Wise Blood (film)

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Wise Blood
Wise Blood poster.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by John Huston
Produced by Kathy Fitzgerald
Michael Fitzgerald
Written by Flannery O'Connor (novel)
Benedict Fitzgerald
Michael Fitzgerald
Starring Brad Dourif
John Huston
Dan Shor
Harry Dean Stanton
Amy Wright
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Gerry Fisher
Edited by Roberto Silvi
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
October 24, 1979
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,000,000 (est.)

Wise Blood is an American 1979 drama film directed by John Huston and based on the 1952 novel Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. It was filmed mostly in and around Macon, Georgia, near O'Connor's home Andalusia in Baldwin County, using many local residents as extras. Though largely faithful to O'Connor's novel, Huston reframes many scenes from the book as broad comedy accompanied by a bluegrass banjo score. The original music score was composed by Alex North. The film was titled Der Ketzer or Die Weisheit des Blutes when released in Germany, and Le Malin when released in France.

Wise Blood was shown out of competition at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival,[1] and was released on DVD by the Criterion Collection on May 12, 2009.


Wise Blood follows the troubled life of Hazel "Haze" Motes, a 22-year-old veteran of an unspecified war and a preacher of the Church of Truth Without Christ. The Church – a "religious" organization of Haze's own creation – serves to further his bitter, passion-fueled and often spiteful words against anyone or anything representing a belief in God, an afterlife, judgement, sin or evil.

Hazel Motes himself is quite "peculiar", as his unique "head-down speed walk" he demonstrates throughout the film might suggest. His attire is a crisp, black tiller hat and sharp dark grey suit, which complements his tall, lean, lanky figure remarkably well. Various women he encounters, e.g. Sabbath Lily Hawks, are seemingly charmed by his unusual, dark demeanor; likewise, other individuals, e.g. Enoch Emory, are simply drawn to him with the innocent intent of befriending Hazel. Motes is incapable, however, of maintaining any such relationships. A borderline sociopath, he is never content with either himself or anyone else he encounters and feels the unceasing stirring need to pursue the foundation of his anti-church, devoting his every waking moment to attracting followers to his organization.



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Wise Blood". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 

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