Wise Blood (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wise Blood (1979)

Wise Blood



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Wise Blood Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Set in the Deep South during the postwar era, Wise Blood stars Brad Dourif as an aimless veteran, who decides to become a Bible-thumping preacher (for a questionable concern called "The Church Wihout Christ") principally because he hasn't anything better lined up. Dourif links up with a veteran of the hellfire-and-brimstone circuit, who for business purposes pretends to be blind. The older man persuades Dourif to blind himself for real so that he can truly "see the light" (yes, the movie is that weird). Director Huston, himself, appears as Dourif's grandfather. Adapted from the one-of-a-kind novel by Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood was a noble experiment but a box-office failure-though, to be fair, Huston never set out to make a blockbuster from O'Connor's offbeat tale.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Fitzgerald, Benedict Fitzgerald
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 12, 2009
Criterion Collection


Brad Dourif
as Hazel Motes
Ned Beatty
as Hoover Shoates
John Huston
as Grandfather
Dan Shor
as Enoch Emery
Amy Wright
as Sabbath Lily
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Wise Blood

Critic Reviews for Wise Blood

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5)

This time, Huston has found material that was all but guaranteed to fuel the battiest recesses of his imagination.

Full Review… | September 19, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

This adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's novel is John Huston's best film for many years.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of John Huston's most original, most stunning movies.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Funny, tragic, philosophical, farcical -- this is Huston near the top of his form. A useful batch of interviews, including one with Dourif.

Full Review… | September 19, 2014
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Wise Blood


Decidely more tragicomic and surrealist than ever before. Another show about the love that John Huston always professed to losers.

Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


A very strange and thoughtful 70s drama with dark and comedic twists. Directed by John Huston and starring Brad Dourif, the film tackles a lot of themes and adapts to a variety of tones throughout, making for an experience both ambitious and scattershot. The final fourth of the film is particularly difficult to grasp. But despite being uneven and repellant at time, in Huston's hands the film always remains entertaining and interesting. It's worth the effort for Dourif outstanding performance alone. Huston in his more outlandish form.

Michael S

Super Reviewer

Very strange, but entertaining, but odd and well acted, but weird and worth watching.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Wise Blood Quotes

– Submitted by Deb F (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jax D (3 years ago)

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