2012 45¢ John Huston
Great Film Directors
Issue Date: May 23, 2012
City: Silver Spring, MD
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
John Huston (1906-87) was once referred to as “cinema’s Ernest Hemingway” because he was “never afraid to tackle tough issues head on.”
Prior to moving to Hollywood, Huston worked as a boxer, reporter, artist, and cavalry rider. His actor father inspired Huston to become a screenwriter. In 1932 he wrote his first 3 movies, two starring his father.
Proving to be an accomplished screenwriter, Huston received his choice of films for his directorial debut. He chose The Maltese Falcon. Despite its modest budget, the film went on to receive immediate critical and public praise. It has also been heralded as the “best detective melodrama ever made.” This marked a turning point in his career. From then on, Huston directed all but one of his screenplays.
During WWII, Huston joined the Army and directed and produced three films considered some of the finest ever made about the war. Following the war, he made the controversial movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was called by a critic, “one of the best things Hollywood has done since it learned to talk.”
Huston always had a clear idea for his films and relied little on editing. According to one actor, “Most directors don’t know what they want so they shoot everything they can think of – they use the camera like a machine gun. John uses it like a sniper.”