Monday, August 8, 2011

Orson Welles.

Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985), was known as a very talented film director, actor, theatre director. He was also well known for his distinctive uses of lighting, unique camera angles, sound techniques, deep focus shots, and long takes.

After directing theatrical productions, Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, Welles, found fame as the director and narrator of H. G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds(1938), performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre. It was said to have caused panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings were invading our planet.

Citizen Kane (1941), his first film with RKO, in which he starred in the role of Charles Foster Kane, is often considered the greatest film ever made. The film shows reporters looking for the last word spoke by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel about Kane's life and then takes you through many flashbacks from Kane's life of fame to his down fall.

Several of his other films, include:

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). A film about a wild young man named Eugene Morgan, who wants to marry Isabel Amberson, daughter of a rich family, but.. she marries reliable, Wilbur Minafer. Their only child, George, grows up a spoiled brat. Many years later, Eugene comes back, a wealthy widower. After Wilbur dies, Eugene again asks Isabel to marry him. But George and his meddling aunt Fanny, manage to stop the marriage. The Ambersons and George, find themselves in one disaster after another.. . Welles provides the voice over narration.

The Lady from Shanghai (1947). The cinematography, in this film noir is one of the films that Welles' is known for with odd angles, quick cuts, long pans and lighting. Orson Welles, pulls off a very believable, Irish brogue. Rita Hayworth, who was married to Welles at the time, performs her usual roles as a sex goddess, in this wonderful film noir classic!

Touch of Evil (1958). Written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel, Badge of Evil, by Whit Masterson. Cast: Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, and Marlene Dietrich. Touch of Evil, is one of the last examples of film noir.

When Mexican Narcotics officer Mike Vargas, has to return early from his honeymoon, because a American building contractor is killed on the border. Vargas, finds himself working on a case against the Grandi family crime syndicate. Police Captain Hank Quinlan, suspects, a Mexican named Manolo Sanchez. Vargas, catches Quinlan and his Sergeant, Pete Menzies, planting evidence to convict Sanchez. Thinking his new wife, Susie, is safe in a hotel on the US side of the border, he starts to review Quinlan's earlier cases. The Grandis, have their own plans for Vargas and his wife Susie.

Chimes at Midnight (1965). Sir John Falstaff, is the main character from Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' and other plays, made into a story of Falstaff's career as young Prince Hal's drinking companion. The massive knight philosophizes comically. Set in a real-looking late-medieval England.

Video: 1st of 11.

F for Fake (1974). Is the last major film completed by Orson Welles, who directed, co-wrote, and starred in the film. It focuses on Elmyr de Hory's career, as a professional art forger. de Hory's story is about the investigation of authorship and authenticity. Loosely a documentary, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a kind of film essay.

Personal Quote:

"I want to give the audience a hint of a scene. No more than that. Give them too much and they won't contribute anything themselves. Give them just a suggestion and you get them working with you. That's what gives the theater meaning: when it becomes a social act."

Fun Fact: Frank Sinatra was the godfather of he and Rita Hayworth's daughter, Rebecca Welles.


  1. Great post. I have only seen Orson in The Lady From Shanghai, but you've got me interested in seeing others.

  2. Craig Wingard, Thank you and welcome. The film, Citizen Kane, is not my favorite film. But.. I do think everyone should see it a least one time.


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