John Marcellus Huston who ruled the roost in Hollywood industry during his time was born on 5th August 1906, in Nevada, Missouri, US to Rhea and Walter Huston (Walter Houghton). His father Walter Huston was an actor, at first in vaudeville then later in the film industry. His mother was an editor for the sports section in various publications. She resigned her job after the birth of Huston.
Even his father put a break to the acting career and continued as a civil engineer for some years and then he was back to the acting field becoming more successful in motion pictures and also in Broadway pictures. In 1913, when Huston was six years old, Huston’s parents got divorced. Thus, Huston spent most of his days in the Boarding Schools. During his summer, he traveled with his mother for some days and with his father the rest, it was those times he got inspired by seeing his father act on stage. “Lawrence Grobel,” a critic says that his five marriages may be because of the relationship he had with his mother. Once Grobel has written that, when he interviewed some of the women who had loved Huston they said his mother was the key to unlock Huston’s soul. When he was a child, he was treated for an enlarged heart and kidney ailments.
After he had recovered, he was taken to Los Angeles, by his mother. There He joined the Lincoln Heights High School at Los Angeles. By the age of 15, he was an amateur top-ranking lightweight boxer in California. Having suffered a fractured nose, Huston dropped his career. He was interested in many other fields. Thus, he learned French and English literature, abstract painting, opera, ballad and horse riding. He was a spectator to the new motion pictures and film industry. For Huston the word God meant “
.” Huston lived along with his father who was acting in off-Broadway productions in New York.
Small roles were given to John there. Having enjoyed a period of acting, Huston himself traveled to Mexico. At his stay in Mexico, he has written a play, Frankie and Johnny. Later John focused on his writings with boosted self-esteem when the editor of the popular magazine, The American Mercury, H.L. Mencken bought two of his stories Figures of Fighting Men and Fool. In the course of time, some of Huston’s stories and his articles were published in The New York Times, Esquire, and Theatre Arts. John also worked in the New York Graphic for a period. Huston’s first script editing contract was given by the Samuel Goldwyn Productions.
In 1932, he wrote the script for some films getting the script writing department at Universal, where he wrote the script for the films Law and Order, then Murders in the Rue Morgue and later A House Divided. The films Law and Order and A House Divided gave a grand success to Walter Huston, his father. Huston and William Wyler, the director of the film A House Divided, were great friends, and their combination at films gave great leading films.
As a Hollywood writer, Huston was given the reputation of a script writer in his first year of career. However, Hudson says that disadvantages and misadventures only made those years of him. He directed many of classics. Huston received 15 nominations for Oscar of which he won two Oscars. He also directed his father, Walter Huston and daughter Anjelica Huston to win Oscar. He would sketch each scene on paper beforehand and would carefully frame character on shooting.
His filmy themes are based on religion, truth, freedom, psychology, colonialism, and war. Huston’s career ended when he killed a women pedestrian with his car which was stuck. In the Hollywood industry, he was called as A Titan, A Renaissance Man, and A Rebel. Author Lan Freer described him as, “Cinema’s Ernest Hemingway”. He died of Emphysema on 28th August 1987 in Middletown, Rhode Island, U.S.