Orson Welles

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Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:56 pm

What remains of Twoody's Orson Welles thread from the old ATU site:

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:QMgZaJCQtfYJ:acrosstheuniverse.forumotion.com/t2723-orson-welles+acrosstheuniverse+%2B+orson+welles&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk

...together with a picture of Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, 1941 to enjoy when the link above expires, as it shortly will:



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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:22 pm

Twoody's related thread on "The Third Man" from the old ATU site:

LINK EXPIRED

...so instead here's the theatrical release poster:



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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:25 pm

Pinz's thread on the Anton Karas zither soundtrack for "The Third Man" from the old ATU site:

LINK EXPIRED

...so instead here's Anton Karas' zither soundtrack with edited highlights from the film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6XcMqeA20k


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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:07 pm

^

Surviving material replicated below in the event of link expiry:

********************************************************************

Twood wrote:

Films directed by Welles that I have seen so far are: Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai, Macbeth, Touch of Evil, The Trial, and F for Fake. All of which I have enjoyed and found interesting.

The most recent Welles film that I've seen is 'F For Fake', often described as Welles' second most influencial film, after the mighty 'Citizen Kane'. I've never seen anything like it, after about 15 minutes of first viewing I decided to restart the the whole fim! I felt that I had to adjust my mindset and start again. Welles throws everything at you, cleverly weaving 3 (or is it 5, or is it 7?!) stories together, one has to join this bizarre stream of consciousness (at least that's what it feels like) early, otherwise too much is missed. From what I can tell, the majority of the people in the film are real, as are their stories.... This makes the film even odder, you are constantly wondering how any of this is true, of course it gets even more weird when Welles is there with them all. Most importantly, the film raises a number of interesting questions, whilst not always answering them... like all good films/documentaries etc often do. I'm looking forward to re-watching.

Anyone else a fan of Welles' work? It's a shame some of his films are such an arse to get hold of.


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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:09 pm

Twood wrote:

I just spent about 15 minutes describing the lives of Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving..both of whom are featured in Welles' 'F For Fake'. Sadly, I lost everything I had typed out. I'm rather annoyed. As most here will know, I rarely write much over a couple of lines... THIS WAS EPIC! I am furious.

Anyway, this is copied from Clifford Irving's page on wikipedia:

By 1958, Howard Hughes had become a recluse who hated any kind of public scrutiny. Whenever he found out that someone was writing an unauthorized biography about him, he bought the writer off. By the 1960s, he even refused to appear in court. According to various rumors, he was either terminally ill, mentally unstable, or even dead and replaced by an impersonator.

In 1970, in Spain, Irving met with an author and old friend, Richard Suskind, and spontaneously created the scheme to write Hughes's "autobiography." Irving and Suskind believed that because Hughes had completely withdrawn from public life, he would never want to draw attention to himself by denouncing the book or filing a lawsuit for slander. Suskind would do most of the necessary research in news archives. Irving started by forging letters in Hughes's own hand, imitating authentic letters he had seen displayed in Newsweek magazine. [2]

Irving contacted his publisher, McGraw-Hill, and claimed that he had corresponded with Hughes because of his book about de Hory and that Hughes had expressed interest in letting him write his autobiography. The McGraw-Hill editors invited him to New York, where he showed them three forged letters, one of which claimed that Hughes wished to have his biography written but that he wanted the project to remain secret for the time being. The autobiography would be based on interviews Hughes was willing to do with Irving.

McGraw-Hill agreed to the terms and wrote up contracts between Hughes, Irving and the company; Irving forged Hughes's signatures. McGraw-Hill paid an advance of $100,000, with an additional $400,000 that would go to Hughes. Irving later bargained the sum up to $765,000, with $100,000 going to Irving and the rest to Hughes. McGraw-Hill paid by check, which Irving had his wife deposit to a Swiss bank account. [4]

Irving and Suskind researched all the available information about Hughes. To reinforce the public perception of Hughes as an eccentric recluse, Irving also created fake interviews that he claimed were conducted in remote locations all over the world, including one on a Mexican pyramid. In reality, Irving was meeting his mistress, Danish Baroness Nina van Pallandt, at these destinations.

Irving and Suskind also gained access to the private files of Time-Life, as well as a manuscript by James Phelan, who was ghostwriting memoirs of Noah Dietrich, former business manager to Hughes. Mutual acquaintance and Hollywood producer Stanley Meyer showed Irving a copy of the manuscript—without Phelan's consent—in the hope that he would be willing to rewrite it in a more publishable format. Irving hurriedly made a copy of it for his own purposes.

In the early winter of 1971, Irving delivered the manuscript to McGraw-Hill. He also included notes in Hughes's forged handwriting that an expert forensic document analyst declared genuine. Hughes experts at Time-Life were also convinced. McGraw-Hill announced its intention to publish the book in March, 1972.

Several representatives of Hughes's companies and other people who had known the billionaire expressed their doubts about the forthcoming work's authenticity. Irving countered that Hughes had simply not told them about the book. Meanwhile, Frank McCulloch, known for years as the last journalist to interview Hughes, received an angry call from someone claiming to be Hughes himself. But when McCulloch read the Irving manuscript, he declared that it was indeed accurate. Mike Wallace interviewed Irving for a news broadcast. Wallace later said his camera crew told him Irving was not telling the truth. They understood. I didn't. He got me."

McGraw-Hill and Life magazine, which had paid to publish excerpts of the book, continued to support Irving. Osborn Associates, a firm of handwriting experts, declared the writing samples were authentic. Irving had to submit to a lie-detector test, the results of which indicated inconsistencies but no outright lies.[1] For weeks, there was no sign of Hughes.

On January 7, 1972, Hughes finally contacted the outside world. He arranged a telephone conference with seven journalists who had known him years before. It took place two days later; the journalists' end of the conversation was televised. Hughes denounced Irving, said that he had never even met him, and said that he was still living in the Bahamas. Irving claimed that the voice was probably a fake.

Hughes's lawyer, Chester Davis, filed suit against McGraw-Hill, Life, Clifford Irving and Dell Publications. Swiss authorities investigated a bank account in the name of H. R. Hughes, which had received $750,000. Edith Irving had opened it with the name Helga R. Hughes. When Swiss police visited the Irvings on Ibiza, they denied everything, although Clifford Irving tried to hint that he might have been dealing with an impostor. Then, James Phelan read an excerpt of the book and realized that a few of the facts had been taken from his book. Finally, the Swiss bank identified Edith Irving as the depositor of the funds, and the jig was up.

Eventually, the Irvings gave up and confessed on January 28, 1972. They and Suskind were indicted for fraud, appeared in court on March 13, and were found guilty on June 16. Despite the efforts of Irving's lawyer, Maurice Nessen, Irving was convicted and spent 17 months in prison at the federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut and at the Allenwood Prison in Pennsylvania, where he stopped smoking and took up weightlifting. He voluntarily returned the $765,000 advance to his publishers. Suskind was sentenced to six months and served five.

Following his release, Irving continued to write books, including several bestsellers, notably Trial, Tom Mix and Pancho Villa, Final Argument and Daddy's Girl.

The fraudulent autobiography was published in a private edition in 1999 and has been out of print, but, in March 2008, John Blake Publishing, a British company, issued Howard Hughes: The Autobiography.[5] Irving's website [6] features downloads of his new novel, several free chapters of The Autobiography of Howard Hughes, and even a complete unexpurgated version for a small fee. All the events of the experience were described in detail in Irving's The Hoax, published by The Permanent Press in 1981 .

I can't even be bothered to find the other one. Interesting story though huh?!

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:12 pm

Twood wrote:

Just re-watched CITIZEN KANE. Did the first wife hate Jews or something? What was that line about Bernstein not being welcome at the nursery all about?

_________________

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:13 pm

'The Trial' is a weird one for me, as the film impressed me more than I actually enjoyed it. I'm impressed that he managed to film the novel at all, let alone manage to keep the subtle but excellent humour, but at the same time I couldn't help wonder why the hell was the film made?! The novel just seems too difficult to make into a movie, it kind of seems a pointless thing to do. An impossible task. Nonetheless, like I said, it impressed me. Great to see Perkins too.


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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:15 pm

^

Someone else (Twood?) is going to have to continue the salvage work on these threads because I don't know how to reproduce embedded film clips here.

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  felix on Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:43 am

eddie wrote:^

Surviving material replicated below in the event of link expiry:

********************************************************************

Twood wrote:

Films directed by Welles that I have seen so far are: Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai, Macbeth, Touch of Evil, The Trial, and F for Fake. All of which I have enjoyed and found interesting.

The most recent Welles film that I've seen is 'F For Fake', often described as Welles' second most influencial film, after the mighty 'Citizen Kane'. I've never seen anything like it, after about 15 minutes of first viewing I decided to restart the the whole fim! I felt that I had to adjust my mindset and start again. Welles throws everything at you, cleverly weaving 3 (or is it 5, or is it 7?!) stories together, one has to join this bizarre stream of consciousness (at least that's what it feels like) early, otherwise too much is missed. From what I can tell, the majority of the people in the film are real, as are their stories.... This makes the film even odder, you are constantly wondering how any of this is true, of course it gets even more weird when Welles is there with them all. Most importantly, the film raises a number of interesting questions, whilst not always answering them... like all good films/documentaries etc often do. I'm looking forward to re-watching.

Anyone else a fan of Welles' work? It's a shame some of his films are such an arse to get hold of.


Twoods: "First scene is graet fun


unfortunately, the clip is no longer available...

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  Lee Van Queef on Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:56 am

The famous 'War of the Worlds' broadcast (part 1):


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Re: Orson Welles

Post  Lee Van Queef on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:01 am

And then the apology after everyone (allegedly) believed that Martians were actually taking over.




I read the novel a few years back and was suprised to find that it was set in Woking, Surrey (England).

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:30 am

I much enjoyed Volume 1 of Simon Callow's Welles biography:



...but I've never got around to reading Volume 2, in which I'm hoping that two important questions posed in the Preface to Vol. 1 are answered at last:

1. What happened after Citizen Kane?

2. How and why did Orson get to be so enormously fat?


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Re: Orson Welles

Post  eddie on Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:40 am

Here's The Observer review of Vol 2:

The KO blow from RKO

Philip French salutes the second part of Simon Callow's majestic life of Orson Welles, which charts the director's loathing for Hollywood after the release of Citizen Kane

Philip French The Observer, Sunday 7 May 2006


Orson Welles: Hello Americans
by Simon Callow
Jonathan Cape £25, pp507

Eleven years have passed since the publication of The Road to Xanadu, the first volume of Simon Callow's life of Orson Welles. This second part confirms that, when completed, his project will not only be the best book on Welles but also one of the great biographies in the field of cinema and the performing arts. By then, it will be as long as the splendid three-volume autobiography of Welles's closest associate and subsequent adversary, John Houseman, who figures so prominently in The Road to Xanadu.

Callow's first volume covered Welles's life from his birth into a well-off Midwestern family in 1915 and his precocious boyhood and adolescence. After achieving fame in the radical New York theatre of the late 1930s and attaining national notoriety for his sensational radio production of The War of the Worlds, this 'boy wonder' was given a contract by RKO to work in Hollywood with an unprecedented degree of creative freedom. The book ended with the making of Citizen Kane, not just a remarkable directorial debut, but one of the greatest films of all time, the controversy it aroused and its relative failure at the box office.

Hello Americans picks up the 26-year-old Welles in 1941. Covering six extraordinary years, it addresses 'the most persistent question asked about Orson Welles: what went wrong after Citizen Kane?' There is no simple answer. From the start, Callow dismisses as glib and untrue two frequently advanced explanations. The first is that Welles was self-destructive, the second that he was the victim of a conspiracy on the part of unimaginative, envious and vindictive studio heads and their contacts in the press.

The book begins with Welles doing a familiar juggling act: directing his second film, The Magnificent Ambersons, appearing in and supervising an adaptation of Eric Ambler's Journey Into Fear on an adjoining sound stage, preparing to go to Latin America to make the State Department-sponsored It's All True (the Mexican section of which he was handling by remote control) and writing and presenting a weekly radio show.

He gave a hostage to fortune by leaving for Brazil when Ambersons went into postproduction. While he attempted by phone, cable and an unreliable postal service to work on it, others took over. A catastrophic sneak preview in Pomona (accompanied by the brash Betty Hutton musical The Fleet's In) gave his enemies in the RKO front office the chance to reshoot the end and to cut it down to fit a double bill. This crucial absence after the principal shooting of a movie, accompanied by lengthy instructions from afar as to how his film should be edited (which were largely ignored), was to persist with all his subsequent Hollywood pictures. Was he merely impatient to move on or was he so afraid of making something imperfect that he sought both an alibi and the chance to be exonerated by posterity?

Meanwhile, the ill-planned South American adventure became increasingly chaotic. Endless reels of film were shot at the Rio carnival and in the city's slums. But nothing came of the proposed movie until some of the material was assembled after Welles's death, hinting at what might have been. His voracious, lifelong appetite for work, food, sex, new experiences and fresh excitements came to the fore in Rio. According to one witness, Welles, while looking at some footage his team had taken during the carnival, pointed to a row of chorus girls and said : 'I fucked her and her and her.'

In addition to the filming, he was making regular broadcasts, giving lectures and becoming an expert on Latin American politics and culture, which would lead to Hello Americans, the radio series on Pan-Americanism that gives this book its title. But Callow intends the name to convey more than this. He believes that a crucial connection between everything Welles did at that time was his deep concern for what it means to be American. Thus his eventual departure from the States for Europe was a gesture of great profundity, at once tragic and defiant. In dealing with this bizarre excursion to South America, Callow brilliantly sifts conflicting evidence from various sources to produce a vivid, lucid narrative out of this complex affair.

Welles returned from Brazil to find himself frozen out of RKO, where the joke 'All's well that ends Welles' circulated, and he was not to direct another film until after the war ended. But he remained very much in the public eye, starring in a single movie a year to make money, staging a celebrated magic show in Los Angeles to entertain the troops, appearing on radio, and writing newspaper columns.

In dedicating himself to politics and the war effort, he unwisely expressed contempt for Hollywood and belittled his profession. Nevertheless, he kept a foot in showbusiness, becoming guest presenter of Jack Benny's radio show (where he mocked his own public persona) and marrying the most beautiful and desirable woman in Hollywood, Rita Hayworth. The marriage soon went sour, the neglect being entirely on his part. But after the failure of his Broadway musical extravaganza, Around the World in Eighty Days, landed him in debt, he exploited Hayworth by persuading her to appear with him in the thriller The Lady From Shanghai. Columbia boss Harry Cohn, one of Welles's bêtes noires, would never have financed it without her. Their marriage in many ways resembles that between Arthur Miller (whose career as radio playwright was encouraged by Welles) and Marilyn Monroe (who was briefly Welles's lover in her pre-starlet days).

His interest in politics, as Callow demonstrates, was serious, idealistic and well-informed. When he became an associate editor of the influential liberal journal Free World, its founder, Louis Dolivet, appeared to be grooming him to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations. There was talk of him running for the Senate as Democratic candidate for California or for his home state of Wisconsin, where he would have been up against Joseph McCarthy. He was later, in a vainglorious way, to blame himself for the election of McCarthy. His own dreams of greatness encouraged him to believe he could even become President. Certainly, he was close to the White House, and when his hero Franklin Roosevelt died, it was Welles the CBS network called on to give the first eulogy.

But he was too much of a loose cannon and too lacking in guile to sustain a political career, and, for all his claims to be speaking for the people and the common man, too remote from the public. In 1945, with a reckless disregard for his political future, Welles courageously took up the case of a black ex-GI who'd been blinded by a racist cop in South Carolina shortly after being demobbed and he became a hero for blacks and liberals. Bringing the white lawman to justice became a passionate cause. But his broadcasts on the subject had the Deep South up in arms, attracted hate mail, brought accusations of communist propaganda (the story had initially appeared in The Daily Worker), and brought an abrupt end to his programme and his radio career.

Many of Welles's admirers are besotted apologists. Callow is clear-eyed about the behaviour of this self-aggrandising egotist, but he's never smugly censorious. He brings his own experience as an actor and director to bear on Welles's films and performances and there is here some of the most vivid and instructive writing on the craft of movie and stage acting I've ever read. 'The truth is,' he observes, 'that on screen Welles was an extraordinary presence, but rarely an engaged actor.'

The book concludes with Welles deeply in debt, estranged from Truman's America, disgusted with Hollywood and going into what was to be an almost permanent exile in Europe. He left behind him a messy version of Macbeth, which wasn't released for another three years, and a long trail of unrealised projects, among them a life of Christ, a film of Mein Kampf and a version of War and Peace. Saddest of all, perhaps, is that he wasn't able to accept the invitation of Bertolt Brecht and Charles Laughton to direct the American premiere of Galileo.

Three pages from the end, there's a heartbreaking story. In July 1948, Richard Wilson, Welles's right-hand man for more than a decade, informed the absent Welles that the New York warehouse that had been storing the props and scenery from the Mercury Company's great prewar plays, including those from the voodoo Macbeth and the anti-fascist modern-dress Caesar, hadn't been paid the $100-a-week storage fee for several years. They were thus about to sell the stuff off and indeed they did so. Simon Callow doesn't underline the significance of this. He expects us to recall the end of Citizen Kane, when the detritus of Kane's life, ending up with the Rosebud sledge, is tossed into the furnace and it all goes up in smoke into the sky above Xanadu.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  Lee Van Queef on Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:39 am

I've read Vol 2, but not Vol 1. Isn't the front picture brilliant? Legend.

I liked it, but was kind of glad when it was over. Not necessarily the fault of the book, it's just taken me a little while to realise that biographies aren't really my thing. Well, some are, but generally biographies on modern day artists don't interest me enough to want to read the whole thing. It was quite a similar experience to reading a Dylan biography regarding the whole squandered talent thing (during the 80s and early 90s).

Callow made a documentary on Welles which if I remember rightly dealt with a lot of the stuff that happens in vol 2. It gets shown on BBC quite a lot, if it's on again I'll let you (Eddie) know.

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:20 am





Roddenberry - wot a schmuck, giving his wife billing ahead of Nichols & Koening, Razz 

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  felix on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:58 am



Good vintage rock jukebox mid 70s. Probably a bankers' haunt these days... who knows?

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Re: Orson Welles

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:40 pm

Rosebud has a weird dream about Bing:



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Re: Orson Welles

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