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Orson Welles

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 1998 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
The release of a restored version of Touch of Evil that faithfully follows Orson Welles' detailed editing instructions is an opportunity to savor the film that effectively and abruptly ended his Hollywood career. Citizen Kane is the peerless work of genius that launched it in 1941. There are film classics and then there is Citizen Kane, a movie in a class by itself. It is a work whose stature is reaffirmed by each viewing and it remains a technically dazzling feat that rewrote the language and possibilities of movies.
NEWS
June 1, 1989 | By Frank Reeves, Special to The Inquirer
When actor and director Orson Welles died in 1985 at the age of 70, he left a legacy of classic films and memories of a night in the 1930s when he terrified the nation with his radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Welles also left a Hollywood mansion filled with 18th- and 19th-century European and American antiques. The legacy befit a man who lived in Hollywood splendor. "Rita Haywood was his wife. Greta Garbo swam nude in his pool. Franklin D. Roosevelt dined with him. He had co-written, directed and starred in Citizen Kane, a movie that critics routinely name as the greatest movie ever made," wrote an Inquirer movie critic shortly after Welles' death.
NEWS
April 30, 1992 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Orson Welles' version of Othello was filmed intermittently over a three- year period and on a budget that made a shoestring a luxury. When time came to film the pivotal scene in which Iago, the consummate scheming villain, orchestrates his attempt on Cassio's life, Welles discovered that he had no money for costumes. Necessity being the mother of invention, he sent his actors back to their hotel to filch towels and sheets, and set the murder in a Turkish bath that Shakespeare somehow forgot to mention.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 1993 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A restored version of a Shakespearean tragedy, and a police drama in which the casting is a tragedy, top this week's list of movies new to video. OTHELLO (1952) (Academy) $89.95. 93 minutes. Orson Welles, Michael MacLiammoir, Suzanne Cloutier. There is less of the Moor in Welles' Iagocentric reading of Shakespeare's tragedy. Welles plays Othello as a victim in this lovingly restored version of his often brilliantly cinematic and resourceful treatment of the play. The film won the grand prize at Cannes in 1952.
NEWS
December 10, 2009 | By GARY THOMPSON, 215-854-5992
"Me and Orson Welles" won't be remembered for its "me," but for its remarkable Orson Welles. Zac Efron is the Me, playing a plucky New York kid named Richard Samuels who bluffs his way into a small role in Welles' legendary 1937 staging of "Julius Caesar" at the Mercury Theater in Manhattan. British actor Christian McKay is Welles, and he's so stunningly good as Welles - he gets both his physical essence and his spirit - that all else fades to the background. All else is a lot of filler about Samuels and his eventful coming-of-age.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 1993 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
By the age of 22, theater prodigy Orson Welles had stunned America with his 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, which left a nation thinking that Martians had invaded. By the age of 25, Welles had co-written and starred in his directorial debut, Citizen Kane (1941), that daring masterpiece about a self-destructive genius. So why, after Kane, did Welles' own career self- destruct? The answer lies in an unfinished 1942 documentary Welles shot called It's All True. Scuttled by RKO Studios in mid-filming, this Latin American project was to be Welles' war effort.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Few films are as entertaining as Orson Welles' last touch of greatness, A Touch of Evil (1958), starring the actor/director as a corrupt bordertown cop and the mustachioed Charlton Heston as a Latino narc whose Anglo bride, Janet Leigh, spends their honeymoon drugged and held prisoner in a motel room. (It is said that Alfred Hitchcock was so taken by the sight of the scantily-clad Leigh in the motel-room scenes, hostage to eccentric innkeeper Dennis Weaver, that the director built the subsequent Psycho around this image.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 11, 1994 | Inquirer staff reviews and synopses, compiled by Christopher Cornell
A marvelous find from the vaults tops this week's list of new movies on video. IT'S ALL TRUE 1/2 (1993) (Paramount) 85 minutes. Narrated by Miguel Ferrer. Orson Welles' unfinished 1942 Brazilian documentary - the folly that scuttled his brilliant career - was discovered in a studio vault in 1985, was restored, and now stands as his autobiographical testament. A marvelous 45- minute sequence about the arduous 1,600-mile journey of four fishermen on a raft mirrors Welles' own courageous odyssey.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 1998 | By Steven Rea, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Forget Robert Altman's famed back-lot tracking shot in the opening minutes of The Player. Forget Brian DePalma's show-offy swoops in the respective inaugural scenes of The Bonfire of the Vanities and this summer's what's-the-point? thriller Snake Eyes. If you want a breathtaking, truly bravura tracking shot - and one that means something in the context of the story about to unfold - feast your eyes on Touch of Evil, Orson Welles' wild, woolly noir opus. In its new, restored incarnation - lovingly respliced in accordance with a 58-page memo that Welles fired off to Universal after the studio-edited version was shipped to theaters in 1957 - the brilliance of this opening sequence is literally in plain view.
NEWS
February 15, 1989 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Ted Turner's valentine to the public was the announcement yesterday that his company will not, as previously stated, colorize Citizen Kane, sparing the film a dye job that would have doubtless earned it the nickname Citizen Candy- Kane. Turner Entertainment Co. released word that it had discontinued preparation of a colorized version of the 1941 Orson Welles classic inspired by the life of tabloid czar William Randolph Hearst and considered one of the greatest American films of all time.
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NEWS
July 3, 2014
ISSUE | IRAQ Homefront needs Once again, the interventionists who were wrong about the Iraq war are back ("Again, Cheney is up to his old tricks," June 29). But I remember Republicans often reminding us that we are deep in debt and cannot afford anything to help the American people. In fact, we are told we need cuts, austerity, and offsets, but when it comes to war, all bets on costs and debt are off. A country that cannot afford to provide for the welfare of its own people has no business getting involved in more warfare, while asking the same people for more sacrifices.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 2014 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
1938. Philadelphia. Critics savage Orson Welles' Five Kings , a five-hour compilation of Shakespeare's history plays; it closes, never making it to Broadway. 2014. Philadelphia. Revolution Shakespeare, a new experimental theater company (Jared Delaney, Tom Reing, and Griffin Stanton-Ameisen), dusts off the long-silenced script to revive it, this time in five episodes. These will be presented every Wednesday in July at 6 p.m., starting this week. Each subsequent episode will begin with a TV-style recap of last week's action, in case you missed it. It gets more intriguing: Each show will be staged in a different gallery of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And, even better: It's free.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 19, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
It took 56 years, but Orson Welles' Touch of Evil is finally available in high-definition. One of most stylized, intense, and frantic films noir to come out of the 1950s, Touch of Evil features Welles - at his most corpulent, sweat-glazed worst - as a corrupt police captain put in charge of investigating a car bomb that kills a couple at the Mexican border. Charlton Heston plays the voice of reason and all things moral as Mexican drug enforcement agent Miguel "Mike" Vargas (yes, it's a white actor playing a Latino in brownface)
NEWS
October 31, 2013 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
ON THIS NIGHT, 75 years ago, nothing happened in a little slice of New Jersey no one's ever heard of, and the story's only grown ever since. It was Oct. 30, 1938, and Orson Welles and cast members of the "Mercury Theatre on the Air" put their own twist on the H.G. Wells science-fiction classic, War of the Worlds , telling CBS radio listeners that Martians had landed on the Wilmuth Farm in the Grover's Mill section of West Windsor Township, about...
ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2009 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Full of bluster, bluffery, and - yes - brilliance, the Orson Welles of Me and Orson Welles , played by the remarkable Christian McKay, is a charismatic megalomanic bent on turning his fledgling troupe, the Mercury, into the artistic force of New York theater. It is 1937, Citizen Kane is not yet a gleam in Welles' eye, but the man is clearly a genius. At least, as far as he's concerned. The "me" in Richard Linklater's terrifically fun, spirited reimagining of Welles' early creative days is Richard Samuels (Zac Efron)
NEWS
December 10, 2009 | By GARY THOMPSON, 215-854-5992
"Me and Orson Welles" won't be remembered for its "me," but for its remarkable Orson Welles. Zac Efron is the Me, playing a plucky New York kid named Richard Samuels who bluffs his way into a small role in Welles' legendary 1937 staging of "Julius Caesar" at the Mercury Theater in Manhattan. British actor Christian McKay is Welles, and he's so stunningly good as Welles - he gets both his physical essence and his spirit - that all else fades to the background. All else is a lot of filler about Samuels and his eventful coming-of-age.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 2006 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Like Jesus Christ, Richard Wagner and Judy Garland, Orson Welles has become a biography magnet: The man and his work are too big, unruly, and subject to myth to be contained in any single standardized view. And in any number of new books and DVDs, the views keep coming. One of the great directors of American theater and cinema, Welles is as slippery a subject as an artist can be, partly because his celebrity, from his famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast in 1938 to his 1970s guest-hosting stints on The Tonight Show, gives you the illusion of having known him. In fact, his life had as many off-kilter angles as his classic film Citizen Kane.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2003 | By HOWARD GENSLER gensleh@phillynews.com Daily News wire services contributed to this report
IT'S GOOD to have a goal. Dick Smothers Jr., son of the Smothers Brothers' Dick Smothers, says his life's ambition is to become "the Orson Welles of porn. " Late last year, Smothers Jr., 38, a self-proclaimed exhibitionist, shocked his straight-man father by embarking on a career that so far has included acting in several porn films, developing a Web-based X-rated game show and launching an adult entertainment Web site. "The acting part of it is obviously what draws the most attention and piques the public's interest most.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2002 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Are you sick and tired of it? You know, of critics and cinema historians constantly hauling out this one title as the greatest exemplar of movie-making ever? You know: Citizen Kane. Well, here it comes again: Orson Welles' first and finest work, which gets a special one-week run (newly struck 35mm print!) at the Roxy Theater beginning today, is everything it's cracked up to be. A tour de force for Welles, who broke the rules (and invented some new ones), in his depiction of a Hearst-like media magnate's rise and fall, this 1941 epic is jaw-dropping stuff.
NEWS
March 10, 2002 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Celine Dion has signed a $100 million deal that may change Las Vegas entertainment forever. Ending a performance hiatus following the birth of her first child and the career rocket of the 1999 Titanic sound track, Dion will perform five nights a week for 40 weeks a year over three years at Caesars Palace, starting next March. The resort will build a $95 million, 4,000-seat theater with a 22,000-square-foot stage. For Dion, there is a gamble - she will not be able to tour, and, artistically, even her large voice might be lost in the massive swirl of a Cirque du Soleil-style show.
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