Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck) who fall for dark beauty Pearl (Jennifer Jones), what may be film's first booty call (courtesy of Peck's scoundrel) is the real highlight here, as is the story of family infighting and Lionel Barrymore's deliciously evil patriarch.

The Outlaw Review


Good
Never mind the story about Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday, and Pat Garrett -- this western (the second and final film Howard Hughes directed) is about one thing: Jane Russell. Hughes' five-year battle with the censors to get The Outlaw released is well documented in The Aviator, thanks to Hughes's envelope-pushing when it came to Russell's impressive cleavage, on display in nearly every scene she's in. The film would be G-rated today, but at the time, that hint of skin was enough to send people scampering for a little water to put on their brow. Russell hadn't really come into her own as an actress, either -- here she sneers through the entire film -- but as a physical presence, wow, Russell certainly makes an impression. If you catch my drift.

The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre Review


Essential
It's too bad that one of the greatest films of all time is remembered for a line ("We don't need no stinkin' badges!") that doesn't appear in the film. (It's actually, "We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" Must be something about Bogart movies and misquoted lines...)

It's also too bad that one of cinema's great adventures is often forgotten as one of cinema's great tragedies, too.

Continue reading: The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre Review

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Walter Huston Movies

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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Movie Review

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Movie Review

It's too bad that one of the greatest films of all time is remembered for...

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