On Sunday Turner Movie Classics had a day of Katharine Hepburn movies. Katharine happens to be my favorite female actress. I don’t think she’s ever made a movie I didn’t enjoy. And I especially enjoy her old black and white movies. In total Katharine made 52 movies.
They began the day with the movie Dragon Seed. (1944) I own this movie on vhs. Not only does it have Katharine Hepburn but also another love of my heart, Turhan Bey. So, of course I watched the movie!
Also co-starring in the movie was Walter Huston.
This is the only time I can remember a movie where Katharine’s makeup made her not look like the Katharine Hepburn we all know. In this movie Katharine and her “husband”, Turhan Bey fight the Japanese Invasion of a small village in China.
The movie that followed is another movie I watch whenever it is on The Lion In Winter.
In this movie Katharine plays Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry the II (played by the fabulous Peter O’Toole) calls his family together to choose his successor. Which may include killing his 3 sons . (nice fellow..heh)
The third movie I watched was The African Queen. Co-starring the great Humphrey Bogart.
While watching the African Queen I immediately remembered that John Huston directed this movie and I began to think of him. This man has long been a favorite director of mine. He had presence about him and he had one of those voices that you instantly recognize.
John Huston was born in 1906 and died in 1987
Director/ Screenwriter/ Character Actor John Huston.
Father of 4 among them Angelica Huston.
John Huston‘s mother, Rhea Gore, was a newspaperwoman, his father was character actor, Walter Huston.
He was a tall man, 6’2″ and his interest varied.
He began his adult life as a Amateur Lightweight Boxer, his trademark broken nose was the result of the endeavor.
By 1925 he married his childhood sweetheart and did his first Broadway show. Within a year he was restless and abandoned both and went to Mexico and became an officer in the cavalry. Shortly after he returned to America, tried reporting and even screen writing but then left for London and Paris to study painting and sketching.
In 1933 he returned again to America and decided to focus on his writing skills. He also married for the second time.
Warner Bros. were so Impressed they hired John to screen write and direct his first film: The Maltese Falcon (1941). By 1946 he was married for the 3rd time to actress Evelyn Keyes.
In the following years John Huston wrote (and or)/ directed such films as:
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Key Largo (1948
The African Queen (1951)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
The Red BAdge of Courage (1951)
Moulin Rouge (1952)
Moby Dick (1956)
The unforgiven (1960)
The Misfits (1961)
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
The Bible: In the Beginning (1966) (directed and acted)
(He played Noah, and was the voice of God.. and what a commanding voice he had!)
Disgusted by Hollywood’s Blacklisting he moved to Ireland and married his 4th wife ballet dancer Enrica Soma (mother of Angelica) (1950-1969). He had a 5th wife, Celest Shane, 1972-1977.
John Huston acted in 51 movies, directed 47 movies, wrote screen plays for 38 movies and was producer of 10 movies.
For many years I’ve had Huston‘s Biography: An Open Book (1980). Now that it’s been brought back to mind, I may have to add this to my list of rereads! He was certainly an interesting man.. some of the movies he directed are among my all time favorites.
If I think about it.. I can still hear his voice. He’s probably the only other man I can think of that could have played Gandalf and carried it off as well as Ian McKellan did.
Anyway… that’s where my mind was on Sunday!
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