20 Great Movies and A Biography of a Great Actor..Orson Welles

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King Lear

Orson Welles, Beatrice Straight

Released: 1953

Directed by: Andrew McCullough

King Lear is a 1953 live television adaptation of the Shakespeare play staged by Peter Brook and starring Orson Welles. Preserved on kinescope, it aired October 18, 1953, as part of the CBS..

19.Tomorrow Is Forever

Natalie Wood, Orson Welles

Released: 1946

Directed by: Irving Pichel

Tomorrow Is Forever is a 1946 black-and-white romance film distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by Irving Pichel, starring Claudette Colbert, Orson Welles and George Brent. The music..

18.The Immortal Story

Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau

Released: 1968

Directed by: Orson Welles

The Immortal Story is a 1968 French film directed by Orson Welles and starring Jeanne Moreau. The film was originally broadcast on French television and was later released in theaters. It was..

17.Waterloo

Orson Welles, Christopher Plummer

Released: 1970

Directed by: Sergei Bondarchuk

Waterloo is a 1970 Soviet-Italian film directed by Sergei Bondarchuk and produced by Dino De Laurentiis. It depicts the story of the preliminary events and the Battle of Waterloo, and is..

16.Prince of Foxes

Orson Welles, Tyrone Power

Released: 1949

Directed by: Henry King

Prince of Foxes is a 1949 film adapted from Samuel Shellabarger’s novel Prince of Foxes. The movie starred Tyrone Power as Orsini and Orson Welles as Cesare Borgia..

15.The Lady from Shanghai

Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles

Released: 1947

Directed by: Orson Welles

The Lady from Shanghai is a 1947 film noir directed by Orson Welles and starring Welles, his estranged wife Rita Hayworth and Everett Sloane. It is based on the novel If I Die Before I Wake..

14.Casino Royale

Woody Allen, Ursula Andress

Released: 1967

Directed by: Val Guest, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, John Huston, Ken Hughes

Casino Royale is a 1967 spy comedy film originally produced by Columbia Pictures starring an ensemble cast of directors and actors. It is loosely based on Ian Fleming’s first James Bond..

13.Othello

Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten

Released: 1952

Directed by: Orson Welles

Othello is a 1952 drama film based on the Shakespearean play, made by Mercury Productions Inc. and Les Films Marceau and distributed by United Artists when released in the United States..

12.Moby Dick

Orson Welles, Gregory Peck

Released: 1956

Directed by: John Huston

Moby Dick is a 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. It was directed by John Huston with a screenplay by Huston and Ray Bradbury. The film starred Gregory Peck..

11.Touch of Evil

Charlton Heston, Orson Welles

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson Welles

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with..

10.Touch of Evil

Charlton Heston, Orson Welles

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson Welles

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with….

9.Citizen Kane

Orson Welles, Alan Ladd

Released: 1941

Directed by: Orson Welles

Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced by, co-written by, directed by and starring Orson Welles. The picture was Welles’s first feature film. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in..

8.Journey into Fear

Orson Welles, Dolores del Río

Released: 1943

Directed by: Orson Welles, Norman Foster

Journey into Fear is a 1943 American spy film based on the Eric Ambler novel of the same name. The film broadly follows the plot of the book, but the protagonist was changed to ..

7.The Third Man

Orson Welles, Trevor Howard

Released: 1949

Directed by: Carol Reed

The Third Man is a 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and starring Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. It is considered one of the greatest films of all..

6.The Long, Hot Summer

Paul Newman, Angela Lansbury

Released: 1958

Directed by: Martin Ritt

The Long, Hot Summer is a 1958 film directed by Martin Ritt. The screenplay was written by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., based in part on three works by William Faulkner: the 1931..

5.A Man for All Seasons

John Hurt, Orson Welles

Released: 1966

Directed by: Fred Zinnemann

A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film based on Robert Bolt’s play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield..

4.Macbeth

Orson Welles, Roddy McDowall

Released: 1948

Directed by: Orson Welles

Macbeth is a 1948 American film adaptation by Orson Welles of William Shakespeare’s tragedy..

3.The Trial

Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1962

Directed by: Orson Welles

The Trial is a 1962 film directed by Orson Welles, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel of the same name by Franz Kafka. Welles stated immediately after completing the film..

2.Chimes at Midnight

Orson Welles, John Gielgud

Released: 1965

Directed by: Orson Welles

Chimes at Midnight, is a 1966 English language Spanish-Swiss co-produced film directed by and starring Orson Welles. The film’s plot centers on William Shakespeare’s recurring character Sir..

1.The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles, Anne Baxter

Released: 1942

Directed by: Orson Welles

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 American period drama, the second feature film produced and directed by Orson Welles. Welles adapted Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize-

BIOGRAPHY

Orson Welles, in full George Orson Welles, (born May 6, 1915, Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.—died October 10, 1985, Los Angeles, California), American motion-picture actor, director, producer, and writer. His innovative narrative techniques and use of photography, dramatic lighting, and music to further the dramatic line and to create mood made his Citizen Kane (1941)—which he wrote, directed, produced, and acted in—one of the most-influential films in the history of the art.

Welles was born to a mother, Beatrice Ives, who was a concert pianist and a crack rifle shot, and a father, Richard Welles, who was an inventor and a businessman. Welles was a child prodigy, adept at the piano and violin, acting, drawing, painting, and writing verse; he also entertained his friends by performing magic tricks and staging mini productions of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Welles’s parents separated when he was four years old, and his mother died when he was nine. In 1926 Welles entered the exclusive Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois. There his gifts found fertile ground, and he dazzled the teachers and students with stagings of both modern and classical plays. His father died in 1930, and Welles became the ward of a family friend, Chicago doctor Maurice Bernstein. In 1931 he graduated from Todd, but, instead of attending college, he studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago before traveling to Dublin, where he successfully auditioned at the Gate Theatre for the part of the Duke of Württemberg in a stage adaptation of Lion Feuchtwanger’s novel Jew Süss.

Welles remained in Ireland for a year, acting with the company at the Abbey Theatre as well as at the Gate; he also designed sets, wrote a newspaper column, and began directing plays. In 1932 Welles left Dublin and tried to get work on the stages of London and New York; unsuccessful, he instead traveled for a year in Morocco and Spain. In 1933 in the United States, he was introduced to actress Katharine Cornell by author Thornton Wilder and was hired to act in Cornell’s road company, playing Mercutio in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Marchbanks in George Bernard Shaw’s Candida, and Octavius Barrett in Rudolf Besier’s The Barretts of Wimpole Street. In 1934 Welles organized a summer drama festival at the Todd School, where he played Svengali in an adaptation of George du Maurier’s Trilby and Claudius in Hamlet. At the end of the festival, he made his first film, the short The Hearts of Age. With Todd School headmaster Roger Hill, he prepared Everybody’s Shakespeare (1934), editions for performance of Twelfth NightThe Merchant of Venice, and Julius Caesar, with introductions by Hill and Welles and illustrations by Welles. He made his New York debut as Tybalt in Cornell’s production of Romeo and Juliet in December 1934.

When Welles was performing in Romeo and Juliet, he met producer John Houseman, who immediately cast him as the lead in Archibald MacLeish’s verse play Panic, which premiered in 1935 for Houseman’s Phoenix Theatre Group. They then moved on in 1936 to mounting productions for the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA’s) Federal Theatre Project. Their first effort, for the Federal Theatre’s Negro Division, was Macbeth, with an all African American cast and the setting changed from Scotland to Haiti. They began 1937 with Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus (starring Welles). Their most (in)famous effort was Marc Blitzstein’s proletarian musical play The Cradle Will Rock. WPA guards shut down the theatre the night before its opening. (The shutdown was ostensibly for budgetary reasons; however, the political nature of the play was considered too radical.) Welles and Houseman quickly rented another theatre, and on opening night the play was presented with the actors performing their roles from seats in the audience. That same year they formed the Mercury Theatre, which presented a renowned modern-dress version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In 1938 the Mercury Theatre presented William Gillette’s comedy Too Much Johnson. Welles shot three short silent films to precede each act of the play; however, the films were never finished. (The Too Much Johnson footage was believed to have been destroyed by fire in 1970; however, it was rediscovered, restored, and premiered in 2013.)

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