• Volcano_current_large

    Never has a Hollywood filmmaker been less fazed by the prospect of tackling adaptations of major books than the journeyman director John Huston. By the time he dug his nails into Malcolm Lowry’s 1947 Under the Volcano (ranked the eleventh greatest English-language novel of the twentieth century by the Modern Library) in 1984, Huston had already brought to the screen Moby Dick, The Red Badge of Courage, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Wise Blood, and, um, the Bible. The film, which vividly depicts the surreal final days of a persistently soused, self-destructive British diplomat in Mexico, is a triumph for Huston and for the always fiery Albert Finney, who received an Oscar nomination for his role. In the following clips, watch a scene that highlights Finney’s adeptness at finding the humor in his ultimately tragic character, and then footage of Huston directing that scene.

5 comments

  • By Criteriophile
    August 11, 2012
    12:13 AM

    What an extraordinary film! Most directors have at least one film that would be considered a "stinker" but I cannot think of a poorly-directed John Huston film.
    Reply
  • By Michael Brakemeyer
    August 15, 2012
    01:54 AM

    Huston was a director of such unique power and honesty. I rue the day that I did not see this or "The Dead" on the big screen.
    Reply
  • By Criteriophile
    August 15, 2012
    11:43 PM

    I had the opportunity to see a screening of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre a few years back. It was absolutely spectacular. It is my favorite Huston film.
    Reply
  • By Pat McCann
    June 18, 2016
    02:52 PM

    This is the funniest film, far and away, in the whole of the Criterion Collection. "Oxford?" "No, not Oxford." "You're wearing an Oxford tie."
    Reply