Happy Birthday Orson Welles

Movies, Television
Today is Orson Welles‘ birthday. My first memories of him are of this very large bearded guy saying “We will sell no wine before its time.” Later I learned he was the guy who caused the panic over “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. I knew about that from the TV movie about it. He participated in a parody of it on Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In.

Then I saw Citizen Kane and was blown away. Anytime I put in Citizen Kane, I can guarantee I will be mesmerized. People talk about the editing, the deep-focus photography, the acting, the directing, the camera angles, the story, whatever. No one part makes this movie, it all came together and that is what makes this film special.

His next film, another classic, The Magnificent Ambersons isn’t even available on DVD! Tell me how that is possible! He went on to make other classics like The Lady from Shanghai, and Touch of Evil. He also starred in several movies where his resonant voice, charisma, and size caused stand-out performances even though his screen time was small. The Third Man and A Man for All Seasons are the best examples of this. His resonant voice also lent to narration such as the animated classic Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and several documentaries such as a government video on aliens. Sadly, toward the end of his life, he seemed to become a parody of himself, much like Elvis did. But, thankfully, his genius lives on in film and youtube.

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