With the ease of editing using today’s technologies, it’s not unusual for directors to shoot a lot of scenes, a lot of takes per scene, and then to make the movie in the editing suite. That’s not how John Huston worked. He sketched each scene before shooting it, placed the actors deliberately, and made his movies as he was filming them. His pictures usually came in under budget as well.
From his first movie in 1941 to his last in 1987, he set a standard for excellence. Among his films:
- Maltese Falcon (1941 – writer)
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948 – writer)
- Key Largo (1948 – writer)
- The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
- The African Queen (1951 – writer)
- Moulin Rouge (1953 – writer)
- The Misfits (1960)
- The Night of the Iguana (1964 – writer)
- The Man Who Would Be King (1975 – writer)
- Prizzi’s Honor (1985)
In addition to his direction duties, Huston also wrote many of his films. He won the Oscar for Best Director and Best Screenplay for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. He was a skillful actor as well, having parts in several dozen films. Huston received the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1983.