Picks and Pans Review: An Open Book

updated 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/17/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by John Huston

If there was ever an Ernest Hemingway-like character in Hollywood, it has to be Huston, the crusty director best known for filming the Humphrey Bogart classics The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Huston, now 74, has directed 32 features (including 1979's Wise Blood), acted in 26 others (including Chinatown) and written many more. He tells about his career—up to a point. His early endeavors included stints at newspapering, boxing, the cavalry and short-story writing. Most interesting are the passages about Bogie, Hepburn, Gable and other big stars of the '40s and '50s. Regrettably, Huston makes short work of his five marriages, which were often stormy (he left his last wife for a young Mexican maid), and hints at many affairs without offering any details. What the book lacks in introspection ("Movers and shakers don't have time for it," Huston writes), it almost makes up for in charm. Huston fancies himself a man's man, and he has lived that part to the hilt. (Knopf, $15)

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