Sunday, December 23, 2018
The Auteurs #69: Orson Welles (Part 1)
Considered the ultimate auteur in the 20th Century, Orson Welles was a man of many talents as he delved into the world not just film but also theatre and radio where he wrote, directed, produced, and often starred in his own work. A man of many talents in different mediums, Welles was someone who craved control as he was known for being artistically gifted but often combative with those who wanted to pin the man down. While he had triumphs throughout his illustrious career, he also battled to maintain his independence as an artist where he struggled to get films made as some would remain unfinished and unreleased. With a new film that he made during the mid to late 1970s finally being shown at the 2018 Venice Film Festival and set to be released to the public. It is clear that Welles still matters more than thirty years since his passing as he remains an icon for filmmakers and film lovers alike.
(Part 1: 1915-1958)
Born on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, George Orson Welles was the son of Richard Head Welles and Beatrice Lucy Ives Welles as Welles’ grandfather was the influential country prosecutor Orson S. Head who was famous during his time living in Kenosha. Despite this reputation for the family, the young Welles didn’t live a life of luxury as his parents separated at the age of 4 where he would be raised by his mother who worked as a pianist for lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago. Four days after his ninth birthday on May 10, 1924, Beatrice Welles died of hepatitis forcing the young Welles to live with his father who had invented the bicycle lamp and made a fortune only to stop working and become an alcoholic. Though Welles would travel with his father to places around the world, Welles found the time with his father to be hard.
In 1926, Welles entered the Todd Seminary for Boys at Woodstock, Illinois where Welles discovered theatre as it would mark a profound change for the boy. Four years later while at the school, Richard Welles died of heart and kidney failure at the age of 58 as Welles would have family friend Maurice Bernstein as his guardian until he graduated at the school in 1931. Following graduation, Welles used the inheritance he received to travel around the world where he discovered the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland as he would make his stage debut in October of 1931 in an adaptation of Jew Suss. During that time where he played small roles for the theatre, he would also learn the art of producing and set design as it would get him to work at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre where he performed in The Circle as well as work in London until 1932 when his visa permit expired.
For much of the 1930s, Welles would venture into the world of theatre but also would discover the world of radio in 1934 where he worked on The American School of Air. His time and the experience Welles gained in theatre and radio would have him launch a successful career on both mediums leading to the founding of the Mercury Theatre in New York City with John Houseman in 1937 after splitting from the Federal Theatre Project despite creating successful plays for that project. Through the Mercury Theatre, Welles would launch a highly-successful adaptation of Julius Caesar to great acclaim along with other plays including The Cradle Will Rock while Welles would have members of the Mercury Theatre company do performance on the radio to great success. Then on October 30, 1938, Welles did a broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds in an adaptation that caused havoc when listeners thought they were listening to a live broadcast of Martians attacking Earth.
Despite his success with theatre and radio, Welles was lured by Hollywood for his work as a writer, actor, and theatre director. While Welles had experimented with film on a few projects such as a dress rehearsal short film for Twelfth Night and an original piece called The Hearts of Age that he co-directed with William Vance. Welles would take part in a couple of projects that would be among a number of incomplete and lost projects that never truly saw the light of day as one of them was a silent short adaptation of William Gillette’s Too Much Johnson in 1938 that was considered lost until found in 2008 and later made its premiere at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in October of 2013. Another project in a filmed version of The Green Goddess was filmed but ultimately lost.
Through his connections with the film industry despite several false starts in trying to get a film made, Welles was gathering ideas he had written that include material written by Herman J. Mankiewicz that would eventually become the basis for Welles’ first film. Partially inspired by William Randolph Hearst whom Mankiewicz had socialized with for some time until he was kicked out of Hearst’s social circle, the basis of the story would be the rise and fall of a publishing tycoon who tries to be the most loved man in the world as well as a desire for total happiness. The story was complex as Welles saw it as a study of a man’s attempt to make himself extremely important but would lose a sense of self along the way. While Welles and Mankiewicz would spar over authorial credit over the final script, credit would eventually go to both men though their often turbulent collaboration was coming to an end.
Rather than get established film stars for the film, Welles chose to get many of the actors he worked with on stage to be in the film despite their inexperience working on a film set. With Welles playing the titular role of Charles Foster Kane, the cast included Joseph Cotten, William Alland, Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead, Erskine Sanford, Everett Sloane, and Paul Stewart from Welles’ company of actors while Dorothy Comingmore is cast as Kane’s second wife Susan Alexander as the love of Kane’s life who would also ruin his first marriage. For his choice of cinematographer, Gregg Toland was chosen to aid Welles with the visuals as Welles had specific visuals and ideas of what he wanted to do. Notably as Welles felt very influenced by the visual ideas of German Expressionist films along with the works of Jean Renoir, Frank Capra, John Ford, and many others. In late June of 1940, Welles began filming as it was shot at the RKO studios. With the help of art director Van Nest Polglase and set decorator Darrell Silvera, Welles wanted the visuals to play into this vast world that Kane would create including a place that is Kane’s idea of paradise in Xanadu.
To play the look of the older Kane, Maurice Seiderman was hired to age Welles to play the older Kane as it would require long hours to do the work as the production would intensify with Welles’ need for attention to detail. Most notably the scene of a man in Thatcher talking to Kane’s parents in adopting the young Kane in the foreground while the young Kane is in the background that exemplify the attention to detail and imagery that Welles wanted. While shooting was completed in October of 1940, re-shoots would occur a month later with Tolland’s crew as Tolland was unavailable due to other commitments. Yet, RKO found themselves aware that Welles had gone over-budget in the shooting as post-production began with film editor Robert Wise and music composer Bernard Herrmann who was given 12 weeks to create a score which was more than enough time for any music composer working on a film.
Before the film was to premiere in February of 1941, controversy arose over the film and its character in relation to William Randolph Hearst. Hearst was upset about the film as its release would be delayed due to Hearst’s demands to have the film banned from theaters as well as pressuring executive at RKO. While completing the film, Welles made his stand against Hearst and RKO finally having the latter bow to pressure when Welles decided to buy his own film himself and let another studio release it. The film finally premiered in May of 1941 where it got good reviews in its initial release but its box office returns were poor as it was unable to recoup its budget at nearly $840,000.
Although the film was named best film by the New York Film Critics Circle as well as the National Board of Review and receiving nine Oscar nominations including Best Picture and three nominations to Welles for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay with Mankiewicz. It would only win the Best Screenplay Oscar as the film would be a critical success despite its poor commercial reception. Years later after its initial release in the U.S., the film would finally be seen in Europe in the aftermath of World War II as it was cited as a monumental film with many discussing its visuals, narrative, and all sorts of things where it would the film maintain its stature as one of the finest films of the 20th Century thus far.
The Magnificent Ambersons
Following the acclaim and notoriety he received in his first film, Welles signed a deal with RKO to continue making films for the studio where approached them about doing an adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s novel about the fortunes of a once-revered family going into a decline due to the arrival of the automobile. Welles had done a performance of book on radio in 1939 with his Mercury Players performing characters from the book with Welles playing George Amberson Minifer as well as its narrator. RKO agreed to have Welles do the film with $854,000 as its budget that was considered reasonable as Welles chose to do the film’s narration and not appear in the film to focus more on directing the film and writing its script.
With the exception of Ray Collins who appeared in Welles’ radio play of the book as he would reprise his role as Jack Amberson, many of the actors who were cast were members of the Mercury Players but never did the book on radio that include Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Erskine Sanford who had previously did Welles’ last film. With Stanley Cortez serving as cinematographer, Welles was able to retain the services of film editor Robert Wise, composer Bernard Herrmann, and set decorator Darrell Silvera for the production which began in late October of 1941 in Los Angeles. Welles wanted to create a real house for the shoot for the actors to live and work at with walls that would roll in for the cameras to move on set. While the shooting would finish in late January of 1942, the film’s budget exceeded to $1.1 million which made RKO very uneasy.
Welles hoped to make the film into something much grander as it relates to this family’s downfall where was faithful to Tarkington’s novel despite some of the changes he made. Even as he knows that the story was downbeat into the fortunes of this family with one of its characters getting his comeuppance in a way that fitting for the fact that he believed he owned the town. Welles previewed the film for an audience in March of 1942 with a running time of 135 minutes after its original cut was at a 148 minutes where it got a mixed response. Welles and Robert Wise decided to do more work on the editing for another preview which didn’t work out so well. During a break in which Welles was asked by Nelson Rockefeller to make a film as part of the Good Neighbor Policy in South America. Things began to fall apart for the film as RKO took command with Wise being asked to help re-edit the film without Welles’ consent along with composer Bernard Herrmann who was anger that much of his score had been cut as he asked to have his name off the credits which RKO did.
The film finally made its premiere on July of 1942 with an 88 minute running time where it was well-received but didn’t do well commercially due to the film’s escalated final budget at $1.1 million. Though Welles wasn’t happy with the final result despite the fact that the deal he made with RKO didn’t give him final cut on a picture they asked him to do. The film was still considered as one of Welles’ finest though many of the scenes that Welles shot and hoped to use for his version of the film are considered lost. The experience of what Welles would endure with RKO over the film would be the first of many battles he would have with studios in trying to maintain his creative vision.
Attempted Production of It’s All True
When he was approached by Nelson Rockefeller on taking on a project as part of the Good Neighbors Policy from the U.S. as a way to ensure friendship with countries in South America. Welles agreed to take part in the project as he would collaborate with friend Norman Forster as they traveled to Mexico and Brazil for the production. The film would be an omnibus feature that would have Welles helm most of the film while Forster directed a segment in Mexico entitled My Friend Bonito. Welles would direct the segments relating to four men on a raft as well as the Carnival. Shooting began in late 1941 with different cinematographers and different film stocks in black-and-white as well as the early Technicolor film stock.
Problems would emerge during a shoot in May 19, 1942 when Welles attempted to recreate the voyage of four fisherman turned tragic when one of the boats got overturned as their leader died. The event was a bad moment for Welles who wanted to finish the segment in tribute to the deceased fisherman but things only got worse behind the scenes as he learned about a change in leadership in RKO that would relate to the re-editing of The Magnificent Ambersons against his consent. Welles wanted to finish the project in South America as a way to appease the new leaders at RKO but was fired from the production in August of 1942 as the film was never finished. Being fired from RKO would hurt Welles as he would spend the next few years as an outsider where he would act in other features such as Robert Stevenson’s Jane Eyre and Norman Forster’s Journey into Fear in 1943 where Welles also did some un-credited direction for the films as well as other projects he would act in.
Following the disappointing experiences of It’s All True and The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles was approached by producer Sam Spiegel about a project about a Nazi criminal who hides in a small town as he’s being hunted by a government agent as he’s trying to start a new life. The film was meant to be directed by John Huston who had done some re-writes on the original script as he chose to help the U.S. government with the war prompting Welles to take Spiegel’s offer under the condition that he would shoot the film with the $1 million budget he is given and on schedule. While Welles would do some rewrites of his own while keeping some of Huston’s work despite the fact that both men wouldn’t receive credit under rules of the Writer’s Guild of America. Welles would star in the film in the lead role of Franz Kindler while Loretta Young is cast as Kindler’s fiancée Mary Longstreet and Edward G. Robinson as the government agent pursuing him.
Having fallen out with Robert Wise over the editing of The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles decided to take on a new crew with the exception of art director Albert S. D’Agostino who had worked on Welles’ last film. Editor Ernest J. Nims and cinematographer Russell Metty were part of the production as they helped keep everything in line for Welles who wanted to prove that he can deliver a film despite the need to do more artistically. Welles and Spiegel did agree in using newsreels about the Holocaust as it relates to Robinson’s motivations in trying to pursue Kindler and other Nazi war criminals. It was a moment that showed Welles willing to confront the horrors of what happened in World War II as he knew it would make many uneasy but felt something had to be said.
Though Welles had hoped to make a deal with Spiegel’s production company to continue making films as a director, the deal fell apart when RKO who would distribute the film chose to end the relationship with Spiegel’s International Picture Productions thinking that the film wouldn’t succeed. Upon its release on July of 1946, the film ended up being a commercial success making more than $3 million against its $1 million budget as it would be the only film in Welles’ career as a director that would have commercial success. While the film did also receive acclaim from the critics and received an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. The film would give Welles the chance to remain in Hollywood just as he was already maintaining a high profile through acclaimed work on radio and theatre as well as being married to film star Rita Hayworth whom he married back in 1943.
The Lady from Shanghai
Around the same time The Stranger was released to movie theaters, Welles attempted to film his lavish play of the musical Around the World with music and lyrics by Cole Porter that was based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Despite the acclaim for the production, it wasn’t a commercial success putting Welles in serious debt despite getting help from film producer Harry Cohn in financing the play. Feeling obligated to Cohn, Welles agreed to make a film project for Cohn in a film noir project based on Sherwood King’s novel If I Die Before I Wake about an Irish sailor who falls for a beautiful woman only to be involved in an embezzlement plot that also involves her rich husband. The project was supposed to be helmed by William Castle who wrote a script along with contributions from Charles Lederer and Fletcher Markle until Welles would eventually write a new script with Castle, Lederer, and Markle receiving un-credited work while Castle was relegated as assistant director for Welles.
Welles agreed to play the lead role of the Irish sailor Michael O’Hara yet when Cohn suggested that the female lead should be played by Welles’ wife Rita Hayworth. Welles had reservations yet knew her star power would attract an audience though she agreed to dye her hair blonde and cut it a little shorter for the role of Elsa “Rosalie” Bannister as her new look was considered scandalous. The cast would include Everett Sloane as Elsa’s husband Arthur as well as longtime Welles’ collaborator Erskine Sanford as a judge. Shooting began in October of 1946 as Welles shot on various locations in San Francisco, Sausalito, Acapulco, and Pie de la Cuesta in Mexico as he wanted to maintain something realistic while aiming for elements of style in the film’s suspenseful moments. Most particularly a scene set in a wall of mirrors that would prove to be a top tier moment in the realm of film noir with some of the camera angles and visual tropes that Welles would do that would become part of his trademark as a filmmaker.
While shooting ended in late February of 1947, Welles was ordered to do another month of reshoots as his relationship with Hayworth began to fall apart. After the re-shoots, Welles delivered a rough cut to Cohn who didn’t like what Welles did as Welles and editor Viola Lawrence worked on trying to deliver a film that both Welles and Cohn would be satisfied with. Yet, Welles was later locked out of the editing room by Cohn who took control of the production with scenes Welles wanted for the film eventually cut out as it related to the elaborate set design by art directors Sturges Carne and Stephen Gooson had created. Still, Welles fought to maintain some element of his vision to ensure that he would be satisfied with the final result.
The film premiered on Christmas Eve of 1947 in France where the film was well-received among European audiences who loved the film’s visual style, art direction, suspense, and performances. When it was finally released in America in June of 1948, the film divided audiences and critics who felt Welles created something nonsensical. The film didn’t do well commercially in America as Welles was starting to fall out of favor with Hollywood and the American public just as he and Rita Hayworth would officially split after the film’s American release. Welles was also facing money problems following the disappointing response to Around the World.
During the troubled post-production period for The Lady of Shanghai as another project that Welles hoped to do with Charles Chaplin that ended up being Monsieur Verdoux that was written, directed, and starred Chaplin. Welles decided to go back to the world of theater for his next film as he turned to British producer Alexander Korda for help but Korda couldn’t get funding. After a meeting with producer Charles K. Feldman, Welles approached Republic Pictures studio founder Herbert Yates about doing a film version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth that Welles would star, write, and direct. Having adapted Shakespeare’s play numerous times including an interpretation with an all-black cast in 1936. Welles decided to draw upon the ideas and interpretations he had from the theater for the film.
When Yates told Welles he is unable to give Welles a large budget for the film, Welles eventually chose to do the film on a smaller budget at $700,000 while he would fund any additional costs in case the film went over budget. While he would have a small crew that consisted of cinematographer John L. Russell, art director/costume designer Fred Ritter, editor Louis Lindsay, and music composer Jacques Ibert on board along with most of the cast that included Irish actor Dan O’Herlihy as Macduff, Roddy McDowell as Malcolm, Peggy Webber in a dual rule as Lady Macduff and a witch, Keene Curtis as Lennox, Welles’ own daughter Christopher in her only film role as Macduff’s child, and longtime Welles collaborator Erskine Sanford as Duncan. Welles had difficulty getting someone to play Lady Macbeth as he wanted Vivien Leigh but was afraid of upsetting her husband and actor in Laurence Olivier.
When Talullah Bankhead, Mercedes McCambridge, and Welles collaborator Agnes Moorehead were unavailable. Welles finally found his Lady Macbeth in an old collaborator in Jeanette Nolan. Shooting began in late 1947 on a 23-day shoot as Welles had to use old soundstages and decayed sets for the production as he fretted over the limitations he was given where he would spend an additional $200,000 to keep things going. Even as Welles had to provide some dubbing on some of the actors to make them sound more Scottish as he also tried to employ some unique visuals to the film despite the constraints he had. The film was set for a late December release in 1947 but Welles delayed the film as there were plans for the film to premiere in August of 1948 at the Venice Film Festival. Realizing that Laurence Olivier was about to premiere his own version of Hamlet, Welles and Republic Pictures pulled the film at the last minute.
When it premiered at a test screening in Boston in October of 1948, the film was not well-received by audiences prompting Welles to do more work with the executives at Republic to create something more accessible where it eventually had an official premiere in late December of 1950. The film was not well-received by audiences and critics as the film would disappear despite making back its $900,000 budget yet barely. For Welles, the film’s failure along with the troubled production of The Lady from Shanghai would force him into exile from Hollywood although both films would eventually be praised. Even in 1980 when Welles’ original cut of the film was restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Folger Shakespeare Library where it helped improve the film’s stature with audiences and critics.
Following the series of professional and personal disappointments that lead to his exile from Hollywood, Welles would fortunately find an audience and appreciation in Europe as he would act in Carol Reed’s noir film The Third Man with Joseph Cotten as it was well-received and helped Welles financially as he would use the money from acting gigs to fund his next project in another William Shakespeare adaptation in Othello. Welles would play the titular role as the Venetian moor while he would assemble a cast that included Micheal MacLiammoir as Iago, Robert Coote as Rodrigo, and Suzanne Cloutier as Desdemona. With financing from an Italian producer who owned a studio, filming went underway in Morocco in 1949 but things began to fall apart immediately which lead to a sporadic three-year shooting schedule with Welles funding the film himself and leaving production to act in other projects for financial reasons.
The Italian production company that was to fund Welles’ film went bankrupt as Welles would stop production for months to get more money yet he would also be forced to move the shooting location in Rome, Venice, and at the Tuscany region in Italy. Actors would be replaced as would costumes forcing Welles to work with whatever he had. Notably the scene of Rodrigo’s death which was to have costumes but they didn’t arrive forcing Welles to create the scene set in a Turkish bathhouse. Despite having to use four different cinematographers for the duration of the three-year shoot, Welles was able to use the limitations of the production to keep things going while also doing a short film written and directed by Hilton Edwards who was playing Brabantio in the film. Even as the unconventional shooting schedule and stops would allow him to create a version of Shakespeare’s tragedy of betrayal and deceit while also commenting on the growing witch hunt in America as it relates to people with supposed Communist views. The film was released in late November of 1951 in Italy in a dubbed version with Welles still working on an English-language version of the film which he would premiere at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival in April of that year. The English-language version of the film would be well-received in Europe as it would share the festival’s top prize with Renato Castellani's Two Cents Worth of Hope.
The film wouldn’t get a U.S. release for three years as he would create a different version that was two-minutes shorter than the European version which was timed at 93 minutes. The U.S. version came out in 1955 where it was largely ignored by the public and critics while Welles’ daughter Beatrice who was born in 1955 would later collaborate with producer Julian Schlossberg on a restoration of the film that made its premiere at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival to a mixed reception. Eventually, Beatrice Welles-Smith would approve of a restored version of both the 1952 European and 1955 American versions when it was released on DVD/Blu-Ray in late 2017 by the Criterion Collection that included Edwards’ short film and Filming Othello as extras.
Due to the success of The Third Man, Welles would take the character that he played in Harry Lime and create a series of radio programs around the character as it would inspire him to create a project based on one of the characters he created for the radio story. It would be set in Europe and other parts of the world where a smuggler is asked by an amnesiac billionaire to find out about his past leading him to chaotic trip around the world. The film would have Welles play the titular character of Gregory Arkadin while Welles’ new wife Paola Mori is cast as Arkadin’s daughter Raina as she and Welles met in 1953 and married two years later as she gave birth to his daughter Beatrice. The cast would have a large ensemble that include Robert Arden in the lead role of smuggler Guy Van Stratten while the rest of the cast included Akim Tamiroff, Patricia Medina, Gregoire Aslan, Jack Watling, Mischa Auer, Peter Van Eyck, and Michael Regrave.
Shooting began in 1954 as Welles also served as costume designer and art director as it would be shot on various locations in Europe to play into the whirlwind trip that Van Stratten would embark on unaware that Arkadin is doing the same. The film would have Welles embark on something mysterious as it play into a man’s identity but also the need to win over a young woman who is torn in her loyalty to her father and the love for this man she met. Shooting would finish in early 1955 as Welles would release a novelization of the film earlier that year while would oversee the editing of the film with editor Renzi Lucidi. Yet, things would eventually start to fall apart when producer Louis Dolivet who was upset over the slow post-production work leading him to fire Welles from the film. Welles’ firing would lead to all sorts of trouble as the film as it would eventually cause confusion with Dolivet releasing several different versions of the film upon its premiere in August of 1955 in London under the title Confidential Report.
Two months later in Madrid, another version of the film was released with a different running time and Spanish dubbing as it was five-minutes shorter than the 98-minute Confidential Report. Another version in Spain was later released that was slightly longer as Dolivet’s version of the film was released throughout Europe where it got a mixed response as Welles was disappointed by the release. In 1961, budding filmmaker Peter Bodanovich discovered a work print of the film which he sent to the independent American distributor Corinth as they released a version based on Welles’ notes with a 99-minute running time. That version would then be re-edited cutting four minutes in a version for American TV as it was poorly received among fans of Welles’ work.
Then in 2006 just more than 20 years after Welles’ passing, Bogdanovich, film critic/historian Jonathan Rosenbaum, Claude Bertemes, and Stefan Drossler of the Munich Film Museum decided to create a new version of the film that would gather all of the existing versions to create a comprehensive version with a 105-minute running time. While not every shot in the film looked great, the intention of the comprehensive version wasn’t to create a definitive version but rather a version closer to what Welles had intended in all of its forms. While the film has remained one of the great cinematic puzzles due to its different versions, Welles was disappointed by its outcome of the film during his existence giving him more obstacles to fight for control of his art.
Early TV projects and Portrait of Gina
Having discovered the new medium that is television, Welles teamed up with the BBC in creating some TV series as the first entitled Orson Welles Sketchbook has the director discussing elements of his life and career while drawing sketches on a sketch book. The show featured six 15-minute episodes would have a one-month run starting in late April as it was well-received leading to another show that Welles would take part in entitled Around the World with Orson Welles as the filmmaker traveled around the world in six 26-minute episodes. Yet, the production was troubled with Welles having shot the pilot as part of an agreement with producer Louis Dolivet while the BBC ordered Welles to create 25 episodes. Only six were finished while a seventh was unfinished as the six episodes made its premiere in 1955 around the time Welles did a one-man stage show on Moby Dick in London that was filmed for a project that never got finished as the play flopped.
After another TV project entitled Orson Welles and People which was to be a documentary TV series as its first episode was a portrait of Alexandre Dumas that never got picked up. Welles did another project as a documentary short film with wife Paola Mori that was funded by ABC as a way to get Welles back to America. The documentary short that was to be part of the Around the World series would be presented to ABC in another form. The short had Welles and Mori explore Italy while interview actor Rossano Brazzi and filmmaker Vittorio de Sica as it all relates to actress Gina Lollabridgida whom Welles would interview. The film played late one night in 1958 yet Welles would lose a copy of the film at a hotel as it would be deemed lost until 1986 just a year after Welles’ death where it played at the Venice Film Festival much to Lollabridgida’s dismay as she refuses to have the short be seen publicly despite being shown on German TV once where it would be frequently bootlegged.
(End of Pt. 1)
Related: Orson Welles: The One-Man Band - The Eyes of Orson Welles - They'll Love Me When I'm Dead - The Auteurs #69: Orson Welles: Part 2
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Didn’t know his father invented the bicycle lamp. I appreciate the effort you put into writing about Orson Welles and you’ve encouraged me to dive into his Shakespearian films. Have you listened to the broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds as part of your project?
Orson said in an interview he was cursed for making Citizen Kane so early in his career, because then every subsequent project was measured up against that impossibly high standard.
@Chris-I have heard his broadcast of The War of the Worlds but it was a long time ago as I wanted to focus more on his work in film. Yes, Citizen Kane was a standard bearer that Welles I'm sure was unable to live up to but I think some of his other films do deserve more praise as I'm sure there's people that like his films that aren't Citizen Kane.
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