John Huston Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The worst problem of recent movie epics is that they usually start with an epic in another form and so the director must try to make a masterpiece to compete with an already existing one. This is enough to petrify most directors but it probably delights Huston. What more perverse challenge than to test himself against the Book? It's a flashy demonic gesture, like Nimrod shooting his arrow into God's heaven.

Huston shoots arrows all over the place [in The Bible]; he pushes himself too hard, he tries to do too many different things. The movie is episodic not merely because the original material is episodic but also because, like [D. W.] Griffith in Intolerance, he can find no way to...

(The entire section is 751 words.)