John Huston by Lillian Ross
from The New Yorker 1949-1996
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In 1949 Lillian Ross wrote her first “Talk of the Town” piece on director John Huston for The New Yorker. Over the next four decades she would write about him five more times for the magazine: more
from the set of The Bible in Rome in 1965, the 1969 shoot of The Kremlin Letter in Manhattan, the New York premiere of Fat City in 1972, production meetings for Escape to Victory in 1980, and the Brooklyn locations of Prizzi’s Honor in 1984. This book collects these six extraordinary pieces together for the first time, along with an additional essay that sees Anjelica Huston reminiscing abut her father from the set of her directorial debut Bastard Out of Carolina in 1996. Lillian Ross was a staff writer at The New Yorker who wrote frequently about moviemakers, but none more than John Huston. He was the main character in her classic 1952 book, Picture, about the making of The Red Badge of Courage. The book, still in print, is generally acknowledged to be the first time a long factual story was written in fictional form. Ross lived in Manhattan and passed away in 2017 at age 99.