List Film

O for Orson

O for Orson

Anticipating the release next month of Richard Linklater’s young Orson Welles biopic Me and Orson Welles this ten film season of some of Welles’ best and most frequently overlooked works including The Magnificent Ambersons, Journey into Fear, Confidential Report and Touch of Evil. Was he the greatest American filmmaker of all time? Judge for yourself.

Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Sun 8 Nov.

Citizen Kane

  • 5 stars
  • 1941
  • US
  • 119 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Orson Welles
  • Written by: Herman J Mankiewicz, Orson Welles
  • Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ruth Warrick, Erskine Sanford, William Alland

Stunningly successful biographical mosaic centring on a Hearst-like media tycoon. Welles' first film remains scintillating viewing for its sheer technical verve, narrative confidence and spellbinding performances.

The Magnificent Ambersons

  • 1942
  • US
  • 88 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck
  • Cast: Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins

The decline and fall of an American family, told when Welles was at the peak of his cinematic power. Even studio tinkering can't lessen its impact, as the director takes an ambivolent view of how American life was changed by the industrial age. Unmissable, given the current re-assessment of Welles' talent as a filmmaker.

Journey Into Fear

  • 4 stars
  • 1943
  • US
  • 71 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Norman Foster
  • Written by: Joseph Cotten, Richard Collins, Ben Hecht, Orson Welles, Eric Ambler (novel)
  • Cast: Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Río, Ruth Warrick, Orson Welles

Cotten plays US Navy engineer Howard Graham in this strange, obsessive tale of espionage and threat. Set to return to the US after a business conference in Istanbul, Graham soon realises that someone is after him, and is shipped to secret police quarters where intelligence chief Haki (Welles) explains that his pursuers…


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