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Anjelica Houston's filmography

Anjelica Houston’s filmography — Her movie history includes ”Prizzi’s Honor,” ”Enemies, A Love Story,” and ”The Grifters”

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Anjelica Houston’s filmography

Anjelica Huston’s first leading role was as a 14th-century teen in love in her father’s 1969 flop A Walk With Love and Death. It’s not available on video; by all accounts, it’s not missed. The actress spent the next 15 years out of the spotlight, but not out of the action: If you look fast, you’ll see her in small roles in The Last Tycoon and Frances. A romance with Jack Nicholson, meanwhile, kept her visible in Hollywood, and it was only a matter of time before the industry noticed that Walk‘s ugly duckling had turned into a graceful, offbeat swan. Her prime moments on video:

The Postman Always Ring Twice (1981)
A glorified cameo playing the kinky lion tamer who dallies with Nicholson while Jessica Lange’s away. The movie’s a sodden bore, but all of a sudden you wanted to know who that woman was. C-

The Ice Pirates (1984)
In this low-budget Star Wars parody, Huston swashbuckles around in a succession of metallic bikini tops as Maida, galactic pirate babe. Hey, it paid the rent, and it’s pretty amusing for a piece of space junk. C

Prizzi’s Honor (1985)
A rowdy mob comedy with deep pockets of feeling, this may be John Huston’s apology to his daughter for A Walk With Love and Death. As Maerose Prizzi, the actress combines the heart of a lovesick spinster with the mind of Lucrezia Borgia, and tops it off with a Bronx honk. What else to do but give her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar? A

The Dead(1987)
Playing a middle-aged married woman whose memories of a long-ago romance spill into the present, she’s the very soul of her father’s last movie, a ghostly Irish reverie adapted from the James Joyce story. A-

Gardens of Stone (1987)
”Decent people make mistakes sometimes,” says Huston’s character, a liberal reporter in love with James Caan’s confused career soldier during the late-’60s antiwar protests. That about sums up this heartfelt but cliched home-front drama, numbly directed by Francis Ford Coppola. C

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
She goes so far as Martin Landau’s clinging, doomed mistress that you actually feel embarrassed for her — and how many actresses would dare that? Set in the timid, tasteful universe we know as Woody’s world, her performance is shockingly passionate. A-

Enemies, A Love Story (1989)
Consolidating her position as one of the most human tragediennes working, she was nominated for another Oscar as the first of Ron Silver’s three wives, a concentration camp survivor whose experiences have left her stranded eerily between the living and the dead. A+

Lonesome Dove (1989)
With Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Urich, and Danny Glover for stars, Dove was one manly miniseries, and Huston (as Duvall’s former lover, now a tough pioneer woman) shows up only toward the end. But when she does, she owns you. A

The Grifters (1990)
Another, even greater risk (and a Best Actress nomination) as Lily, con woman extraordinaire and lousy mother to blank-eyed John Cusack. The genius lies in the way she shows you maternal guilt warring with pure, selfish greed, reminding us that animals may love their young even as they eat them. A+

The Witches (1990)
A vacation from intensity? A warm-up for the outre gags of The Addams Family? Who cares? This adaptation of the Roald Dahl story is one of the best children’s flicks in years (meaning adults love it too), and Huston has a high-camp holiday as Queen of the Coven — even when she’s buried under pounds of icky latex makeup. B+