Jaime: As the lamented Rick Schmidlin evidently concluded, one can waste a good deal of time on this board in Hemingwayesque pissing contests over credentials, which sometimes descends into the ad hominem.
I have read or seen almost all the sources you cite.
Lillian Roth, for instance, wrote a great pioneer study of Hollywood in her Picture, but she did not understand, as an outsider from New York, that a young writer-director like Huston could not do much about the 20-some minutes cut out of his THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. It was out of his hands. Already a veteran of the system, he knew when "to hold 'em" and when he had "to fold 'em." That's one reason he joined Sam Spiegel at Horizon Pictures, for more control.
Richard Brooks, whatever differences the two difficult men had, became a writer-director himself partly because of his association with Huston. Whatever Paul Newman may have thought about his experience on the troubled MACKINTOSH MAN, he was eager to do it after turning in one of his more distinguished performances in Huston's underrated THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN, a great example of American tall tale-telling, which Mark Twain might have admired. And if you have ever met Ray Bradbury, no matter how casually, you recognize that he is a frail soul, and an eccentric personality, possibly not the Huston's best choice to collaborate on a vigorous production of MOBY DICK, a project he had long planned and staked his reputation on.
I saw John Huston at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1969, where he personally a la Orson Welles led several hundred people down the street from the theater to a legendary restaurant for a buffet he had arranged (difficult for him because he was walking with a cane after a riding accident), and brought people back for a showing of the rough cut of A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH. I observed the affection with which his companions regarded him. Not to mention his sheer generosity.
I have been to Puerta Vallarte, where for years his statue sat in the garden of the Jazz club he founded near the Malecon. Mexican friends, dating from the shooting of NIGHT OF THE IGUANA, told me how Huston, over the years, loved to sit on the promenade and chat with whoever came by. They said he genuinely liked people, was fascinated with their lives.
Huston was a child of the Hollywood Studio System. He survived an admittedly troubled youngmanhood to become a disciplined artist, writer and director. Whatever his failings, he kept a lifelong group of friends and collaborators, and if he was hard on women, he maintained a number of long relationships with them, and managed to turn out three pretty good kids, especially Anjelika Huston, who from all I can gather, is a pretty nice person, quite a lady, a great broad, a superb actress, and a sensitive director in her own right.
And we should not forget why we are here. Orson Welles and John Huston were friends and collaborators from the late 1930's on. By all accounts I've come across, they liked and admired each other their entire lives.
As for my remarks on Peter Viertel, I am indebted to a member of this board, who sent me the following support of my view:
"Peter Viertel does not emerge as a particularly likeable character in Arthur Laurents's autobiography A PLAY BY..(2000). He is criticized for his anti-semitic remarks by the Jewish author who was blacklisted temporarily. Laurents's seems to question Viertel's honesty and reliability in certain matters."
Laurents had a long, rather distinguished career after a start in Radio, as a playwright (The Time of the Cuckoo), a screenwriter (ANASTASIA) and libbretist (Westside Story). His autobiographical work, also known as Original Story By: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood, evidently cuts bluntly and judiciously through a lot of innuendo.
I do not necessarily disagree with all your assertions, but if John Huston was a psychopath, he was a very successful one in a number of arenas, both personal and professional.
We simply differ in our final assessments.
Let's leave it there.