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John Huston’s Frankie and Johnny


We know John Huston as the influential movie director who gave us The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, Key Largo and The Misfits. But before Huston broke into the movie industry as a screenwriter, he was set upon becoming an author. While living a rather wild life in Mexico, Huston wrote a play called Frankie and Johnny, based on the folk song of the same name, and it was published as a book in 1930. He also wrote many short stories and articles for various magazines during this period of his eventful life.

It’s very rare to see Huston’s Frankie and Johnny in a dust jacket. The book is illustrated by Mexican artist Migel Covarrubias and it also includes 20 different versions of the folk song. The artwork for this book is stunning.

The famous song tells of Frankie, a woman, who find her man, Johnny, making love to another woman and kills him. Many famous names have recorded the song, including Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Stevie Wonder.

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