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September Song: A Biography of Walter Huston

Two of the greatest performances in all of motion pictures were given by the same man.

In "The Devil and Daniel Webster" he was the elfin Mr. Scratch, stroking his chin whiskers, confidently puffing a cigar as he claimed the soul of his victim. And in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" he was the grizzled old prospector Howard, dancing a frenzied jig for his bewildered companions as he pointed to the gold that lay beneath their feet.

He was also Abraham Lincoln, Othello, Doc Holliday, and the singing and dancing patriarch of the Cohan family. He spoke the words of Shakespeare and Eugene O’Neill with equal grace. He played bankers, lawyers, business tycoons, newspapermen, prison wardens, ambassadors, outlaws, and presidents. His name was Walter Huston.

This remarkable book is the first full-length account of Walter Huston’s extraordinary life. Work on it began in 1937, when the actor consented to a series of lengthy interviews with his friend John Weld. No publisher was interested at the time, and more than 40 years after Huston’s death, the manuscript remained unfinished.

Today, Walter Huston is known primarily as the father of writer-director John Huston and the grandfather of actress Angelica Huston. But that has now changed. John Weld, at the age of 93, completed the job he began 60 years earlier. And once again Walter Huston was recognized as one of the greatest actors of his generation.