Very few filmmakers have the distinction of creating a classic on their first effort. But John Huston
, one of the greatest screenwriters and directors of the 20th century, did just that in 1941 with “The Maltese Falcon
” and went on to create many classics by inventing, reinventing and reinvigorating genres.
Huston was born on August 5, 1906, in Nevada, Missouri. His father was the great actor Walter Huston
, and young John developed an interest in the stage at a young age watching his father perform in vaudeville. He was a sickly child with an enlarged heart and kidney ailments but eventually overcame that to drop out of school at the age of 14 to become a professional boxer.
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As a young adult, Huston wrote and sold several short stories, and made his way to Hollywood when “talking pictures” created a demand for writers. He