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George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 — October 10,
1985) was an American radio broadcaster, theatre director, film director and
actor. He gained international notoriety for his October 30, 1938 radio
broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, which panicked millions of
listeners, but he is best known for his 1941 film classic Citizen Kane, often
chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made.
Born May 6, 1915
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.A
Died October 10, 1985
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A
Youth and early career (1915 to 1934)
Welles was born in 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the
second son of Richard Head Welles, a wealthy inventor in the bicycle lamp trade,
and Beatrice Ives, a concert pianist and suffragette. He was raised a Roman
Catholic. At eighteen months, Welles was declared a child prodigy by Dr. Maurice
Bernstein, a Chicago physician. His mother taught him Shakespeare, as well as
the piano and violin; he learned magic from vaudevillians. When Welles was six,
his parents divorced and his mother moved to Chicago with him, where they
attended the opera, theatre and concerts. Beatrice Welles died of jaundice on
May 10, 1924 in a Chicago hospital. Richard Welles died when the boy was
fifteen, the summer after Welles's graduation from the Todd School for Boys in
Woodstock, Illinois. Bernstein then became his guardian.
Welles performed and staged his first theatrical
productions while attending the Todd School and was brought under the guidance
of a teacher, later Todd's headmaster, Roger Hill. While there he was also
tutored by Dorothy Hartshorne, a singer and the widow of theologian and
philosopher Charles Hartshorne.
He made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre of
Dublin, Ireland in 1931 when he talked himself onto the stage and appeared in
small supporting roles. By 1934 he was a radio actor in New York City, working
with actors who would later join him in forming the Mercury Theatre. In 1934, he
married the actress and socialite Virginia Nicholson (they would have one
daughter, Christopher, who is a well-known illustrator of children's books known
as Chris Welles Feder). His early film, the eight-minute silent short film The
Hearts of Age, also featured Nicholson.
Renown in theater and radio (1936 to 1939)
In 1936, the Federal Theatre Project (part of
Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration), began putting unemployed theatre
performers and employees to work. Welles was hired by John Houseman and assigned
to direct a project for Harlem's Negro Theatre Unit. Wanting to give his
all-black cast a chance to play classics, he offered them Macbeth, relocated to
Haiti at the court of King Henri Christophe (and with a setting of voodoo witch
doctors.) Jack Carter played Macbeth. The play was rapturously received and
later toured the nation. It is considered a landmark of African-American
theatre. Welles was 21 and hailed as a prodigy.
After the success of Macbeth, Welles put on Dr.
Faustus and the satire Horse Eats Hat. In 1937, he rehearsed Marc Blitzstein's
pro-union 'labour opera' The Cradle Will Rock, but due to Congressional worries
about Communist propaganda in the Federal Theatre, the show's premiere at the
Maxine Elliott Theatre was cancelled, the theater locked and guarded by National
Guardsmen. Welles and Houseman announced to ticket-holders that the show was
being taken to another theater, The Venice, about twenty blocks away. Cast, crew
and audience walked the distance on foot. Ironically, since the unions forbade
the actors and musicians to perform from the stage, The Cradle Will Rock began
with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment
onstage, with the cast performing their parts from the audience. The show was a
No longer with the Federal Theatre, Welles and
Houseman formed their own company, the Mercury Theatre (which would include
actors such as Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, Ray Collins, George Colouris,
Frank Readick, Everett Sloane, Eustace Wyatt and Erskine Sanford, all of whom
would continue to work for Welles for years.) Their first production was
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, set in fascist Italy. Cinna the Poet died at the
hands not of a mob but a secret police force. According to Norman Lloyd, who
played Cinna, "it stopped the show." The applause lasted more than 3 minutes. It
was a great success and widely acclaimed.
At the same time, Welles became very active on
radio, first as an actor and soon as a director and producer. He played Hamlet
for CBS on The Columbia Workshop, adapting and directing the play himself. The
Mutual Network gave him a seven-week series to adapt Les Miserables. He began
anonymously playing Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, in late 1937 (again for
Mutual,) and in the summer of 1938 CBS gave him (and the Mercury Theatre) a
weekly hour-long show to broadcast radio plays based on classic literary works.
The show was titled The Mercury Theatre on the Air, with original music by
Bernard Herrmann (who would continue working with Welles on radio and in films
for years.) Their October 30 broadcast of that year was H. G. Wells' The War of
the Worlds. This brought Welles fame on an international level, as the program's
realism created widespread panic among listeners (who believed an actual Martian
invasion was underway,) a panic reported around the world. Because of the
notoriety of the production, Hollywood offers soon came Welles' way, and The
Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a 'sustaining show' (without
sponsorship,) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.
Welles in Hollywood (1939 to 1948)
After the War of the Worlds broadcast, RKO Pictures
president George Schaefer offered what is considered to have been the greatest
contract ever offered: a two-picture deal with total artistic control, including
script, cast, final cut, and crew. With this offer in hand, Welles (and the
entire Mercury Theatre) moved to Hollywood. Soon The Campbell Playhouse shows
originated from Los Angeles, rather than New York City.
At first, Welles toyed with various ideas for his
first project for RKO, settling briefly on an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's
Heart of Darkness. He planned to film the action with a subjective camera from
the protagonist's point of view. But when a budget was drawn up, RKO's
enthusiasm began to cool. RKO also declined to approve Welles' project The
Smiler with the Knife, according to Welles because RKO had no faith in Lucille
Ball as a leading lady.
In a sign of things to come, Welles left The
Campbell Playhouse in 1940, due to continuing creative differences with the
sponsor. The show continued without him, produced by John Houseman.
Realizing that he had to come up with something or
else lose his film contract, Welles finally found a suitable project in an idea
co-conceived with screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (who was writing radio plays
for The Campbell Playhouse.) Initially called American, it would eventually
become Welles' first feature film, Citizen Kane (1941).
Mankiewicz' idea was based mainly on the life of
William Randolph Hearst, whom Mankiewicz knew socially, being great friends with
Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies. The character was also loosely based on Robert
McCormick and Joseph Pulitzer. Welles' idea was to show the same character, even
the same scenes, from several points of view, to illustrate how differently the
character would appear to the different people in his life. At Welles' urging,
Mankiewicz wrote the screenplay, assisted by John Houseman, who wrote the
opening narration in a pastiche of The March of Time newsreels. Welles then took
the Mankiewicz draft, drastically condensed and rearranged it, and added at
least three scenes of his own. While there is no question that the character of
Charles Foster Kane is based on Hearst, there are also allusions to Welles
himself, most noticeably in the treatment of Kane's childhood.
Once the script was completed, Welles proceeded to
hire the best technicians he could, including Gregg Toland, considered one of
the best cinematographers of the time. The apocryphal story is that Toland
simply walked into Welles' office and announced he wanted to work on the
picture. For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre.
Welles knew films were a collaboration and invited suggestions from everyone.
There was little concern or controversy at the time
that Welles completed production on the film. However, in an act that can only
be considered self-sabotage, Mankiewicz gave a copy of the final shooting script
to his friend Charles Lederer, the husband of Welles' ex-wife Virginia Nicholson
and nephew of Hearst's mistress Marion Davies. In this way, Hearst found out
about the existence of the movie and sent his gossip columnist, Louella Parsons,
to a screening of the picture. Parsons, realizing immediately that the film was
based on Hearst's life, reported back to him. Thus began the controversy over
Hearst's media empire boycotted the film and
exerted an enormous amount of pressure on the Hollywood film community, even
threatening to expose all the studio bosses as being Jewish. At one point, the
heads of all the studios jointly offered RKO the cost of the film in exchange
for the negative and all existing prints, for the express purpose of burning it.
RKO declined, and eventually the film was released. However, Hearst had
successfully threatened every theatre chain, by stating that if they showed
Citizen Kane he would not allow any advertising for any of their films in any of
his papers, so aside from the theaters RKO owned, there weren't many movie
houses that actually played it. The film was critically well-received. It
garnered nine Academy Award nominations, though it only won for Best Original
Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. But the picture fared poorly at the
box-office, and lost RKO most of its $800,000 investment.
Welles was offered a new radio series by CBS.
Called The Orson Welles Show and sponsored by Lady Esther Cosmetics, it was a
half-hour variety show of short stories, comedy skits, poetry and musical
numbers. Joining the original Mercury Theatre cast was Jiminy Cricket, "on loan
from Walt Disney." According to the Ward Wheelock Agency, the variety format was
unpopular with the listeners, and Welles was soon forced into full half-hour
Welles' second film for RKO was The Magnificent
Ambersons, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington,
and on which RKO executives hoped to make back the money lost by Citizen Kane's
relative commercial failure. Ambersons had already been adapted for The Campbell
Playhouse, and Welles wrote the screen adaption himself, purportedly while on
King Vidor's yacht. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named
cinematographer. Cortez was very slow in realizing Welles' intentions, and the
film lagged behind schedule and over budget.
Simultaneously (and at RKO's request), Welles
worked on an adaption of Eric Ambler's spy thriller, Journey Into Fear, which he
co-wrote with Joseph Cotten. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was also
a producer. Direction was credited solely to Norman Foster, but Welles later
stated that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was whoever
was closest to the camera.
During the production of Ambersons and Journey into
Fear, Welles was asked by John Rockefeller and Jock Whitney to make a
documentary film about South America on behalf of the government's Good
Neighbour Policy (a wartime propaganda effort designed to prevent Latin America
from allying with the Axis Powers.) Expected to film the Carnival in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil, Welles was in a horrendous rush to finish the editing on
Ambersons and his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. He ended his CBS radio
show, put together a rough cut of Ambersons with Robert Wise (who had edited
Citizen Kane,) and left the United States. He completed his final cut via phone
call, telegram, and shortwave radio, and that version was previewed in Pomona to
a disastrous audience reaction (in particular to the main character played by
Tim Holt.) Since Welles' original contract granting him complete control was no
longer in effect, the studio took control of the film, formed a committee which
included George Schaefer, Joseph Cotten, Robert Wise, and Welles' business
manager Jack Moss, and proceeded to remove fifty minutes of Welles' footage,
re-shooting sequences which had a bad audience reaction, rearranging the scene
order, and tacking on a happy ending. Schaefer was then replaced by new RKO
president Charles Koerner, who released the shortened film on the bottom of a
double-bill with the Lupe Velez comedy Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost. Ambersons
was an expensive flop for RKO, though Agnes Moorehead did receive a Best
Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.
Welles' South American documentary, titled It's All
True, was budgeted at one million dollars, with half of the budget to be paid by
the US Government upon completion of the film. However, RKO was appalled by the
rushes they saw of interracial revellers at Carnival (not commercial fare for
1942.) Welles was recreating the journey of the jangadeiros, four poor fisherman
who had made a 1500 mile journey on their open raft to petition Brazillian
president Vargas about their working conditions. The four had become national
folk heroes, and Welles first read of their journey in Time Magazine. After
their leader, Jacare, died during a filming mishap, Koerner closed the film and
fired Welles and his entire company. Welles begged to be able to finish the film
and was given a limited amount of black-and-white stock and a silent camera. He
completed the sequence, but RKO refused to let him complete the film. Some of
the surviving footage was released in 1993.
Though a European version of Journey into Fear had
already been released, Welles was able to do some post-production for the US
version, which involved some re-editing, recording Joseph Cotten's narration and
filming a new ending. This version was released in 1943.
Unable to find work as a film director after the
twin disasters of The Magnificent Ambersons and It's All True, Welles did find
work directing in 1942 on radio. CBS offered him two weekly series, Hello
Americans, which was based on the research he'd done in Brazil, and Ceiling
Unlimited, sponsored by Lockheed/Vega and which was a wartime salute to advances
in aviation. Both featured several members of his original Mercury Theatre.
Within a few months Hello Americans was cancelled and Welles was replaced as
host of Ceiling Unlimited by Joseph Cotten. Welles guest-starred on a great
variety of shows, notably guest-hosting Jack Benny's show for a month in 1943.
Around this time, Welles married Rita Hayworth.
They had a child, Rebecca Welles, and divorced in 1948. Welles also found work
as an actor in other directors' films. He starred in the 1943 film adaption of
Jane Eyre, trading an 'associate producer' credit for top billing over Joan
Fontaine. He also had a cameo in the 1944 wartime salute Follow the Boys, in
which he performed his Mercury Wonder Show magic act and sawed Marlene Dietrich
in half; Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn refused to release Hayworth for the
In 1944 Welles was offered a new radio show to
direct, though it was broadcast only in California, not nationally. Orson
Welles' Almanac was another half-hour variety show, with Mobil Oil as sponsor.
But after the success of The Jack Benny Show, the focus was primarily on comedy.
The trade papers were not eager to accept Welles as a comedian, and Welles often
complained on-air about the poor quality of the scripts. When Welles started his
Mercury Wonder Show a few months later, travelling to Armed Forces camps and
performing magic tricks and doing comedy, the radio show was broadcast live from
the camps and the material took a decidedly wartime flavour. Of his original
Mercury actors, only Agnes Moorehead was left. The series was cancelled by
year's end due to poor ratings.
In 1945 Welles starred in the tear-jerker Tomorrow
Is Forever with Claudette Colbert. While his suitability as a film director
remained in question, Welles' popularity as an actor continued. Pabst Blue
Ribbon gave Welles their radio series This Is My Best to direct, but after one
month he was fired for creative differences. He started writing a political
column for the New York Post, again called Orson Welles Almanac. While requested
by the paper to write about Hollywood, Welles wanted to explore political
issues, and the column became a confused blending of both. If Welles had clear
political views, he was not yet skilled at conveying them. The column failed in
syndication and was soon dropped by the Post.
In 1946, International Pictures released Welles'
film The Stranger, starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Welles. Sam
Spiegel produced the film, which follows the hunt for a Nazi war criminal living
under an alias in America. While only Anthony Veiller was credited with the
screenplay, it had been rewritten by Welles and John Huston. Seeking to avoid
the expense and controversy of Welles' earlier films, Spiegel kept tight control
of the project, and the result was comparatively unimaginative work from Welles.
Welles resolved not to have a career as a cog in a Hollywood studio and resumed
looking for the creative control which had brought him to Hollywood originally.
In the summer of 1946 Welles directed a musical
stage version of Around the World in Eighty Days, with a comedic and ironic
rewriting of the Jules Verne novel by Welles, incidental music and songs by Cole
Porter, and production by Mike Todd (who would later produce the successful film
version with David Niven.) When Todd pulled out from the lavish and expensive
production, Welles supported the finances himself. When he ran out of money at
one point, he convinced Columbia president Harry Cohn to send him enough to
continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and
star in a film for Cohn for no further fee. The stage show would soon fail due
to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes. He
wound up owing the IRS several hundred thousand dollars, and in a few years time
Welles would seek tax-shelter in Europe.
At the same time in 1946 he began two new radio
series, The Mercury Summer Theatre for CBS and Orson Welles Commentaries for
ABC. While Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptions of some of the classic
Mercury radio shows from the 1930s, the first episode was a condensation of his
Around the World stage play, and remains the only record of Cole Porter's music
for the project. Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as
well as Bernard Herrmann. It was only scheduled for the summer months, and
Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a
political soap-box, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Again
Welles lacked a clear focus, until the NAACP brought to his attention the case
of Isaac Woodward. Welles devoted the rest of the run of the series to
Woodward's cause, was the first broadcaster to bring it to national attention,
and caused shockwaves across the nation. Soon Welles was being burned in effigy
in the South and The Stranger was banned in several southern states. ABC was
unable to find a sponsor for the radio show and soon cancelled it. Welles never
had a regular radio show in America again and would never direct another
The film for Cohn wound up being The Lady from
Shanghai, filmed in 1947 for Columbia Pictures. Intended to be a modest
thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles then-estranged
second wife Rita Hayworth costar. Cohn was enraged by Welles' rough-cut, in
particular the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and ordered extensive
editing and reshoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour
of Welles' first cut had been removed. While expressing dismay at the cuts,
Welles was particularly appalled by the soundtrack, objecting to the musical
score he thought more suitable for a Disney cartoon and the lack of the ambient
soundscape he had designed. The film was considered a disaster in America at the
time of release. Welles recalled people refusing to speak to him about it to
save him embarrassment. Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalised
their divorce. Though the film was acclaimed in Europe, it was not embraced in
the US for several decades.
Unable to find work as a director at any of the
major studios, in 1948 Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a
low-budget version of Macbeth, which featured paper-mache sets, cardboard crowns
and a cast of actors lip-synching to a prerecorded soundtrack. Republic did not
care for the Scottish accents on the soundtrack and held up release for almost a
year. Welles left for Europe, while his co-producer and life-long supporter
Richard Wilson reworked the soundtrack. Welles ultimately returned and cut
twenty minutes from the film at Republic's request and recorded narration to
cover the gaps. The film was decried as another disaster. In the late 1970s it
was restored to Welles' original version.
Welles in Europe (1948 to 1956)
Welles left Hollywood for Europe in 1948, drawn by
some acting offers and to look for producers who would allow him to direct. He
also had the tax bill to pay.
In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the 1948 film
Black Magic. His costar was Akim Tamiroff, who impressed Welles so much that he
appeared in four of Welles' own productions during the 1950s and 1960s.
The following year, Welles appeared as Harry Lime
in The Third Man, written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed, starring
Mercury Theatre alumnus Joseph Cotten, and with a memorable zither score by
Anton Karas. The film was an international smash hit, but Welles unfortunately
turned down a percentage of the gross in exchange for a lump-sum advance. A few
years later British radio producer Harry Alan Towers would resurrect the Lime
character for radio in the series The Lives of Harry Lime. The 1951 series
included new recordings by Karas, was very successful, and ran for 52 weeks; a
handful of episodes written by Welles himself (a claim disputed by Towers, who
maintains they were written by Ernest Borneman) would serve as the basis for the
screenplay of Welles' 1955 film Mr. Arkadin.
Welles also appeared as Cesare Borgia in the 1949
Italian film Prince of Foxes, with Tyrone Power and Mercury Theatre alumnus
Everett Sloane, and as the Mongol warrior Bayan in the 1950 film version of the
novel The Black Rose (again with Tyrone Power). During this time, Welles was
channelling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of
Shakespeare's play Othello.
From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello,
filming on location in Europe and Morocco. The film featured Micheál MacLiammóir
as Iago and Hilton Edwards as Desdemona's father Brabantio (Edwards and
MacLiammóir ran the Gate Theatre in Ireland and had given Welles his first
professional job as actor in 1931). Suzanne Cloutier starred as Desdemona and
Campbell Playhouse alumnus Robert Coote appeared as Iago's lackey Roderigo.
Filming was suspended several times over the years as Welles ran out of funds
and left to find other acting jobs (accounted in detail in MacLiammóir's
published memoir Put Money in Thy Purse). When it premiered at the Cannes Film
Festival it won the Palme d'Or, but was not given a general release in the
United States until 1955 (by which time Welles had re-cut the first reel and
redubbed most of the film, removing Cloutier's voice entirely) and played only
in New York and Los Angeles. The American release prints had a technically
flawed soundtrack (suffering from a complete drop-out of sound at every quiet
moment), and it was one of these flawed prints that was restored (by Welles'
daughter Beatrice Welles-Smith) in 1992 for a wide re-release. The restoration
included reconstructing Francesco Lavagnino's original musical score (which was
inaudible) and adding ambient stereo sound effects (which weren't in the
original film and sound like the roar of a busy expressway). Though still active
in Italy, Lavagnino was not consulted. The subject of great controversy among
film scholars, the restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in
America. (An unflawed print of the US version was released in Europe on
laser-disc in the 1990s and the original Cannes version has survived as well).
In 1952 Welles continued finding work in England,
after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Harry Alan Towers offered Welles
another series, The Black Museum, with Welles as host and narrator, and this
would also run 52 weeks. Director Herbert Wilcox offered him the part of the
murdered victim in Trent's Last Case, based on the novel by E. C. Bentley. And
in 1953 the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman's
epic poem Song of Myself. Towers hired Welles again, to play Professor Moriarty
in the radio series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Gielgud and
Late in 1953 Welles returned to America to star in
a live CBS Omnibus television presentation of Shakespeare's play King Lear. The
cast included Micheál MacLiammóir and Alan Badel. While Welles received good
notices, he was guarded by IRS agents, prohibited to leave his hotel room when
not at the studio, prevented from making any purchases, and the entire sum (less
expenses) he earned went to his tax bill. Welles returned to England after the
In 1954, director George More O'Ferrall offered
Welles the title role in the Lord Mountdrago segment of Three Cases of Murder,
costarring Alan Badel. Director Herbert Wilcox cast him as the antagonist in
Trouble in Glen opposite Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen.
And director John Huston cast him as Father Mapple in his film adaption of
Herman Melville's Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck.
Welles' next turn as director was Mr. Arkadin, the
1955 film produced Louis Dolivet, Welles' political mentor from the 1940s. It
was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Based on several episodes of the
Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a paranoid billionaire who hires a
petty smuggler to delve into the secrets of his seedy past. Welles' absurd and
obvious makeup has been the subject of much derision, but it may have been the
intent to show a character who was in disguise and hiding his true identity. The
film stars Robert Arden (who had worked on the Harry Lime series), Welles' third
wife Paola Mori (whose voice was completely redubbed by actress Billie Whitelaw)
and a bevy of guest stars including Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, Katina
Paxinou and Mischa Auer. Frustrated by Welles' slow progress in the editing
room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film
without him. Eventually five different versions of the film would be released,
two in Spanish and three in English. The version which Dolivet completed was
retitled Confidential Report (this was the version furthest from Welles'
original intentions.) In 2005 Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw
a reconstruction of what might have been Welles' original intention. It was
released by the Criterion Company on DVD and is considered by Welles scholar and
director Peter Bogdanovich to be the best version available.
Also in 1955 Welles directed two television series
for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles' Sketchbook, a series of six 15-minute
shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscenses
for the camera (including such topics as the filming of It's All True and the
Isaac Woodward case), and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles, a
series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe (such as
Venice, the Basque country between France and Spain, and England). Welles served
as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own
personal observations (a technique he would continue to explore). A seventh
episode of this series, based on the Gaston Dominici case, was suppressed at the
time by the French government, but was reconstructed after Welles' death and
released to video in 1999.
In 1956 Welles completed Portrait of Gina
(posthumously aired on German television under the title 'Viva Italia'), a
thirty minute personal essay on Gina Lollobrigida and the general subject of
Italian sex symbols. Dissatisfied with the results (Welles recalled he had
worked on it a lot and the result was something that looked as though it had
been worked on a lot), he left the only print behind at the Hotel Ritz in Paris,
where the film cans would remain in a lost and found locker for several decades
(ultimately to be rediscovered after Welles' death).
Return to Hollywood (1956 to 1959)
In 1956, Welles returned to Hollywood, guesting on
radio shows (notably as narrator of Tomorrow, a nuclear holocaust drama produced
by the Federal Civil Defense Administration) and television shows (including I
Love Lucy) and began filming a projected pilot for Desilu (owned by his former
protegee Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz, who had recently purchased the
defunct RKO studios.) The film was The Fountain of Youth based on a story by
John Collier. Deemed un-commercial and unviable as a pilot, the film sat on the
shelf for two years. When it was aired in 1958 it won the Peabody Award for
Welles' next feature film role was in Man in the
Shadow for Universal Pictures in 1957, starring Jeff Chandler.
Welles stayed on at Universal to costar with
Charlton Heston in the 1958 film of Whit Masterson's novel Badge of Evil (which
Welles famously claimed never to have read). Originally only hired as an actor,
he was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the suggestion (and
insistence) of Charlton Heston. Reuniting many actors and technicians with whom
he'd worked in Hollywood in the 1940s (including cameraman Russell Metty [The
Stranger], make-up artist Maurice Siederman [Citizen Kane], and actors Joseph
Cotten, Marlene Dietrich, and Akim Tamiroff), the filming proceeded smoothly,
with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising
the daily rushes. However, once in the editing room, the studio wrested Touch of
Evil from Welles' hands, re-edited it, re-shot some scenes, and shot new
exposition scenes to clarify the plot. When Welles viewed the studio's preview
version, he wrote a 58-page memo outlining his suggestions and objections. The
studio followed a few of the ideas, then cut another 30 minutes from the film
and released it. Even in this state, the film was widely praised across Europe,
awarded the top prize at the Brussels World's Fair. In 1978, the long preview
version of the film was rediscovered and released, and in 1998, editor Walter
Murch and producer Rick Schmidlin consulted the original memo, and using a
workprint version they attempted to restore the film as close as possible to the
memo. Welles stated in that memo that the film was no longer his version - it
was the studio's, but as such, he was still prepared to help them with it.
While Universal reworked Evil, Welles began filming
his adaption of Miguel Cervantes' novel Don Quixote in Mexico, starring Mischa
Auer as Quixote and Akim Tamiroff as Sancho Panza. While filming would continue
in fits and starts for several years, Welles would never complete the project.
Welles continued acting, notably in The Long, Hot
Summer (1958) and Compulsion (1959), but soon returned to Europe to continue his
pattern of self-producing low budget films over which he would have creative
control and final cut.
Return to Europe (1959 to 1970)
Welles returned to Europe and resumed acting jobs.
He continued shooting Don Quixote in Spain, but replaced Mischa Auer with
In Italy in 1959 Welles directed his own scenes as
King Saul in Richard Pottier's film David and Goliath. In Hong Kong he costarred
with Curt Jurgens in Lewis Gilbert's film Ferry to Hong Kong.
In 1960 in Paris he costarred in Richard
Fleischer's film Crack in the Mirror. In Yugoslavia he starred in Richard
Thorpe's film The Tartars. He also staged a play at the Gate Theatre in Dublin
which compressed five of Shakespeare's history plays in order to focus on the
story of Falstaff. Keith Baxter played Prince Hal and Welles called the adaption
Chimes at Midnight.
By this time he had completed filming on Quixote.
Though he would continue toying with the editing well into the 1970s, he never
completed the film. On the scenes he did complete, Welles voiced all the actors
and provided the narration. In 1992 a version of the film was completed by
director Jess Franco, though not all the footage Welles shot was available to
him. What was available had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted
with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism.
In 1961 Welles directed In the Land of Don Quixote,
a series of eight half-hour episodes for the Italian television network RAI.
Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented
travelogues of Spain and included Welles' wife, Paola, and their daughter,
Beatrice. The Italian network was not interested in Welles providing English
narration and the series sat unreleased until 1964, by which time the network
had added Italian narration of its own.
In 1962 Welles directed his adaption of The Trial,
based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Alexander Salkind and Michael
Salkind. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Josef K, Jeanne Moreau, Romy
Schneider, Paola Mori and Akim Tamiroff. While filming exteriors in Zagreb,
Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there
could be no set construction. No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles
soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d'Orsay, at that time an abandoned railway
station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a 'Jules Verne
modernism' and a melancholy sense of 'waiting,' both suitable for Kafka. The
film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles
found the film riotously funny. During the filming, Welles met Oja Kodar, who
would later become his muse, star and partner for 20 years.
Welles continued taking what work he could find
acting, narrating or hosting other people's work, and began filming Chimes at
Midnight, which was completed in 1966. Filmed in Spain, it was a condensation of
five Shakespeare plays, telling the story of Falstaff and his relationship with
Prince Hal. The cast included Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau and
Margaret Rutherford, with narration by Ralph Richardson. Music was again by
Francesco Lavagnino. Jess Franco served as second unit director.
In 1966, Welles directed a film for French
television, an adaption of The Immortal Story, by Isak Dinesen. Released in
1968, it stars Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio and Norman Eshley. The film had a
successful run in French theaters. At this time Welles met Kodar again, and gave
her a letter he had written to her and had been keeping for four years; they
would not be parted again. They immediately began a collaboration both personal
and professional, which would continue for the rest of his life. The first of
these was an adaptation of Isak Dinesen's "The Heroine", meant to be a companion
piece to "The Immortal Story" and starring Kodar; unfortunately, the funding
disappeared after one day's shooting.
In 1967 Welles began directing The Deep, based on
the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams and filmed off the shore of Yugoslavia.
The cast included Jeanne Moreau, Laurence Harvey and Kodar. Personally financed
by Welles and Kodar, they could not obtain the funds to complete the project,
and it was abandoned a few years later after the death of Laurence Harvey. The
surviving footage was eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München.
In 1968 Welles began filming a TV special for CBS
under the title Orson's Bag, combining travelogue, comedy skits and a
condensation of Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice with Welles as
Shylock. CBS declined to finish the show and it was not completed. The surviving
portions were eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München. In 1969, Welles
authorized the use of his name for a movie theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
and the Orson Welles Cinema remained in operation until 1986 (with Welles making
a personal appearance there in 1977).
Drawn by the numerous offers he received to work in
television and films, and upset by a tabloid scandal reporting his affair with
Kodar, Welles abandoned the editing of Don Quixote and moved back to America in
Return to America and final years (1970 to 1985)
Welles returned to Hollywood, where he continued to
self-finance his own film and television projects. While offers to act, narrate
and host continued, Welles also found himself in great demand on talk shows, and
made frequent appearances for Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson and Dean Martin.
Welles' primary focus in this period was filming The Other Side of the Wind, a
project that took six years to film but has remained unfinished and unreleased.
In 1971 Welles directed a short adaption of Moby
Dick, a one-man performance on a bare stage, reminiscent of his stage production
Moby Dick - Rehearsed from the 1950s. Never completed, it was eventually
restored by the Filmmuseum München.
In 1971 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences gave him an honorary award "For superlative artistry and versatility in
the creation of motion pictures". Welles pretended to be out of town and sent
John Huston to claim the award. Huston criticized the Academy for awarding
Welles while they refused to give him any work.
In 1973 Welles completed F for Fake, a personal
essay film about art forger Elmyr d'Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving.
Based on an existing documentary by Francois Reichenbach, it included new
material with Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten, Paul Stewart and William Alland.
Working again for Harry Alan Towers, Welles played
Long John Silver in director John Hough's 1973 adaptation of Robert Louis
Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, which had been the second story broadcast by
The Mercury Theatre on the Air in 1938. While Welles contributed to the script,
he was dissatisfied with the film, and his writing credit was attributed to the
pseudonym 'O. W. Jeeves.'
In 1975, the American Film Institute presented
Welles with their third Lifetime Achievement Award (the first two going to
director John Ford and actor James Cagney.) At the ceremony, Welles screened two
scenes from the nearly finished The Other Side of the Wind. By 1976 Welles had
almost completed the film. Financed by Iranian backers, ownership of the film
fell into a legal quagmire after the Shah of Iran was deposed. Written by
Welles, the story told of a destructive old film director looking for funds to
complete his final film. It starred John Huston and the cast included Peter
Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Edmond O'Brien, Cameron Mitchell,
and Dennis Hopper. While the Showtime network is said to be interested in
completing the film, it remains unreleased.
In 1979 Welles completed his documentary Filming
Othello, which featured Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. Made for West
German television, it was also released in theaters.
Also in 1979 Welles completed his self-produced
pilot for The Orson Welles Show television series, featuring interviews with
Burt Reynolds, Jim Henson and Frank Oz and guest-starring The Muppets and Angie
Dickinson. Unable to find network interest, the pilot was never broadcast.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Welles participated in
a series of famous television commercial advertisements, acting as the on-camera
spokesman for the Paul Masson wine company. The sign-off phrase of the
commercials — "We will sell no wine before its time" — became a national
In 1980 the BBC broadcast The Orson Welles Story
for the Arena series. Interviewed by Leslie Megahey, Welles examined his past in
great detail, and several people from his professional past were interviewed as
During the 1980s, Welles worked on such film
projects as The Dreamers, based on two stories by Isak Dinesen and starring Oja
Kodar, and The Orson Welles Magic Show, which reused material from his failed TV
pilot. Another project he worked on was Filming The Trial, the second in a
proposed series of documentaries examining his feature films. While much was
shot for these projects, none of them were completed. All of them were
eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München.
Welles in his later years was unable to get funding
for his many film-scripts, but came close with The Big Brass Ring and The Cradle
Will Rock: Arnon Milchan had agreed to produce The Big Brass Ring if any one of
six actors - Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Robert
Redford, or Burt Reynolds - would sign on to star. All six declined for various
reasons. Independent funding for The Cradle Will Rock had been obtained and
actors had signed on, including Rupert Everett to play the young Orson Welles,
location filming was to be done in New York City with studio work in Italy.
While pre-production went without a problem, three weeks before filming was to
begin the money fell through. Allegedly Welles approached Steven Spielberg to
ask for assistance in rescuing the film, but Spielberg declined. The scripts to
both films were published posthumously. After a studio auction, he complained
that Steven Spielberg spent $50,000 for a Rosebud sled used in Citizen Kane, but
wouldn't give him a dime to make a picture.
Welles died at his home in Hollywood, California at
the age of 70 on October 10, 1985. He had various projects underway, including a
planned film adaption of King Lear, The Orson Welles Magic Show, and The
Dreamers. His final interview had been recorded the day before, on The Merv
Griffin Show and with his biographer Barbara Leaming. His last film role before
his death was as the voice of the villainous god Unicron in Transformers: The
Movie, a film based upon the animated series The Transformers and the
His ashes were placed at a friend's estate in
Ronda, Spain, at his request. According to some reports, some of his ashes have
been scattered in the town's famous Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullfighting ring
in Spain still in use.
Welles's exile from Hollywood and reliance on
independent production meant that many of his later projects were filmed
piecemeal or were not completed. In the mid-1950s, Welles began work on the
Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote, initially a commission from CBS television.
Welles expanded the film to feature length, developing the screenplay to take
Quixote and Sancho Panza into the modern age. The project was finally abandoned
with the death of Francisco Reiguera, the actor playing Quixote, in 1969. An
incomplete version of the film was released in 1992.
In 1970 Welles began shooting The Other Side of the
Wind, about the effort of a film director (played by John Huston) to complete
his last Hollywood picture, and is largely set at a lavish party. Although in
1972 the film was reported by Welles as being "96% complete", the negative
remained in a Paris vault until 2004, when Peter Bogdanovich (who also acted in
the film) announced his intention to complete the production. Footage is
included in the documentary Working with Orson Welles (1993)
Other unfinished projects include The Deep, an
adaptation of Charles Williams's Dead Calm—abandoned in 1970 one scene short of
completion due to the death of star Laurence Harvey—and The Big Brass Ring, the
script of which was adapted and filmed by George Hickenlooper in 1999.
Although never a suspect in the original
investigation, Welles may have been involved in the infamous Black Dahlia
Welles felt that The Trial and Chimes at Midnight
were his most rewarding achievements, Touch of Evil the most fun he had making a
film and The Stranger to be the least of his films.
It was Orson Welles who suggested to Peter
Bogdanovich that he film The Last Picture Show in black & white.
As a child he was deeply fascinated by conjuring,
both stage and close up. There is a myth that the young Welles was taught magic
by Harry Houdini when he was 5 years old. He travelled with a magic act on
several occasions throughout his adult life. His interest in the psychology
employed by a magician surfaced in much of his film-making. For example, in
Citizen Kane, during the dialogue in the famous puzzle scene with his wife Susan
Alexander, Kane walks back in the shot to stand near the fireplace. He is
unexpectedly dwarfed by the fireplace; a visual representation of his downward
decline. The optical illusion obtained by Welles employs principles of
'manipulation of perspective' used by magicians.
During Welles' radio years, he often freelanced and
would split his time between the Mercury Theatre, CBS, Mutual, and NBC, among
others. Due to this, Welles rarely rehearsed, instead reading ahead during other
actors' lines, a practice used by some radio stars of the time. Many of his
co-stars on The Shadow have remarked about this in various interviews. There are
a number of apocryphal stories where Welles was reported to have turned to an
actor during the mid-show commercial break and commented that this week's story
was fascinating and he couldn't wait to "find out how it all ends." Welles
admitted to preferring the cold-reading style in his on-air performances as he
described the hectic nature of radio work to Peter Bogdanovich in This Is Orson
Soon I was doing so many [programs] that I didn't
even rehearse. I'd come to a bad end in some tearjerker on the seventh floor of
CBS and rush up to the ninth (they'd hold an elevator for me), where, just as
the red light was going on, somebody'd hand me a script and whisper, "Chinese
mandarin, seventy-five years old", and off I'd go again... Not rehearsing...
made it so much more interesting. When I was thrown down the well or into some
fiendish snake pit, I never knew how I'd get out.
Also due to Welles' often tight radio schedule, he
was hard pressed to find ways to get from job to job in busy New York City
traffic. In an interview conducted in his later years, Welles tells how he
"discovered that there was no law in New York that you had to be sick to travel
in an ambulance." Therefore, he took to hiring ambulances to take him, sirens
blazing, through the crowded streets to get to various buildings.
Orson Welles was Francis Ford Coppola's first
choice to play Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979), based on the novel Heart
of Darkness which Welles was planning to adapt before he wrote Citizen Kane.
His regular dinner: two steaks and a pint of
scotch. During his early years, especially while filming Citizen Kane, Welles'
entire dinner menu also included a full pineapple, triple pistachio ice cream,
and a full bottle of scotch.
According to a 1941 physical (Welles was 26), he
was 72 inches tall, and weighed 218 pounds. His eyes were brown. (From the first
volume of Simon Callow's biography: Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu.) Other
sources cite that he was 6 feet 4 inches tall.
He was born on the day that Babe Ruth hit his first
Was dating Billie Holiday around the time he was
making Citizen Kane. According to Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues,
she saw the film nine times before it ever played in a theater.
Welles had three daughters to three different
mothers: children's author Chris Welles Feder, born 1937 (to mother Virginia
Nicholson); Rebecca Welles Manning, 1944-2004 (to mother Rita Hayworth); and
Beatrice Welles, born in November 1955 (to mother Paola Mori).
Was parodied by comedian Bill Martin in his
monologue, An Evening with Sir William Martin.
He has been portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio with his
voice dubbed by Maurice LaMarche in Ed Wood and the 2005 short film Five
Minutes, Mr Welles, Angus Macfayden in Cradle Will Rock, Liev Schreiber in RKO
281, Jean Guerin in Heavenly Creatures, Danny Huston in the upcoming Fade to
Black, Paul Shenar in The Night That Panicked America, Eric Purcell in Malice in
Wonderland, John Candy in Second City Television, David Benson in the Doctor Who
audio drama Invaders From Mars and the voice of Maurice LaMarche in various
animation and films.
Voiced a trailer for The Incredible Shrinking Man
in 1957 as well as the original trailer for Star Wars in 1977.
He died the same day as Yul Brynner.
The Brain, the evil genius lab mouse in the cartoon
series Pinky and the Brain, was loosely based on Orson Welles. The Brain even
parodies Welles' The War of the Worlds broadcast and his infamous radio
commercial argument. Voice artist Maurice LaMarche provided the voice of The
Brain, and would later portray a bloated Orson Welles at the low point of his
television career in The Critic.
Welles performed narration for two songs of the
heavy metal band Manowar.
His last filmed appearance was on the television
show Moonlighting. He recorded an introduction to an episode entitled "The Dream
Sequence Always Rings Twice," which was partially filmed in black and white. The
episode aired five days after his death and was dedicated to his memory.
His final role was the voice of the planet eating
robot Unicron in Transformers: The Movie, released almost a year after his death
on August 8, 1986.
Welles narrated "Drippy the Runaway Raindrop" by
Sidney, Mary and Alexandra Sheldon which continues to be a popular English
educational series in Japan.
When asked to describe Welles' influence, Jean-Luc
Godard remarked: "Everyone will always owe him everything." (Ciment, 42)
Directed by Welles
Hearts of Age (1934) - Welles' first film, a silent
one-reeler made at age 18.
Too Much Johnson (1938)
Citizen Kane (1941) - won Oscar for Best Writing
(Original Screenplay); nominated for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Director.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) - nominated for
Oscar for Best Picture; shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, footage
The Stranger (1946)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) - shortened and recut
against Welles' wishes, footage forever lost
Macbeth (1948) - shortened and recut against
Welles' wishes, recently restored to original vision
Othello (1952) - won the Palme d'Or, 1952 Cannes
Mr. Arkadin (aka Confidential Report) (1955) -
shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, Criterion's restoration released in
Touch of Evil (1958) - won the top-prize at the
Brussels World's Fair; shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, recently
restored to original vision
The Trial (1962)
Chimes at Midnight (1965)
The Immortal Story (1968)
The Deep (1970) - unfinished
The Other Side of the Wind (1970-76) - currently
unreleased, restoration in progress
F for Fake (aka Vérités et mensonges) (1974)
Other notable films
Swiss Family Robinson (1940) - narration
It's All True (1942)
Journey Into Fear (1943) - actor, rumored to be
co-director with Norman Foster. Welles denied he directed it.
Jane Eyre (1944) - actor (Rochester)
Duel in the Sun (1946) - narration
Monsieur Verdoux (1947) - story idea
The Third Man (1949)- actor, dialogue
Moby Dick (1956) - cameo role as actor
Man in the Shadow (1957) - actor
The Long Hot Summer (1958) Will Varner
Compulsion (1959) - actor
A Man for All Seasons (1966) - actor
I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967) - actor
Casino Royale (1967) - as Bond villain Le Chiffre
("Zero" or "The Cipher")
Don Quixote (1969, version released 1992) - writer,
The Battle of Neretva (1969) - as Chetnik senator
Start the Revolution Without Me (1970) - narration,
Catch-22 (1970) - actor
Waterloo (1970) - actor
Flame of Persia (1972) - Documentary narration
The Muppet Movie (1979) - cameo
History of the World, Part One (1981) - narration
The Dreamers (1980-82, unfinished) - actor, writer,
Transformers: The Movie (1986) - voice actor
References and Further reading
Anderegg, Michael: "Orson Welles, Shakespeare and
Popular Culture", Columbia University Press, 1999
Bazin, Andre: "Orson Welles", Harper and Rowe, 1978
Benamou, Catherine: "It's All True: Orson Welles’s
Pan-American Odyssey", University of California Press, 2007 (forthcoming)
Beja, Morris, ed.: "Perspectives on Orson Welles",
G.K Hall, 1995
Berg, Chuck and Erskine, Tom, ed.: "The
Encyclopedia of Orson Welles", Checkmark Books, 2003
Bessy, Maurice: "Orson Welles: An investigation
into his films and philosophy", Crown, 1971
Brady, Frank: "Citizen Welles", Charles Scribner's
Callow, Simon: The Road to Xanadu. Jonathan Cape,
Callow, Simon: Hello Americans. Jonathan Cape,
Carringer, Robert: "The Making of Citizen Kane",
University of California Press, 1985
Carringer, Robert: "The Magnificent Ambersons: A
Reconstruction", University of California Press, 1993
Ciment, Michel: 'Les Enfants Terrible' in "American
Film", Dec. 1984 (French)
Comito, Terry, ed.: "Touch of Evil", Rutgers, 1985
Conrad, Peter: "Orson Welles: The Stories of His
Life", Faber and Faber, 3003
Cowie, Peter: The Cinema of Orson Welles, Da Capo
Davies, Anthony: "Filming Shakespeare's Plays",
Cambridge University Press, 1988
Drazin, Charles: "In Search of the Third Man",
Estrin, Mark: "Orson Welles Interviews", University
Press of Mississippi, 2002
France, Richard, ed.: "Orson Welles on
Shakespeare", Routledge, 2001
France, Richard: "The Theatre of Orson Welles",
Bucknell University Press, 1977
Garis, Robert: "The Films of Orson Welles",
Cambridge University Press, 2004
Gottesman, Ronald, ed.: "Focus on Citizen Kane",
Prentice Hall, 1971
Gottesman, Ronald, ed.: "Focus on Orson Welles",
Prentice Hall, 1976
Greene, Graham: "The Third Man", Faber and Faber,
Heyer, Paul: "The Medium and the Magician: Orson
Welles, The Radio Years", Rowman and Littlefield, 2005
Heylin, Clinton. Despite the System: Orson Welles
Versus the Hollywood Studios, Chicago Review Press, 2005.
Higham, Charles: "The Films of Orson Welles",
University of California Press, 1970
Higham, Charles: "Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall
of an American Genius", St. Martin's Press, 1985
Howard, James: "The Complete Films of Orson
Welles", Citadel Press, 1991
Jorgens, Jack J.: "Shakespeare on Film", Indiana
University Press, 1977
Leaming, Barbara: "Orson Welles", Viking, 1985
Lyons, Bridget Gellert, ed.: "Chimes at Midnight",
Mac Liammóir, Micháel. Put Money in Thy Purse: The
Filming of Orson Welles' Othello, Virgin, 1994
McBride, Joseph: "Orson Welles", Harcourt Brace,
McBride, Joseph: Orson Welles, Da Capo Press, 1996.
McBride, Joseph: "Whatever Happened to Orson
Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career", University Press of Kentucky, 2006
Mulvey, Laura: "Citizen Kane", BFI, 1992
Naremore, James. The Magic World of Orson Welles,
Southern Methodist University Press, 1989.
Naremore, James, ed.: "Orson Welles's Citizen Kane:
A Casebook", Oxford University Press, 2004
Noble, Peter: "The Fabulous Orson Welles",
Hutchinson and Co., 1956
Perkins, V.F.: "The Magnificent Ambersons", BFI,
Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'Orson Welles's Essay Films
and Documentary Fictions', in "Placing Movies", University of California Press,
Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'The Battle Over Orson
Welles', in "Essential Cinema", Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004
Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'Orson Welles as Ideological
Challenge' in "Movie Wars", A Capella Books, 2000
Rosenbaum, Jonathan: "Discovering Orson Welles",
University of California Press, 2007 (forthcoming)
Shakespeare Bulletin, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring
2005: Special Welles issue.
Simon, William G., ed.: "Persistence of Vision: The
Journal of the Film Faculty of the City University of New York", Number 7, 1988:
Special Welles issue
Taylor, John Russell: "Orson Welles: A
Celebration", Pavilion, 1986
Taylor, John Russell: "Orson Welles", Pavilion,
Walsh, John Evangelist: "Walking Shadows: Orson
Welles, William Randolph Hearst and Citizen Kane", The University of Wisconsin
Walters, Ben: "Welles", Haus, 2004
Welles, Orson: "Les Bravades", Workman, 1996
Welles, Orson and Bogdanovich, Peter: This is Orson
Welles, Da Capo Press, 1998.
Welles, Orson: "Mr. Arkadin", Harper Collins, 2006
Welles, Orson: "The Big Brass Ring", Black Spring
Welles, Orson: "The Cradle Will Rock", Santa Teresa
White, Rob: "The Third Man", BFI, 2003
Wood, Bret: "Orson Welles: A Bio-Bibliography",
Greenwood blue, 1990
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