This Is Orson Welles by Orson Welles Book Summary:
Innovative film and theater director, radio producer, actor, writer, painter, narrator, and magician, Orson Welles (1915–1985) was the last true Renaissance man of the twentieth century. From such great radio works as "War of the Worlds" to his cinematic masterpieces Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Othello, Macbeth, Touch of Evil, and Chimes at Midnight, Welles was a master storyteller, as expansive as he was enigmatic. This Is Orson Welles, a collection of penetrating and witty conversations between Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, includes insights into Welles's radio, theater, film, and television work; Hollywood producers, directors, and stars; and almost everything else, from acting to magic, literature to comic strips, bullfighters to gangsters. Now including Welles's revealing memo to Universal about his artistic intentions for Touch of Evil, (of which the "director's edition" was released in Fall 1998) this book, which Welles ultimately considered his autobiography, is a masterpiece as unique and engaging as the best of his works.
Discovering Orson Welles by Jonathan Rosenbaum Book Summary:
Of the dozens of books written about Orson Welles, most focus on the central enigma of Welles's career: why did someone so extravagantly talented neglect to finish so many projects? Film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has long believed that to dwell on this aspect of the Welles canon is to overlook the wealth of information available by studying the unrealized works. Discovering Orson Welles collects Rosenbaum's writings to date on Welles—some thirty-five years of them—and makes an irrefutable case for the seriousness of his work, illuminating both Welles the artist and Welles the man. The book is also a chronicle of Rosenbaum's highly personal writer's journey and his efforts to arrive at the truth. The essays, interviews, and reviews are arranged chronologically and are accompanied by commentary that updates the scholarship. Highlights include Rosenbaum's 1972 interview with Welles about his first Hollywood project, Heart of Darkness; Rosenbaum's rebuttal to Pauline Kael's famous essay "Raising Kane"; detailed essays and comprehensive discussions of Welles's major unfinished work, including two unrealized projects, The Big Brass Ring and The Cradle Will Rock; and an account of Rosenbaum's work as consultant on the 1998 re-editing of Touch of Evil, based on a studio memo by Welles.
Orson Welles: A Biography by Barbara Leaming Book Summary:
[Read by Grace Conlin] Genius, artist, monstre sacre', Orson Welles had one of the most brilliant and tempestuous careers in show business. Here he confides his most intimate feelings and recollections of his extraordinary life. With remarkable detail and intimacy, Barbara Leaming reveals the private Welles: from child prodigy and young lion in Dublin and New York, to the succes de scandale of his The War of the Worlds broadcast; from his auspicious directing debut with the legendary Citizen Kane in his twenties, to the sabotage of his further directing career by the Hollywood studios; from his affairs, carousing, and stormy marriage to Rita Hayworth, to his association with Roosevelt and aspirations to the presidency. It is a picture with an all-star cast, including Olivier, Monroe, Dietrich, Garbo, Warren Beatty, Charlie Chaplin, Princess Margaret, and Prince Aly Khan.
Orson Welles: A Biography by Barbara Leaming Book Summary:
. . . [A] beautifully researched, valuable study of one of America's most influential and mysterious artists. . . . [What] makes this book remarkable is Welles's own contribution. His comments, opinions, interviews cut in and out of the narrative with an almost cinematic force -Patricia Bosworth
The Magic World of Orson Welles by James Naremore Book Summary:
Prodigy. Iconoclast. Genius. Exile. Orson Welles remains one of the most discussed figures in cinematic history. In the centenary year of Welles's birth, James Naremore presents a revised third edition of this incomparable study, including a new section on the unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind . Naremore analyzes the political and psychological implications of the films, Welles's idiosyncratic style, and the biographical details--both playful and vexing--that impacted each work. Itself a historic film study, The Magic World of Orson Welles unlocks the soaring art and quixotic methods of a master.
Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles by David Thomson Book Summary:
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year"Easily the best book on Orson Welles." --The New YorkerOrson Welles arrived in Hollywood as a boy genius, became a legend with a single perfect film, and then spent the next forty years floundering. But Welles floundered so variously, ingeniously, and extravagantly that he turned failure into "a sustaining tragedy"--his thing, his song. Now the prodigal genius of the American cinema finally has the biographer he deserves. For, as anyone who has read his novels and criticism knows, David Thomson is one of our most perceptive and splendidly opinionated writers on film.In Rosebud, Thomson follows the wild arc of Welles's career, from The War of the Worlds broadcast to the triumph of Citizen Kane, the mixed triumph of The Magnificent Ambersons, and the strange and troubling movies that followed. Here, too, is the unfolding of the Welles persona--the grand gestures, the womanizing, the high living, the betrayals. Thomson captures it all with a critical acumen and stylistic dash that make this book not so much a study of Welles's life and work as a glorious companion piece to them."Insightful, controversial, and highly readable--Rosebud is biography at its best." --Cleveland Plain Dealer
Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu by Simon Callow Book Summary:
The first of a comprehensive, two-volume biography traces Welles's portentous childhood, his youth in New York, where he worked with director John Houseman, his notorious radio career, and the making of Citizen Kane. 25,000 first printing. Tour.
Orson Welles, Volume 3: One-Man Band by Simon Callow Book Summary:
• A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice •The third volume of Simon Callow’s acclaimed Orson Welles biography, covering the period of his exile from America (1947–1964), when he produced some of his greatest works, including Touch of EvilIn One-Man Band, the third volume in his epic and all-inclusive four-volume survey of Orson Welles’s life and work, the celebrated British actor Simon Callow again probes in comprehensive and penetrating detail into one of the most complex, contradictory artists of the twentieth century, whose glorious triumphs (and occasional spectacular failures) in film, radio, theater, and television introduced a radical and original approach that opened up new directions in the arts. This volume begins with Welles’s self-exile from America, and his realization that he could function only to his own satisfaction as an independent film maker, a one-man band, in fact, which committed him to a perpetual cycle of money raising. By 1964, he had filmed Othello, which took three years to complete; Mr. Arkadin, the most puzzling film in his output; and a masterpiece in another genre, Touch of Evil, which marked his one return to Hollywood, and like all too many of his films was wrested from his grasp and reedited. Along the way he made inroads into the fledgling medium of television and a number of stage plays, of which his 1955 London Moby-Dick is considered by theater historians to be one of the seminal productions of the century. His private life was as spectacularly complex and dramatic as his professional life. The book reveals what it was like to be around Welles, and, with an intricacy and precision rarely attempted before, what it was like to be him, answering the riddle that has long fascinated film scholars and lovers alike: Whatever happened to Orson Welles?
Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles by Frank Brady Book Summary:
A decade in the research and writing, biographer Frank Brady's Citizen Welles is the first comprehensive life story, definitive for our time, of Orson Welles through to his death in 1985. Welles's influence on several generations of American filmmakers, from Kubrick to Spielberg, for example, is incalculable. Welles's creative achievements, from the best known --- his all-time great movie Citizen Kane and his notorious radio show The War of the Worlds --- to his pioneering presentations in the popular theater of the classics of Shakespeare, Shaw, Ionesco, and his stardom as an actor are at the heart of Brady's biography. But Brady tells, too, the more personal side of Welle's life, such as his amours with Rita Hayworth and Dolores Del Rio and the confounding tragedy of Welles's sad final years, in part, Brady shows, the consequences of tee early success. The young Welles toured with Katherine Cornell; starred on Broadway in Shaw's Heartbreak House, when he made the cover of Time; acted in Hamlet in the Gate Theatre in Dublin. His films such as The Magnificent Ambersons, Othello, and Chimes at Midnight (his Falstaff may well be the greatest of all Falstaffs) were among the best of all time. Brady clarifies the whys and wherefores of Welles's extraordinary success and his end, when Welles was uniformly rejected by Hollywood as a noncommercial iconoclast. The great continuing popular interest in posthumous Orson Welles is vivid evidence of the shortsightedness of that view. ------ “Brady encircles his outsize subject with equal parts of anecdote and scholarship. He does not attempt the intimate tone of Barbara Leaming’s authorized 1983 biography or try for the high-skid fashion of Charles Higham’s Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall of an American Genius (1985). Citizen Welles covers more ground and digs deeper, revealing an artistic nomad whose life had too many ups, downs and lateral movements to be treated as a sales chart.” Time Magazine “Citizen Welles may well be definitive.” The New York Times Book Review “Brady’s quiet but unrelenting passion for his subject pulsates beneath his variegated and vastly human portrait of stage, radio and film genius Orson Welles.” Publishers Weekly “Orson Welles has been called a genius so often it seems like his middle name. But Frank Brady’s Citizen Welles is the first book in the huge Welles bibliography to thoroughly document that claim.” Playboy “An excellent piece of work.” Charlton Heston -------------- Frank Brady is the author of ten books, including five biographies delving into the lives of such fascinating subjects as shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, singer-actress Barbra Streisand, newspaper tycoon Paul Block, chess champion Bobby Fischer, and movie director and actor Orson Welles. All of Dr. Brady’s works have been published by distinguished houses (Scribners, Macmillan, Grosset & Dunlap, Crown, etc.) and all have also been published in paperback, and translated and published in several countries. Some of his books have been optioned for the screen and others have been book club selections. His biography of Bobby Fischer, Endgame, became a New York Times bestseller and has been published in eleven countries. Dr. Brady has also been involved in broadcasting as a behind-the-scenes and on-air personality for both radio and television. A New Yorker by birth, Dr. Brady lives in Manhattan and is a professor of the Communications, Journalism and Media Studies Department of St. John’s University. He studied at Columbia University and New York University, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in communications. His wife, Maxine, is an editor and also a best-selling author.
Orson Welles, Volume 2: Hello Americans by Simon Callow Book Summary:
“Unfailingly intelligent and well written . . . Vivid and three-dimensional.”—VarietyThe first volume of Simon Callow's magisterial biography of Orson Welles was praised as a "splendidly entertaining, definitive work" by Entertainment Weekly. Now, this eagerly anticipated second volume examines the years following Citizen Kane up to the time of Macbeth, in which Welles's Hollywood film career unraveled. In close and colorful detail, Callow offers a scrupulous analysis of the factors involved, revealing the immense and sometimes self-defeating complexities of Welles's temperament as well as some of the monstrous personalities with whom he had to contend.
Orson Welles: Volume 2: Hello Americans by Simon Callow Book Summary:
A second volume in the biographical series about the legendary director traces the years after Citizen Kane to offer insight into Welles's increasing inability to function within the movie industry's structure, tracing his contributions to such films as The Magnificent Ambersons and The Lady from Shanghai, as well as his efforts in radio comedy, spectacular theater, and newspaper politics. 25,000 first printing.
At the End of the Street in the Shadow: Orson Welles and the City by Matthew Asprey Gear Book Summary:
The films of Orson Welles inhabit the spaces of cities―from America's industrializing midland to its noirish borderlands, from Europe's medieval fortresses to its Kafkaesque labyrinths and postwar rubblescapes. His movies take us through dark streets to confront nightmarish struggles for power, the carnivalesque and bizarre, and the shadows and light of human character.This ambitious new study explores Welles's vision of cities by following recurring themes across his work, including urban transformation, race relations and fascism, the utopian promise of cosmopolitanism, and romantic nostalgia for archaic forms of urban culture. It focuses on the personal and political foundation of Welles's cinematic cities―the way he invents urban spaces on film to serve his dramatic, thematic, and ideological purposes.The book's critical scope draws on extensive research in international archives and builds on the work of previous scholars. Viewing Welles as a radical filmmaker whose innovative methods were only occasionally compatible with the commercial film industry, this volume examines the filmmaker's original vision for butchered films, such as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Mr. Arkadin (1955), and considers many projects the filmmaker never completed―an immense "shadow oeuvre" ranging from unfinished and unreleased films to unrealized treatments and screenplays.
Walking Shadows: Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst, and Citizen Kane (A Ray and Pat Browne Book) by John Evangelist Walsh Book Summary:
Walking Shadows dramatically dissects the wild, high-profile battle between newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and famous young actor, director, and filmmaker Orson Welles over Welles’s groundbreaking film Citizen Kane. In 1940 and 1941 it became the center of public controversy and scandal, especially in Hollywood where Welles’s own stark honesty and blatant self-confidence heightened the drama. Citizen Kane portrayed the ruthless career of an all-powerful magnate bearing (not accidentally) a striking resemblance to Hearst, who immediately tried to kill the picture. John Evangelist Walsh here illuminates the conflict between these two outsize personalities and for the first time brings Hearst’s vengeful anti-Kane campaign to the fore. Walsh provides thorough documentation, supplemental notes, and an extended bibliography.