Orson Welles

Orson Welles

Orson Welles was a well-regarded performer in radio and film, a celebrated Shakespearean stage actor, an accomplished magician and one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring, rocketing Welles to notoriety. Welles’s growing fame drew sudden Hollywood offers, while RKO Radio Pictures President George Schaefer offered Welles complete artistic control to an untried director. Welles agreed to the offer and conceived a screenplay titled Citizen Kane with screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, where Welles would direct, co-write, produce, and star as the lead. Mankiewicz based the original outline on an exposé of the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially and came to hate. When hearing of this Hearst’s media outlets immediately boycotted the film, exerting enormous pressure and intimidation on the Hollywood film community. At one point they even offered to purchase the film, fully intending to burn the negative and existing prints, but RKO declined, and the film was given a limited release. Citizen Kane (1941) was well-received critically, as it garnered nine Academy Award nominations, but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. Although it was largely ignored at the Academy Awards, Citizen Kane is now hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. Andrew Sarris called it “the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since The Birth of a Nation (1915)” and during the 1950s, the film came to be seen by young French film critics such as François Truffaut as exemplifying the auteur theory, in which the director is the ‘author’ of a film. Welles followed up Citizen Kane with such films as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Stranger (1946), The Lady from Shanghai (1948), Othello (1952), The Complete Mr. Arkadin (1955), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962) and Chimes at Midnight (1965). Unfortunately Welles would forever struggle for creative control from major studios, while most all his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. For the rest of his life, Welles permanently remained an outsider to the studio system directing only 13 full-length films in his entire career. Even so, Welles distinctive directorial style presented revolutionary cinematic techniques that would forever change the language of cinema, including layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, long takes, and the use of innovative editing effects. Welles has been praised as a major creative force and as ‘the ultimate auteur,’ while in 2002, Welles was voted as the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics.

Orson Welles
Orson Welles Featured Films
Availability of Orson Welles movie memorabilia for sale changes daily. The products and pricing shown below are current as of: Thursday, Nov 22, 2018
Orson Welles
Orson Welles Compulsion Original 8x10 Photo M3995
orson welles compulsion original 8x10 photo m3995
othello 1952 orson welles william shakespeare rerelease french poster 32x47
Orson Welles on Shakespeare The WPA and Mercury Theatre Playscripts by Richa
orson welles on shakespeare the wpa and mercury theatre playscripts by richa
Liberty Jan 20 1940 Orson Welles Steve Fisher Budd Schulberg Samuel W Taylo
liberty jan 20 1940 orson welles steve fisher budd schulberg samuel w taylo
1941 program native son by richard wright orson welles director
627 TREASURE ISLAND Italian 1p 73 art of Orson Welles as pirate Long John Silver
627 treasure island italian 1p 73 art of orson welles as pirate long john silver
Orson Welles The Road to Xanadu by Callow Simon Audio cassette Book The Fast
orson welles the road to xanadu by callow simon audio cassette book the fast
1980 Original Movie Poster Tajna Nikole Tesla Papic Orson Welles Bozovic YU USA
1980 original movie poster tajna nikole tesla papic orson welles bozovic yu usa
1959 Cannes Gathering Darryl Zanuck Orson Welles Julette Greco Press Photo
1959 cannes gathering darryl zanuck orson welles julette greco press photo
Orson Welles The Films of Orson Welles by Charles Higham Vintage 1970
orson welles the films of orson welles by charles higham vintage 1970
jack nicholson tuesday weld orson welles orig color lobby photos a safe place
CITIZEN KANE 1941 Orson Welles ITS TERRIFIC  POSTER 10 Sizes 18 Up To 5 FEET
citizen kane 1941 orson welles its terrific poster 10 sizes 18 up to 5 feet

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