One has a tough time deciding what theme or style to associate with director John Huston (1906-1987). However, one thing that stands out when taking in a number of his films at once is his lack of faith in happy endings. In one of his best works, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, the American flag that is raised in the final scene doesn’t find its pride of place in the centre of the widescreen frame as a beacon of patriotic glory. Instead, it keeps going beyond the top of the screen: victory in battle is just another part of the puzzle, not its solution. Reading the details of his biography and gleaning the sense of messy, sometimes life-threatening adventure with which he lived his entire life, it makes sense why his movies were often about more than just the finish line, rarely a noble quest to put things right but an exploration of worlds that have a good time going wrong: if Akira Kurosawa wanted to know why we’re all so cruel to each other, Huston wanted to know why the journey was so compelling. The characters in one of his best ensemble films, Key Largo, for instance, are in constant danger for their lives and every moment of that danger is thrilling, while Moby Dick’s Ishmael can’t contain his sense of wonder even when viewing Captain Ahab reach his eventual doom.