All About Orson Welles*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by NickySee, Nov 11, 2022.

  1. ArchFates

    ArchFates Forum Resident

    Location:
    Finland
    Four hour long The Lady from Shanghai was most probably rough cut which had all the shot scenes included, and not what he wanted it to be. I imagine he was planning on editing the film down to about two hours long, which all of his movies tended to be, I think even Magnificent Ambersons was just about 130-140 minutes long before it was cut down to pieces.

    I also came by this video a while ago, great tribute to Welles' style:
     
  2. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    thanks for posting that link, The trial had always eluded me and I was not disappointed...
     
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  3. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I know this will sound redundant, but yes, my favorite movie of his is "Citizen Kane" but I'd say I'd rather watch a 2-hour interview, as opposed to a 2-hour movie of his.

    The man was a maverick - "Commerce is the enemy of the arts" he once said. An artist shouldn't be a salesman, although Orson said movie-making was "90% hustle, 10% film-making". I would have liked to have seen "And The Cradle Will Rock" (I know there is one with Tim Robbins, just haven't seen it).

    Orson Welles Interview Tomorrow with Tom Snyder 4-8-1975
     
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  4. mike s in nyc

    mike s in nyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    new york, NY
    Has anyone mentioned 'The stranger' yet? Fine film, directed by Welles, and with him and Edward G Robinson....
     
  5. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    I need to look at his Shakespeare movies, especially the one in which he plays Falstaff
     
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  6. 64FALCON

    64FALCON Forum Resident

    If anyone remembers the 1970 comedy START THE REVOLUTION WITHOUT ME recall that Orson plays the 'Narrator' in the film. It is a pretty funny movie involving a mixed-up set of twins.
     
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  7. ArchFates

    ArchFates Forum Resident

    Location:
    Finland
    Yeah, that's Chimes of Midnight. Macbeth and Othello are very good, but especially Macbeth was made with very low budget, and it's more like filmed theater play stylistically, and the scottish accents might put some people off.

    I'd recommend watching the original 1952 version of Othello, it has better editing and the original voice by the actress who plays Desdemona, she was dubbed for the 1955-version for some reason by another actress. The original 1952 version was almost impossible to come by in home video before The Criterion Collection released it in their blu-ray, along with the '55-version.
     
  8. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Senior Member

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    I love Orson but had a hard time getting through his lesser films. It's probably stereotypical, but my top four films of his are Kane, Ambersons, Touch of Evil, Shanghai. After that, they're interesting but I can't say I enjoyed the ones I've seen enough to rewatch. Journey into Fear was alright, Chimes at Midnight was better, Immortal Story was a complete slog even at an hour length, and F for Fake was fun, but not something I think I'd rewatch much. A lot of the movies feel like the beach boys' smile - tons of great ideas that never quite gel into something that feels complete.
     
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  9. Yes, I liked this one.

    Another fun movie with Orson is The Southern Star, with Christopher Lee, George Segal and Ursula Andress. Orson plays a drunken diamond mine security chief. Some fine scenery chewing by one and all.
     
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  10. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    I still don't understand why "Journey Into Fear" is not available on blu-ray... or DVD for that matter. Sheesh.
     
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  11. Jay_Z

    Jay_Z Forum Resident

    It's only the second film to feature Orson Welles getting shot and falling into water with a resounding splash. What a bizarre callback that was.

    Touch Of Evil over Kane for me. Touch Of Evil makes all of the same basic points about Welles and is more concise. I don't care about the Kane backstory, that doesn't matter to what's on screen. Kane suffers from having two different writers with different agendas and that compromises its message. Not really fond of the Mankiewicz potshots at Hearst, not because I care about Hearst, I just would have appreciated the portrait of Hearst to be closer to the real deal than Kane ever was.
     
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  12. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    I'd count The Stranger with his best films.
     
  13. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Senior Member

    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Touch of Evil really is great. Kane for me is great, but Susan is so annoying that I find the last quarter of the film a bit tedious to get through. I get it as part of the story, but having seen the movie so many times, I usually flip to something else when we get to that section.

    As an actor, well The Third Man is my all time favorite movie, I never ever get tired of that one
     
  14. Kassonica

    Kassonica Forum Resident

    he plays one of the greatest villains in movie history in the 3rd man... :)
     
  15. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    To quote Jonathan Rosenbaum, "the features of Orson Welles fall into two categories: those he finished and released to his satisfaction and those he didn’t. In the first category are Citizen Kane, Macbeth, Othello, The Trial, Chimes at Midnight, The Immortal Story, F for Fake, and Filming “Othello.” And in the second batch are The Magnificent Ambersons, It’s All True, The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai, Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil, The Deep, The Other Side of the Wind, The Dreamers, and Don Quixote."
     
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  16. MortSahlFan

    MortSahlFan Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Completely agree with Susan being annoying with that drunk talk.

    I've never seen any of his Shakespeare movies, but I could never get into the language, costume, etc.

    Best entrance in a movie is probably, "The Third Man"

    "The Stranger" has got to be his most accessible movie. "The Trial" is very suffocating.
     
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  17. davebush

    davebush New Test Leper

    Location:
    Fonthill, ON
    Am I the first to mention Harry Lime, his radio drama series? It's wonderful.
     
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  18. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    I really enjoyed the low budget A Safe Place with Orson...

    A Safe Place

    1971

    One of the discoveries of the groundbreaking production company BBS was director Henry Jaglom. The fiercely idiosyncratic filmmaker—who would go on to have a decades-spanning career making independently produced female character studies—was first revealed to the film world with A Safe Place. In this delicate, introspective drama, laced with fantasy elements, Tuesday Weld stars as a fragile young woman in New York, unable to reconcile her ambiguous past with her unmoored present; Orson Welles as an enchanting Central Park magician and Jack Nicholson as a mysterious ex-lover round out the cast.

    A Safe Place - Wikipedia
     
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  19. Alien Reg

    Alien Reg Forum Resident

    No DVD of Other Side of the Wind yet?
     
  20. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I'd never heard of this one. Thanks. YT has a decent copy (intro choppd off, probably because of rights issues) -

     
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  21. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY
    That's Chimes at Midnight, Welles' personal favorite and, at one point, I considered his best but - and it's really a pet peeve - I can't stand the canned laughter soundtrack. I'm old school - you have to earn your laughs, don't tell me something is funny, even if it is a 400 year old play. Be funny! ;)

    [​IMG]
    Anyway, there's a fine version of Chimes on the Internet Archive. It's still one of his best films.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2022
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  22. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    New York, NY
  23. I first saw Orson Welles in those wine commercials and some bad Pia Zadora film. I wasn't impressed. Someone told me he directed the greatest film ever made. That was hard to believe.

    Then I saw The Third Man. That changed everything. This man could really act. Then I saw History of the World, Part I. Not the first film people use to recommend Orson Welles, but it was funny.

    The first film I saw that he directed was The Lady From Shanghai. I was unimpressed all over again. I didn't know anything about his studio troubles at the time.

    I was blown away when I finally saw Citizen Kane. After hearing so many people talk about it I never thought it could live up to the hype. It was even better than I expected. When I saw Touch of Evil I realized how sad it was that he was making wine commercials in his later years.
     
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  24. 64FALCON

    64FALCON Forum Resident

    I think the bad Pia Zadora film was 'BUTTERFLY' (1981).
     
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  25. Alien Reg

    Alien Reg Forum Resident

    Is there a list somewhere of "best quality" editions of his films - DVD or Blu-ray or online? Picture-wise, my Othello is very fuzzy and Chimes at Midnight has a bright, brittle look to it.
     
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