Archive for category: Orson Welles

Rediscovery: Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’

21 August, 2014 (08:19) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Orson Welles, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the slapstick stylings of Orson Welles, the boy wonder of Broadway! Not exactly how we think of Welles, is it? We know he had a rich career both on radio and on the New York stage before he made Citizen Kane, but the few comedies he made were far outnumbered by […]

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Orson Welles’s ‘Othello’

30 April, 2014 (07:30) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

Northwest Film Forum is about to showcase a new 4K restoration of Orson Welles’s Othello, one of the director’s greatest—and rarest—films. In anticipation of that, Parallax View presents a detailed program note written when Othello appeared in an autumn 1971 film series devoted to Welles on the University of Washington campus. The original text remains essentially unaltered, […]

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Videophiled Essential: ‘Touch of Evil’ on Blu-ray

27 April, 2014 (12:42) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

Touch of Evil (Universal, Blu-ray) – Orson Welles’ baroque border town murder mystery is a wild masterpiece, a sleazy, grimy, jittery, and ultimately dazzling work of cinematic magic. It’s considered the last great film noir and the bookend to the true noir era. It was also Welles’s last attempt at a career in Hollywood before […]

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The Earth Is Made Of Glass: Orson Welles’s ‘The Stranger’

7 November, 2011 (09:27) | by Peter Richards, Essays, Film Noir, Orson Welles | By: Peter Richards

The standard wisdom about Orson Welles’s 1946 thriller The Stranger—broadly, that it’s Welles’s weakest film, the runt in his otherwise superlative litter—needs challenging, even if Welles himself seemed mostly disinclined to do so. Only in 1982, three years before his death, did he appear to suggest, to BBC interviewers, that it wasn’t so terrible after […]

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The Magnificent Ambersons

1 May, 2011 (07:33) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

[This was a program note for the October 12, 1971, showing of The Magnificent Ambersons in the University of Washington Lectures & Concert Film Series "The Cinema of Orson Welles." It begins with continued commentary on Citizen Kane, shown the week before—an essay located here.] One of Charles Foster Kane’s least sympathetic moments occurs in […]

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Citizen Kane

30 April, 2011 (07:31) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

[This is a program note written for "The Cinema of Orson Welles," the Autumn 1971 film series of the University of Washington Office of Lectures & Concerts, and distributed at the October 5, 1971, showing of Welles' first feature film.] Thirty years after its initial release, Citizen Kane may very well be the most talked-about […]

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Touch of Evil

19 February, 2011 (03:27) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

This program note was written in connection with the November 16, 1971 showing of Touch of Evil in the University of Washington Office of Lectures & Concerts Autumn Quarter Film Series “The Cinema of Orson Welles.” Since that was a long time ago and the only version of the movie available at the time was […]

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The Lady From Shanghai

18 February, 2011 (01:35) | by Richard T. Jameson, Essays, Film Noir, Film Reviews, Orson Welles | By: Richard T. Jameson

[This is a slightly edited version of a program note written for an Autumn 1971 University of Washington Office of Lectures and Concerts Film Series, "The Cinema of Orson Welles." It is submitted for your consideration because The Lady from Shanghai is a cardinal film noir and the stylistic points made about Welles's direction are […]

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The Essential DVD Debuts of 2008

29 December, 2008 (00:21) | Budd Boetticher, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

I’ve done the best DVD releases of the year in some incarnation or another for years. This one is a little different. This is not a celebration of the most impressive special editions, the most stunning transfers or the best supplements. This is my list of what I consider the essential movies that debut on […]

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The Making, Unmaking and Reclamation of “Touch of Evil”

9 October, 2008 (01:30) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Essays, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

“(Universal) told me that although they didn’t know who was going to direct (Touch of Evil), Orson Welles was going to play the heavy. ‘You know, Orson Welles is a pretty good director,’ I said. ‘Did it ever occur to you to have him direct it?’ At the time Orson had not directed a picture […]

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“A tremendous piece of filmmaking” – Walter Murch on “Touch of Evil”

7 October, 2008 (16:58) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

In 1998, while researching the revision of Touch of Evil, I pursued an interview with Walter Murch, then and now arguably the dean of American film sound and image editors. I had only an E-mail address. He responded with this very gracious message: Dear Sean: I received your email about Touch of Evil, and here […]

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“Let’s give them something to really work with” – Rick Schmidlin on revising “Touch of Evil”

6 October, 2008 (20:54) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

My research into the unprecendented work done on Touch of Evil in 1998 began here, with a lengthy phone interview with Rick Schmidlin in August of 1998, a month before I’d even had a chance to see the new cut. The man who proposed the radical idea of creating a new version of the film […]

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“A once in a lifetime project” – Bob O’Neil on restoring and revising “Touch of Evil”

6 October, 2008 (19:13) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

Bob O’Neil was the head of film preservation and restoration at Universal in 1988. His job was to evaluate to all the materials Universal held in its film library and oversee the repair and restoration of elements for new prints and home video releases, everything from Hitchcock classics to Abbot and Costello movies to film […]

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“A rough, jagged, jarring, shaking-you-up kind of movie” – Janet Leigh on “Touch of Evil”

6 October, 2008 (01:06) | Actors, by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

In 1998, as Universal was preparing the theatrical release of the revised Touch of Evil, I was offered the opportunity to talk with star Janet Leigh about the film in a phone interview. I had yet to see the new version, so my questions were formed around my research and my familiarity with the previous […]

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“Actors loved him” – Charlton Heston on Orson Welles and “Touch of Evil”

5 October, 2008 (23:17) | Actors, by Sean Axmaker, Interviews, Orson Welles | By: Sean Axmaker

In 1998 I had the rare pleasure of interviewing Charlton Heston for the release of the Walter Murch-supervised “restoration” of Touch of Evil (1958). It was supposed to be the center of a essay on the film, but the article was canceled and the interview unpublished until earlier this year on my website. I republish […]

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