Top 4 Danny Huston Movies to Watch

Transition to Retirement

The son of legendary director John Huston and half-brother to Anjelica Huston, Danny Huston has appeared in countless films over the years. He got his start directing with the film Mr North starring Robert Mitchum.

He has also directed several TV series. Most recently, he played Ben Diamond on Magic City and Dan Jenkins in the hit Paramount TV series Yellowstone.

The Aviator (2004)

After decades of being relegated to small-screen renderings and quirky supporting roles, billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes is given the sprawling, lavish canvas he deserves in The Aviator. Huston delivers a masterful performance as the complex man who lost himself in his work, with the movie serving as both an epic of his accomplishments and a cautionary tale of his self-destruction.

Although The Aviator lacks the scabrous, manic weirdness of Scorsese’s other portraits of human hubris, it nevertheless packs a wallop. It’s hard not to be moved by a scene that shows Hughes pushing his hand down Katharine Hepburn’s naked back, as well as by the climactic montage in which he watches his visionary aircrafts take flight.

Under the candy-colored gloss of this saga, Scorsese paints an acute picture of a genius who became his own worst enemy. His obsessive quest for the perfect movie, the completion of Hell’s Angels (which features cameos from Hepburn and Errol Flynn), and his battles with congressional power brokers reflect his own paranoia and compulsion for self-aggrandizement.

This film is one of Huston’s first major roles as an actor, and it helped cement the partnership between the director and star that would last for many years to come. He’s been working nonstop ever since, with a string of high-profile movies that includes The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and 21 Grams.

The Constant Gardener (2005)

Danny Huston’s acting career began to take off in the late 90s with a starring role in the independent film ‘IvansXtc’ and he would continue to act in various independent films throughout the early 2000s. He welcomed the new millennium with a supporting turn as an actor in the drama film ‘Timecode.’

The Constant Gardener is a thriller movie that balances suspense, romance and hard drama in a way that many multi-themed movies only stab feebly at. The film also carries a serious message about the world’s hold over third world countries, corporate greed, and corruption but it never feels like a brickbat delivered from on high.

Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) keeps the action going brilliantly, rarely letting the plot slow down for flashbacks or dream sequences as Justin globetrots in search of the truth about his wife’s death. Meirelles adds his own cinematic flair to Le Carre’s wide and dark field of ideas and he is particularly impressive in showing the desperation and vibrancy of the world’s underclass.

The Constant Gardener is a more complex affair than most modern thrillers which are often overblown and clumsy in their action and the movie benefits from this added complexity. Meirelles uses a non-linear story structure that relies heavily on memory, passages of dialogue and scenes that are interrupted and completed later on through the use of Storyweaving. It is this non-linear storytelling approach that gives the movie its distinct flavor and makes it so effective.

Fade to Black (2007)

Huston’s ability to shift between genres and embody complex characters is a testament to his talent, dedication and undeniable screen presence. His impressive acting career includes roles in some of the most prestigious films in cinema history. Born into an illustrious cinematic family, he has been working with some of the greatest directors in filmmaking for decades.

In this sexy and slick martial arts movie, Huston plays Eric – an undercover detective who is sent to investigate the murder of a woman who was a witness in a blackmail case. The film is full of pop culture references including clips from White Heat and The Creature From the Black Lagoon, plus it features a swaggering young Mickey Rourke. The film isn’t without its flaws – the main problem being that it never settles into a rhythm or style of its own.

Fans of film noir will be in for a treat with this witty and stylish flick. It’s also packed with a lot of great action sequences. The fight choreography is particularly impressive with smooth movement and superior animation. Renji’s zanpakuto is especially striking as it whips around the screen with a believable weight and physicality. After some rather drab animation in the series, this is a welcome improvement.

Ivans Xtc (2000)

Directed by Bernard Rose – the man behind Candyman and Beethoven biopic Immortal Beloved – ivansxtc offers a brutal and somber glimpse of the dark side of the Hollywood machine. It’s a film that doesn’t pull its punches and boasts a searing performance from Danny Huston at its core. Loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, ivansxtc peers around the curtain at the industry’s glitz and glamor, its message delivered with a blunt force which still rings true today. Shot in digital video (an early adopter of the technology), its limitations (it was financed outside the studio system) give it an authenticity and an edge that is often lacking from movies that take advantage of the new medium’s ease of use and cheap cost.

The film starts with the news of the death of agent to the stars Ivan Beckman, played by Huston. He was everything you’d expect from a Hollywood talent agent, a coke-snorting pill popper who partied hard and slept with plenty of women. He dies of lung cancer, which his colleagues assume is just a polite cover-up for a cocaine overdose or heart attack. Almost every scene features a close-up of Huston’s toothy smile, a performance that is at once alarming and disarming. It’s a gut-wrenching portrayal that makes the film a must-see for fans of Huston and anyone interested in seeing how depraved the entertainment industry can be.

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