Dragon Digital Radio

Orson Welles

June 1, 2020

Orson Welles qualifies as one of the greatest directors in Hollywood film history, and he also qualifies as one of the most troubled in terms of his short stay within the studio system and subsequent lengthy exile as an independent director scrounging to raise the money to make movies his way. He had a fascinating and frustrating career that Marie and Mike discuss in an episode so full of anecdotes and observations that our two film critics trade remarks as briskly as in one of the celebrated montages in Welles' directorial debut, "Citizen Kane" (1941), a masterpiece that, incidentally, anchors the syllabus for the film department's Introduction to Film course. Mike provides some biographical background to get this episode started, and then indicates how Orson Welles' early career in theater and radio made hims a national celebrity courted by Hollywood. Of course, it didn't hurt that the multi-talented Welles was also a genius at publicity. Indeed, he was never shy about using his booming voice to tell you all about himself. In any event, it is truly amazing that Welles was only 25 years old when he directed, co-wrote and starred in "Citizen Kane," which is widely considered to be one of the best movies ever made. Marie and Mike discuss it, of course, but also spend time considering the rest of Welles' filmography. They mention some of his later films that are well worth your viewing time. And we know that all of you have plenty of viewing time these days.