Thursday, 28 November 2013

Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (1915 – 1985) was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, he was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media, most notably Caesar (1937), a groundbreaking Broadway adaptation of Julius Caesar and the debut of the Mercury Theatre; The War of the Worlds (1938), one of the most famous broadcasts in the history of radio; and Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

Welles was only 26 when he directed Citizen Kane (1941), which he also co-wrote, produced and starred in as newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. While he struggled for creative control in the face of studios, his films were heavily edited and others remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes.

Kane garnered nine Academy Award nominations (Orson was nominated as a producer, director, writer and actor), but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Herman J. 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. Welles followed up Kane with critically acclaimed films, including The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942, and Touch of Evil in 1958.

In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and as an actor was voted number 16 in AFI's list of the greatest American film actors of all time. Welles was also an accomplished magician, starring in troop variety shows in the war years. (Wikipedia)

Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane (1941) Italian poster

Citizen Kane (1941) Japanese poster

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Journey into Fear (1943)

Journey into Fear (1943)

Jane Eyre (1944)

The Stranger (1946)

The Stranger (1946) Belgian poster

Tomorrow is Forever (1946)

The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

The Lady from Shanghai (1947) Italian poster

Macbeth (1948)

Macbeth (1948) Italian poster

Black Magic (1949)

Black Magic (1949) Belgian poster

Prince of Foxes (1949)

The Third Man (1949)

The Third Man (1949)

The Third Man (1949)

The Black Rose (1950)

The Black Rose (1950) Spanish poster

Othello (1952) Italian poster

Othello (1952) Belgian poster

Three Cases of Murder (1955)

Mr. Arkadin (1955) Italian poster

Man in the Shadow (1957) German poster

Touch of Evil (1958)

Touch of Evil (1958) Belgian poster

Touch of Evil (1958)

Ferry to Hong Kong (1959)

Compulsion (1959) Belgian poster

The Tartars (1961)

Chimes at Midnight (1965) German poster

Casino Royale (1967) Lobby card

Treasure Island (1972)

F for Fake (1973) French poster


  1. Seems that I have been watching many of his movies lately....The Prince of Foxes, Complusion(what no poster? Lady from Shaghai, and The Black Rose. He is somebody I have thought about doing a page on myself...especially since he is on the AFI Top 50 Screen Legends list.....nice addition.

  2. Thanks for the heads up Bruce. I've added Compulsion to the line up. Welles started at the top with Kane and slowly worked down. I've left out a lot of films in which he only had a cameo. But I was tempted to add Transformers the Movie. :)