1981-1990DocumentaryMarty PasettaTVUSA

Marty Pasetta – The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983)

From The New York Times:
The tone of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award dinner each year is foreshadowed in its opening minutes, when a man or woman whose films ”have stood the test of time” walks past the 1,100 stars, directors, and studio presidents who form his honor court.

Thursday night as he ambled in, the 11th winner of the award, 76-year-old John Huston threw up his arms like a conqueror. ”All of us,” said Orson Welles later in the evening, ”are doomed to play the hero in our own life story” but are haunted by the fear that a understudy will somehow take over. John Huston, he added, could never be overtaken by an understudy.

In a career that is almost overpowering in its richness, John Huston has written 27 movies, directed 38, acted in more than two dozen. He defies anyone to find a pattern in the river of celluloid that flows from his dazzling debut as a director with ”The Maltese Falcon” in 1941 to the $50-million musical ”Annie” in 1982. ”Eclectic,” he described himself in ”An Open Book,” his 1980 autobiography, and challenged even the most observant critic to guess that the same man had made both ”The Red Badge of Courage” and ”Moulin Rouge.”

Lauren Bacall, the evening’s host, remembered ”Moby Dick” and Mr. Huston grabbing ”a bottle of Jack Daniels” and climbing inside his last remaining mechanical whale, a knight determined to save the creature from the sea so he could finish his movie. ”Daring, unpredictable, maddening, mystifying, and probably the most charming man on earth,” was her description.

Among those who rose to pay tribute to Mr. Huston at the film institute’s dinner were Michael Caine; Pele; Jeff Bridges; Frank Capra; Stacy Keach; Robert Blake, who played the child who sold Humphrey Bogart a winning lottery ticket in ”The Treasure of Sierra Madre” in 1948; Robert Mitchum; Ava Gardner; 92-year-old Sam Jaffe; Zsa Zsa Gabor; the producer of ”The African Queen,” Sam Spiegel; Richard Brooks; Jack Nicholson; Aileen Quinn; James Mason, and his actress daughter, Anjelica.

When it came Mr. Huston’s turn to respond, he leaned against the podium like a boxer who can still give a punch or two and spoke of himself as an aging salmon ”disintegrating fin by fin, gill by gill.” When he walked back to his seat, he left his statuette behind. However accidental, it was a properly symbolic action for a man who – unlike many of the first 10 A.F.I. honorees – is still a working professional in one of the only two professions that ever interested him. He would, he said the other day, have preferred to be a painter, his first love, but turned to writing ”as a way of supporting a wife.”

If he is not completely hale, he is hearty. And happy? ”Well, of course,” he said without hesitation. ”I’m alive!”

Huston AFI Life Achievement.mkv

Container:  	Matroska
Runtime: 	1 h 36 min
Size: 	1.47 GiB
Codec: 	x264
Resolution: 	640x480 
Aspect ratio:  	4:3
Frame rate: 	59.940 fps
Bit rate: 	2 000 kb/s
BPP: 	0.109
#1:  	2.0ch AC-3 @ 192 kb/s



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