Richard Welles. Welles was pregnant at the time, and when they said goodbye, she told them that she had enjoyed their company so much that if the child were a boy, she intended to name it for them: George Orson. Despite his family's affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp,  became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles's mother, a pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Art Institute of Chicago to support her son and herself; the oldest Welles boy, "Dickie", was institutionalized at an early age because he had learning difficulties.
Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital on May 10, , just after Welles's ninth birthday. After his mother's death, Welles ceased pursuing music. It was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York , established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward. Then, in what Welles later described as "a hectic period" in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician who had been a close friend of both his parents.
Welles briefly attended public school  : before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East. When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, Illinois , that was owned by his father. When the hotel burned down, Welles and his father took to the road again. Welles briefly attended public school in Madison, Wisconsin, enrolled in the fourth grade. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him.
Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there. In addition to a theatre the school's own radio station was at his disposal. On December 28, , when Welles was 15, his father died of heart and kidney failure at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago. Shortly before this, Welles had announced to his father that he would stop seeing him, believing it would prompt his father to refrain from drinking.
As a result, Orson felt guilty because he believed his father had drunk himself to death because of him. He studied for a few weeks at the Art Institute of Chicago  : with Boris Anisfeld , who encouraged him to pursue painting. Welles would occasionally return to Woodstock, the place he eventually named when he was asked in a interview, "Where is home? I went to school there for four years. If I try to think of a home, it's that. After his father's death, Welles traveled to Europe using a small portion of his inheritance. Welles said that while on a walking and painting trip through Ireland, he strode into the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claimed he was a Broadway star.
The manager of the Gate, Hilton Edwards , later said he had not believed him but was impressed by his brashness and an impassioned audition he gave. He performed small supporting roles in subsequent Gate productions, and he produced and designed productions of his own in Dublin. In March Welles performed in W. Unable to obtain a work permit, he returned to the U. Welles found his fame ephemeral and turned to a writing project at Todd School that would become the immensely successful, first entitled Everybody's Shakespeare and subsequently, The Mercury Shakespeare.
Welles traveled to North Africa while working on thousands of illustrations for the Everybody's Shakespeare series of educational books, a series that remained in print for decades. Wilder arranged for Welles to meet Alexander Woollcott in New York, in order that he be introduced to Katharine Cornell , who was assembling a repertory theatre company. Cornell's husband, director Guthrie McClintic , immediately put Welles under contract and cast him in three plays.
At the old firehouse in Woodstock he also shot his first film, an eight-minute short titled The Hearts of Age. On November 14, , Welles married Chicago socialite and actress Virginia Nicolson  : often misspelled "Nicholson"  in a civil ceremony in New York. To appease the Nicolsons, who were furious at the couple's elopement, a formal ceremony took place December 23, , at the New Jersey mansion of the bride's godmother. Welles wore a cutaway borrowed from his friend George Macready. By Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theatre as a radio actor in Manhattan , working with many actors who would later form the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America's Hour , Cavalcade of America , Columbia Workshop and The March of Time.
Macbeth opening night at the Lafayette Theatre April 14, The Cradle Will Rock Part of the Works Progress Administration , the Federal Theatre Project —39 was a New Deal program to fund theatre and other live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States during the Great Depression. It was created as a relief measure to employ artists, writers, directors and theatre workers. Under national director Hallie Flanagan it was shaped into a true national theatre that created relevant art, encouraged experimentation and innovation, and made it possible for millions of Americans to see live theatre for the first time.
The Federal Theatre Project was the ideal environment in which Welles could develop his art. Its purpose was employment, so he was able to hire any number of artists, craftsmen and technicians, and he filled the stage with performers. At 20, Welles was hailed as a prodigy.
Faustus that used light as a prime unifying scenic element in a nearly black stage, presented January 8 — May 9, , at Maxine Elliott's Theatre. Presented at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in New York for the benefit of high school students, the production opened April 21, , and ran its scheduled three performances. Because of severe federal cutbacks in the Works Progress projects, the show's premiere at the Maxine Elliott Theatre was canceled.
The theater was locked and guarded to prevent any government-purchased materials from being used for a commercial production of the work. In a last-minute move, Welles announced to waiting ticket-holders that the show was being transferred to the Venice , 20 blocks away. Some cast, and some crew and audience, walked the distance on foot. The union musicians refused to perform in a commercial theater for lower non-union government wages.
The actors' union stated that the production belonged to the Federal Theater Project and could not be performed outside that context without permission. Lacking the participation of the union members, The Cradle Will Rock began with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment on stage with some cast members performing from the audience. This impromptu performance was well received by its audience. Breaking with the Federal Theatre Project in , Welles and Houseman founded their own repertory company, which they called the Mercury Theatre. The name was inspired by the title of the iconoclastic magazine, The American Mercury.
We had not had such a man in our theater. He was the first and remains the greatest. The Mercury Theatre opened November 11, , with Caesar , Welles's modern-dress adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Julius Caesar — streamlined into an anti-fascist tour de force that Joseph Cotten later described as "so vigorous, so contemporary that it set Broadway on its ear. Scene changes were achieved by lighting alone.
Beginning January 1, , Caesar was performed in repertory with The Shoemaker's Holiday ; both productions moved to the larger National Theatre. Simultaneously with his work in the theatre, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit. While he was directing the Voodoo Macbeth Welles was dashing between Harlem and midtown Manhattan three times a day to meet his radio commitments.
His performance as the announcer in the series' April presentation of Archibald MacLeish 's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career  : 78 and made the year-old Welles an overnight star. It was his first job as a writer-director for radio,  : the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre , and one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements.
He performed the role anonymously through mid-September The series began July 11, , initially titled First Person Singular , with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air. Wells October 30, , brought Welles instant fame. The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question.
The myth of the result created by the combination was reported as fact around the world and disparagingly mentioned by Adolf Hitler in a public speech. Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show without sponsorship was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse. After 20 shows, Campbell began to exercise more creative control and had complete control over story selection.
As his contract with Campbell came to an end, Welles chose not to sign on for another season. After the broadcast of March 31, , Welles and Campbell parted amicably. RKO Radio Pictures president George Schaefer eventually offered Welles what generally is considered the greatest contract offered to a filmmaker, much less to one who was untried.
Engaging him to write, produce, direct and perform in two motion pictures, the contract subordinated the studio's financial interests to Welles's creative control, and broke all precedent by granting Welles the right of final cut. Welles co-wrote, produced and directed the film, and performed the lead role. Mankiewicz , who was writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse. After agreeing on the storyline and character, Welles supplied Mankiewicz with pages of notes and put him under contract to write the first draft screenplay under the supervision of John Houseman.
Welles wrote his own draft,  : 54 then drastically condensed and rearranged both versions and added scenes of his own. The industry accused Welles of underplaying Mankiewicz's contribution to the script, but Welles countered the attacks by saying, "At the end, naturally, I was the one making the picture, after all—who had to make the decisions. I used what I wanted of Mank's and, rightly or wrongly, kept what I liked of my own. Welles's project attracted some of Hollywood's best technicians, including cinematographer Gregg Toland. Filming Citizen Kane took ten weeks.
Hearst's newspapers barred all reference to Citizen Kane and exerted enormous pressure on the Hollywood film community to force RKO to shelve the film. Mayer and other major studio executives if he would destroy the negative and existing prints of the film. James Theatre. The Mercury Production was the last time Welles and Houseman worked together. Citizen Kane was given a limited release and the film received overwhelming critical praise.
Variety reported that block voting by screen extras deprived Citizen Kane of Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor Welles , and similar prejudices were likely to have been responsible for the film receiving no technical awards. The delay in the film's release and uneven distribution contributed to mediocre results at the box office.
After it ran its course theatrically, Citizen Kane was retired to the vault in In postwar France, however, the film's reputation grew after it was seen for the first time in That year it was also re-released theatrically,  : and film critic Andrew Sarris described it as "the great American film" and "the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since Birth of a Nation. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named cinematographer. The meticulous Cortez worked slowly and the film lagged behind schedule and over budget.
Taylor and Co. The series began July 11, , initially titled First Person Singular , with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Jacques Damasse, For example, using all major news media—newspapers, magazines, television, and radio—motivates students, and comparing different accounts of the same story helps them develop questioning attitudes. After considering two or three possibilities, Jim named a card game his teacher had never heard of.
Prior to production, Welles's contract was renegotiated, revoking his right to control the final cut. Throughout the shooting of the film Welles was also producing a weekly half-hour radio series, The Orson Welles Show. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was the producer. Direction was credited to Norman Foster. Welles later said that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was determined by whoever was closest to the camera. Journey into Fear was in production January 6 — March 12, Welles was thoroughly briefed in Washington, D.
Benamou, a specialist in Latin American affairs, finds it "not unlikely" that he was among the goodwill ambassadors who were asked to gather intelligence for the U. She concludes that Welles's acceptance of Whitney's request was "a logical and patently patriotic choice". In addition to working on his ill-fated film project, It's All True , Welles was responsible for radio programs, lectures, interviews and informal talks as part of his OCIAA-sponsored cultural mission, which was regarded as a success.
Welles's ambassadorial mission was extended to permit his travel to other nations including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Welles's own expectations for the film were modest. In July , Welles conceived It's All True as an omnibus film mixing documentary and docufiction  :  : 27 in a project that emphasized the dignity of labor and celebrated the cultural and ethnic diversity of North America.
He also decided to do a ripped-from-the-headlines episode about the epic voyage of four poor Brazilian fishermen, the jangadeiros, who had become national heroes. Welles later said this was the most valuable story. Welles left for Brazil on February 4 and began filming in Rio February 8, Benamou wrote, "the ambassadorial appointment would be the first in a series of turning points leading—in 'zigs' and 'zags,' rather than in a straight line—to Welles's loss of complete directorial control over both The Magnificent Ambersons and It's All True , the cancellation of his contract at RKO Radio Studio, the expulsion of his company Mercury Productions from the RKO lot, and, ultimately, the total suspension of It's All True.
In RKO Pictures underwent major changes under new management. Nelson Rockefeller, the primary backer of the Brazil project, left its board of directors, and Welles's principal sponsor at RKO, studio president George Schaefer, resigned. RKO took control of Ambersons and edited the film into what the studio considered a commercial format. Welles's attempts to protect his version ultimately failed. Given a limited amount of black-and-white film stock and a silent camera, he was able to finish shooting the episode about the jangadeiros, but RKO refused to support further production on the film.
I never recovered from that attack. Airing August 29, , on the Blue Network , the program was presented in cooperation with the United States Department of the Treasury , Western Union which wired bond subscriptions free of charge and the American Women's Voluntary Services. On October 12, , Cavalcade of America presented Welles's radio play, Admiral of the Ocean Sea , an entertaining and factual look at the legend of Christopher Columbus.
The Axis, trying to stir Latin America against Anglo-America, had constantly emphasized the differences between the two. It became the job of American radio to emphasize their common experience and essential unity. Admiral of the Ocean Sea , also known as Columbus Day , begins with the words, "Hello Americans"—the title Welles would choose for his own series five weeks later.
The minute weekly program promoted inter-American understanding and friendship, drawing upon the research amassed for the ill-fated film, It's All True. The program was conceived to glorify the aviation industry and dramatize its role in World War II. Welles's shows were regarded as significant contributions to the war effort. Throughout the war Welles worked on patriotic radio programs including Command Performance , G. Filming also had wrapped on the film adaptation of Jane Eyre and that fee, in addition to the income from his regular guest-star roles in radio, made it possible for Welles to fulfill a lifelong dream.
He approached the War Assistance League of Southern California and proposed a show that evolved into a big-top spectacle, part circus and part magic show. Members of the U. The development of the show coincided with the resolution of Welles's oft-changing draft status in May , when he was finally declared 4-F—unfit for military service—for a variety of medical reasons.
The Mercury Wonder Show ran August 3 — September 9, , in an byfoot tent  located at Cahuenga Boulevard , in the heart of Hollywood. Welles remarked that The Mercury Wonder Show had been performed for approximately 48, members of the U. The idea of doing a radio variety show occurred to Welles after his success as substitute host of four consecutive episodes March 14 — April 4, of The Jack Benny Program , radio's most popular show, when Benny contracted pneumonia on a performance tour of military bases.
Many of the shows originated on U. Welles campaigned ardently for Roosevelt in A longtime supporter and campaign speaker for FDR, he occasionally sent the president ideas and phrases that were sometimes incorporated into what Welles characterized as "less important speeches". Welles campaigned for the Roosevelt—Truman ticket almost full-time in the fall of , traveling to nearly every state  : — to the detriment of his own health  : — and at his own expense. On April 12, , the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died, the Blue-ABC network marshalled its entire executive staff and national leaders to pay homage to the late president.
Welles presented another special broadcast on the death of Roosevelt the following evening: "We must move on beyond mere death to that free world which was the hope and labor of his life.
He presented a half-hour dramatic program written by Ben Hecht on the opening day of the conference, and on Sunday afternoons April 29 — June 10 he led a weekly discussion from the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. In the fall of Welles began work on The Stranger , a film noir drama about a war crimes investigator who tracks a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to an idyllic New England town. Edward G. Robinson , Loretta Young and Welles star.
Producer Sam Spiegel initially planned to hire director John Huston , who had rewritten the screenplay by Anthony Veiller. When Huston entered the military, Welles was given the chance to direct and prove himself able to make a film on schedule and under budget  : 19 —something he was so eager to do that he accepted a disadvantageous contract.
One of its concessions was that he would defer to the studio in any creative dispute. The Stranger was Welles's first job as a film director in four years. Nims under the terms of the contract. The Stranger was the first commercial film to use documentary footage from the Nazi concentration camps. Completed a day ahead of schedule and under budget,  : — The Stranger was the only film made by Welles to have been a bona fide box office success upon its release. No reason was given, but the impression was left that The Stranger would not make money.
Producer Mike Todd , who would later produce the successful film adaptation , pulled out from the lavish and expensive production, leaving Welles to support the finances. When Welles ran out of money he convinced Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn to send enough money to continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and star in a film for Cohn for no further fee.
The stage show soon failed due to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes. While Mercury Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptations of some classic Mercury radio shows from the s, the first episode was a condensation of his Around the World stage play, and is the only record of Cole Porter's music for the project.
Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as well as Bernard Herrmann. Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a political vehicle for him, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Welles brought significant attention to Woodard's cause. The last broadcast of Orson Welles Commentaries on October 6, , marked the end of Welles's own radio shows.
The film that Welles was obliged to make in exchange for Harry Cohn's help in financing the stage production Around the World was The Lady from Shanghai , filmed in for Columbia Pictures. Intended as a modest thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles's then-estranged second wife Rita Hayworth co-star.
Cohn disliked Welles's rough cut , particularly the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and was not in sympathy with Welles's Brechtian use of irony and black comedy , especially in a farcical courtroom scene. Cohn ordered extensive editing and re-shoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour of Welles's first cut was removed, including much of a climactic confrontation scene in an amusement park funhouse. While expressing displeasure at the cuts, Welles was appalled particularly with the musical score. The film was considered a disaster in America at the time of release, though the closing shootout in a hall of mirrors has since become a touchstone of film noir.
Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalized their divorce. Prior to , Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a low-budget version of Macbeth , which featured highly stylized sets and costumes, and a cast of actors lip-syncing to a pre-recorded soundtrack, one of many innovative cost-cutting techniques Welles deployed in an attempt to make an epic film from B-movie resources.
The script, adapted by Welles, is a violent reworking of Shakespeare's original, freely cutting and pasting lines into new contexts via a collage technique and recasting Macbeth as a clash of pagan and proto-Christian ideologies. Of all Welles's post- Kane Hollywood productions, Macbeth is stylistically closest to Citizen Kane in its long takes and deep focus photography.
Republic initially trumpeted the film as an important work but decided it did not care for the Scottish accents and held up general release for almost a year after early negative press reaction, including Life ' s comment that Welles's film "doth foully slaughter Shakespeare. Welles returned and cut 20 minutes from the film at Republic's request and recorded narration to cover some gaps.
The film was decried as a disaster. Macbeth had influential fans in Europe, especially the French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau , who hailed the film's "crude, irreverent power" and careful shot design, and described the characters as haunting "the corridors of some dreamlike subway, an abandoned coal mine, and ruined cellars oozing with water. In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the film Black Magic. His co-star, Akim Tamiroff , impressed Welles so much that Tamiroff would appear in four of Welles's productions during the s and s.
During this time, Welles was channeling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of Shakespeare's play Othello. From to , Welles worked on Othello , filming on location in Italy and Morocco. The American release prints had a technically flawed soundtrack, suffering from a dropout of sound at every quiet moment. Welles's daughter, Beatrice Welles-Smith, restored Othello in for a wide re-release. The restoration included reconstructing Angelo Francesco Lavagnino 's original musical score, which was originally inaudible, and adding ambient stereo sound effects, which were not in the original film.
The restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in America. In , Welles continued finding work in England after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Welles briefly returned to America to make his first appearance on television, starring in the Omnibus presentation of King Lear , broadcast live on CBS October 18, Welles's next turn as director was the film Mr. Arkadin , which was produced by his political mentor from the s, Louis Dolivet. It was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy on a very limited budget.
Based loosely on several episodes of the Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a billionaire who hires a man to delve into the secrets of his past. Frustrated by his slow progress in the editing room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film without him. Eventually five different versions of the film would be released, two in Spanish and three in English. The version that Dolivet completed was retitled Confidential Report.
In Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw a reconstruction of the surviving film elements. In , Welles also directed two television series for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles' Sketch Book , a series of six minute shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscences for the camera including such topics as the filming of It's All True and the Isaac Woodard case , and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles , a series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe such as Vienna , the Basque Country between France and Spain, and England.
Welles served as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own personal observations a technique he would continue to explore in later works. In , Welles completed Portrait of Gina. The film cans would remain in a lost-and-found locker at the hotel for several decades, where they were discovered after Welles's death. In , Welles returned to Hollywood. Originally deemed not viable as a pilot, the film was not aired until —and won the Peabody Award for excellence.
Welles guest starred on television shows including I Love Lucy. Originally only hired as an actor, Welles was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the insistence of Charlton Heston. Filming proceeded smoothly, with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising the daily rushes. Nevertheless, after the end of production, the studio re-edited the film, re-shot scenes, and shot new exposition scenes to clarify the plot.
Throughout the s, filming continued on Quixote on-and-off until the end of the decade, as Welles evolved the concept, tone and ending several times. Although he had a complete version of the film shot and edited at least once, he would continue toying with the editing well into the s, he never completed a version film he was fully satisfied with, and would junk existing footage and shoot new footage. In one case, he had a complete cut ready in which Quixote and Sancho Panza end up going to the moon, but he felt the ending was rendered obsolete by the moon landings, and burned 10 reels of this version.
As the process went on, Welles gradually voiced all of the characters himself and provided narration. Some of the film stock had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism. Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented travelogues of Spain and included Welles's wife, Paola, and their daughter, Beatrice.
Though Welles was fluent in Italian, the network was not interested in him providing Italian narration because of his accent, and the series sat unreleased until , by which time the network had added Italian narration of its own. Ultimately, versions of the episodes were released with the original musical score Welles had approved, but without the narration. While filming exteriors in Zagreb , Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there could be no set construction.
No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d'Orsay , at that time an abandoned railway station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a " Jules Verne modernism" and a melancholy sense of "waiting", both suitable for Kafka. To remain in the spirit of Kafka Welles set up the cutting room together with the Film Editor, Frederick Muller as Fritz Muller , in the old un-used, cold, depressing, station master office.
The film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles found the film riotously funny. Welles also told a BBC interviewer that it was his best film. If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that's the one I would offer up. The film had a successful run in French theaters. At this time Welles met Oja Kodar again, and gave her a letter he had written to her and had been keeping for four years; they would not be parted again.
They immediately began a collaboration both personal and professional. Unfortunately, funding disappeared after one day's shooting. After completing this film, he appeared in a brief cameo as Cardinal Wolsey in Fred Zinnemann 's adaptation of A Man for All Seasons —a role for which he won considerable acclaim. Personally financed by Welles and Kodar, they could not obtain the funds to complete the project, and it was abandoned a few years later after the death of Harvey.
In Welles called again the Film Editor Frederick Muller to work with him re-editing the material and they set up cutting rooms at the Safa Palatino Studios in Rome. Without funding, the show was not completed. In , Welles authorized the use of his name for a cinema in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Orson Welles Cinema remained in operation until , with Welles making a personal appearance there in Drawn by the numerous offers he received to work in television and films, and upset by a tabloid scandal reporting his affair with Kodar, Welles abandoned the editing of Don Quixote and moved back to America in Welles returned to Hollywood, where he continued to self-finance his film and television projects.
While offers to act, narrate and host continued, Welles also found himself in great demand on television talk shows. Welles's primary focus during his final years was The Other Side of the Wind , a project that was filmed intermittently between and Co-written by Welles and Oja Kodar, it is the story of an aging film director John Huston looking for funds to complete his final film. Financed by Iranian backers, ownership of the film fell into a legal quagmire after the Shah of Iran was deposed.
The legal disputes kept the film in its unfinished state until early , and was finally released in November In , Welles directed a short adaptation of Moby-Dick , a one-man performance on a bare stage, reminiscent of his stage production Moby Dick—Rehearsed. That same year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an honorary award "For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures".
Welles pretended to be out of town and sent John Huston to claim the award, thanking the Academy on film. Huston criticized the Academy for awarding Welles, even while they refused to give Welles any work. In , Welles acted as on-screen narrator for the film documentary version of Alvin Toffler 's book Future Shock. This was the last time he played the lead role in a major film. Welles also contributed to the script, his writing credit was attributed to the pseudonym 'O.
In some versions of the film Welles's original recorded dialog was redubbed by Robert Rietty. An excerpt of Welles's s War of the Worlds broadcast was recreated for this film; however, none of the dialogue heard in the film actually matches what was originally broadcast.
Welles filmed a five-minute trailer, rejected in the U. Welles hosted a British syndicated anthology series, Orson Welles's Great Mysteries , during the —74 television season. His brief introductions to the 26 half-hour episodes were shot in July by Gary Graver. Gilroy was signed to write the television script and direct the TV movie on the assurance that Welles would star, but by April Welles had bowed out. Made for West German television, it was also released in theaters. Unable to find network interest, the pilot was never broadcast. Beginning in the late s, Welles participated in a series of famous television commercial advertisements.
For two years he was on-camera spokesman for the Paul Masson Vineyards, [d] and sales grew by one third during the time Welles intoned what became a popular catchphrase: "We will sell no wine before its time. As money ran short, he began directing commercials to make ends meet, including the famous British "Follow the Bear" commercials for Hofmeister lager.
Interviewed by Leslie Megahey, Welles examined his past in great detail, and several people from his professional past were interviewed as well. Welles provided narration for the tracks "Defender" from Manowar 's album Fighting the World and "Dark Avenger" on their album, Battle Hymns. He also recorded the concert introduction for the live performances of Manowar that says, "Ladies and gentlemen, from the United States of America, all hail Manowar. Another project he worked on was Filming The Trial , the second in a proposed series of documentaries examining his feature films.
While much was shot for these projects, none of them was completed. In , Welles narrated the short-lived television series Scene of the Crime. During the early years of Magnum, P. Welles's death forced this minor character to largely be written out of the series. In an oblique homage to Welles, the Magnum, P. The last film roles before Welles's death included voice work in the animated films Enchanted Journey and The Transformers: The Movie , in which he played the planet-eating robot Unicron.
His last film appearance was in Henry Jaglom 's independent film Someone to Love , released after his death but produced before his voice-over in Transformers: The Movie. His last television appearance was on the television show Moonlighting. He recorded an introduction to an episode entitled "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice", which was partially filmed in black and white.
The episode aired five days after his death and was dedicated to his memory. Orson Welles and Chicago-born actress and socialite Virginia Nicolson — were married on November 14, Their relationship came to an end due, among other things, to Welles's infidelities. Welles married Rita Hayworth on September 7, The couple began a passionate affair, and they were married at her parents' insistence. Croatian-born artist and actress Oja Kodar became Welles's longtime companion both personally and professionally from onward, and they lived together for some of the last 20 years of his life.
Lindsay-Hogg knew Welles, worked with him in the theatre and met him at intervals throughout Welles's life. In his autobiography, Lindsay-Hogg reported that his questions were resolved by his mother's close friend Gloria Vanderbilt , who wrote that Fitzgerald had told her that Welles was his father. McKerrow's reactions to the revelation and his meeting with Oja Kodar are documented in the film Prodigal Sons. Despite an urban legend promoted by Welles, [f] [g] he was not related to Abraham Lincoln 's wartime Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles.
The myth dates back to the first newspaper feature ever written about Welles—"Cartoonist, Actor, Poet and only 10"—in the February 19, , issue of The Capital Times. The article falsely states that he was descended from "Gideon Welles, who was a member of President Lincoln's cabinet". Peter Noble's biography describes Welles as "a magnificent figure of a man, over six feet tall, handsome, with flashing eyes and a gloriously resonant speaking-voice". Even as a baby, Welles was prone to illness, including diphtheria , measles , whooping cough , and malaria.
From infancy he suffered from asthma , sinus headaches, and backache  : 8 that was later found to be caused by congenital anomalies of the spine. Foot and ankle trouble throughout his life was the result of flat feet. In , at age 13, Welles was already more than six feet tall 1. By summer , when he was 34, his weight had crept up to a stout pounds In , he ballooned from to pounds After , he remained permanently obese. When Peter Bogdanovich once asked him about his religion, Welles gruffly replied that it was none of his business, then misinformed him that he was raised Catholic.
Although the Welles family was no longer devout, it was fourth-generation Protestant Episcopalian and, before that, Quaker and Puritan. The funeral of Welles's father, Richard H. Welles, was Episcopalian. In April , when interviewer Merv Griffin asked him about his religious beliefs, Welles replied, "I try to be a Christian. I don't pray really, because I don't want to bore God. Welles replied, "Please tell him I really appreciate that offer, but I am an atheist.
Welles was politically active from the beginning of his career. He remained aligned with the left throughout his life,  and always defined his political orientation as " progressive ". He was an outspoken critic of racism in the United States and the practice of segregation. Roosevelt and the New Deal and often spoke out on radio in support of progressive politics. Wallace for the Progressive Party , however, later describing Wallace as "a prisoner of the Communist Party.
He wasn't alone. For several years, he wrote a newspaper column on political issues and considered running for the U. Senate in , representing his home state of Wisconsin—a seat that was ultimately won by Joseph McCarthy. Welles's political activities were reported on pages — of Red Channels , the anti-Communist publication that, in part, fueled the already flourishing Hollywood Blacklist. In , Welles narrated but did not write a satirical political record on the rise of President Richard Nixon titled The Begatting of the President.
Welles died sometime on the morning of October 10, following a heart attack. Welles was cremated by prior agreement with the executor of his estate, Greg Garrison ,  : whose advice about making lucrative TV appearances in the s made it possible for Welles to pay off a portion of the taxes he owed the IRS.
Chris Welles Feder later described the funeral as an awful experience. He wanted no memorial services But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end. Welles's reliance on self-production meant that many of his later projects were filmed piecemeal or were not completed. Welles financed his later projects through his own fundraising activities. He often also took on other work to obtain money to fund his own films. Welles expanded the film to feature length, developing the screenplay to take Quixote and Sancho Panza into the modern age.
Filming stopped with the death of Francisco Reiguera , the actor playing Quixote, in Orson Welles continued editing the film into the early s. At the time of his death, the film remained largely a collection of footage in various states of editing. The project and, more important, Welles's conception of the project changed radically over time. A version of the film was created from available fragments in and released to a very negative reception. A version Oja Kodar supervised, with help from Jess Franco, assistant director during production, was released in to mixed reactions.
When asked in by a journalist of Time Out for his opinion, he said that he felt that if released without image re-editing but with the addition of ad hoc sound and music, it probably would have been rather successful. The film relates the efforts of a film director played by John Huston to complete his last Hollywood picture and is largely set at a lavish party.
In director Peter Bogdanovich , who acted in the film, announced his intention to complete the production. On October 28, , Los Angeles-based production company Royal Road Entertainment announced it had negotiated an agreement, with the assistance of producer Frank Marshall , and would purchase the rights to complete and release The Other Side of the Wind. Bogdanovich and Marshall planned to complete Welles's nearly finished film in Los Angeles, aiming to have it ready for screening May 6, , the th anniversary of Welles's birth.
They reached an agreement with Oja Kodar, who inherited Welles's ownership of the film, and Beatrice Welles, manager of the Welles estate;  but at the end of , efforts to complete the film were at an impasse. In March , Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film. On November 2, , the film debuted in select theaters and on Netflix , forty-eight years after principal photography began. Too Much Johnson is a comedy film written and directed by Welles. Designed as the cinematic aspect of Welles's Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette 's comedy, the film was not completely edited or publicly screened.
Too Much Johnson was considered a lost film until August , with news reports that a pristine print had been discovered in Italy in Heart of Darkness was Welles's projected first film, in It was planned in extreme detail and some test shots were filmed; the footage is now lost. It was planned to be entirely shot in long takes from the point of view of the narrator, Marlow , who would be played by Welles; his reflection would occasionally be seen in the window as his boat sailed down river. The project was abandoned because it could not be delivered on budget, and Citizen Kane was made instead.
Santa was adapted from the novel by Mexican writer Federico Gamboa. Welles made a correction of the script in 13 extraordinary sequences.
The film was a movie version of the novel by the same name by Calder Marshall. Welles planned to shoot in Mexico, but the Mexican government had to approve the story, and this never occurred. In , Welles received the support of Bishop Fulton Sheen for a retelling of the life of Christ, to be set in the American West in the s.
Welles wrote a screenplay with dialogue from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Welles did not originally want to direct It's All True , a documentary about South America, but after its abandonment by RKO, he spent much of the s attempting to buy the negative of his material from RKO, so that he could edit and release it in some form. The footage remained unseen in vaults for decades, and was assumed lost. Over 50 years later, some but not all of the surviving material saw release in the documentary It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles. In , Welles wrote the first-draft script of Monsieur Verdoux , a film that he also intended to direct.
Charlie Chaplin initially agreed to star in it, but later changed his mind, citing never having been directed by someone else in a feature before. Chaplin bought the film rights and made the film himself in , with some changes. The final film credits Chaplin with the script, "based on an idea by Orson Welles". Welles spent around nine months around —48 co-writing the screenplay for Cyrano de Bergerac along with Ben Hecht , a project Welles was assigned to direct for Alexander Korda. He began scouting for locations in Europe whilst filming Black Magic , but Korda was short of money, so sold the rights to Columbia pictures, who eventually dismissed Welles from the project, and then sold the rights to United Artists , who in turn made a film version in , which was not based on Welles's script.
After Welles's elaborate musical stage version of this Jules Verne novel, encompassing 38 different sets, went live in , Welles shot some test footage in Morocco in for a film version.
The footage was never edited, funding never came through, and Welles abandoned the project. Nine years later, the stage show's producer Mike Todd made his own award-winning film version of the book. Using bare, minimalist sets, Welles alternated between a cast of nineteenth-century actors rehearsing a production of Moby Dick , with scenes from Moby Dick itself. Kenneth Williams , a cast member who was apprehensive about the entire project, recorded in his autobiography that Welles's dim, atmospheric stage lighting made some of the footage so dark as to be unwatchable.
The entire play was filmed, but is now presumed lost. This was made during one weekend at the Hackney Empire theater. The producers of Histoires extraordinaires , a anthology film based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe , announced in June that Welles would direct one segment based on both " Masque of the Red Death " and " The Cask of Amontillado " for the omnibus film.
Welles withdrew in September and was replaced. This Monty Python -esque spoof in which Welles plays all but one of the characters including two characters in drag , was made around Welles intended this completed sketch to be one of several items in a television special on London. Welles wrote two screenplays for Treasure Island in the s, and was eager to seek financial backing to direct it.
Eventually, his own screenplay under the pseudonym of O. Jeeves was further rewritten, and formed the basis of the film version directed by John Hough , in which Welles played Long John Silver. The Deep , an adaptation of Charles Williams 's Dead Calm , was entirely set on two boats and shot mostly in close-ups. It was filmed off the coasts of Yugoslavia and the Bahamas between and , with all but one scene completed. Given by the Comtesse de Tremereuc. Fashion Plate , Gift; Lincoln Kirstein. Source: New York Public Library. Phelps Stokes , Oil on canvas; x cm. Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Phelps Stokes Fig. As seen on Mrs. Stokes in the Sargent portrait, the look was often completed with a jacket and straw boater hat. The shirtwaist was worn as standard day wear, for sporting activities, and most often by the new female workforce, as seen in the photograph of young librarians wearing a variety of shirtwaist styles Fig.
Shirtwaists could also be worn as part of a suit, often referred to as tailor-mades Tortora ; Fukai Ranging from simple menswear-inspired looks to more elaborately trimmed, colorful versions, as seen in the fashion plate from the Delineator Fig. Women generally arranged their hair in high, neat chignons with soft curls at the front Tortora Hats were an all-important accessory, and were available in a variety of styles. Usually, s hats were wide and heavily trimmed with tall upwardly curling feathers, ribbons, and flowers Shrimpton Figure 6 depicts a typical hat of the decade.
Often hat trimmings were excessive; a common decoration was an entire stuffed bird. Toques, a hat without a brim, were also fashionable, worn perched at the top of the head Fukai Staff of the Mechanics Institute Reference Library , Source: Toronto Public Library. The Delineator, Visiting Toilettes , January Source: Pinterest.
Allen, J. Negative; 5 x 7 in. Gift; American Genetic Association, Source: Library of Congress. Sweater , ca. Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, Bicycle Suit , ca. Source: Kyoto Costume Institute. While women had been slowly participating in more sports since the s, female participation in sports expanded greatly in the s.
More and more women were playing golf, tennis, croquet, and bathing at the seashore Tortora Women wore a variety of ensembles to participate in such occasions, ranging from a standard shirtwaist suit to more specialized clothing. The sweater in figure 7 would have been a possible choice for tennis or golf.
The clearly corseted waist and gigot sleeves achieve the fashionable silhouette while the knit fabric would permit movement. However, no sport entranced the public like the s phenomenon of bicycling. Around , several improvements to the bicycle spurned its adoption as a common form of transportation Warner , and by , the number of bicyclists was an estimated 10 million, an explosion from the approximately 50, in Tortora Entire magazines, sports clubs, and events were dedicated to the bicycle Warner While men certainly rode bicycles, the craze was particularly heady around women.
The affordable bicycle allowed women a new level of freedom just as many were entering the workforce and demanding female emancipation Shrimpton 27; Warner However, few women actually wore such a bold costume. More often, if a woman desired a specialized cycling costume, she chose a skirt with a deep pleat in the back to allow her to sit on the bicycle while still appearing to be wearing a skirt.
The most common choice by women, however, was a shortened simple skirt over their bloomers or a standard shirtwaist ensemble Fig. Women on Bicycles , Platinum print. The Ashton Collection. Evening dress , Silk satin, beaded embroidery. Fashion of the period also reflected trends prompted by artistic movements and international influences.
The Aesthetic Movement, whose origins lay with the Pre-Raphaelite artists, began a dress reform movement in the early s, which continued to have some influence on fashion in the s Laver After Japan opened to the West in the s, Japonism, the fascination with Japanese art and design, was a pronounced trend throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. Accelerated by a flood of imports and International Exhibitions presenting Japanese art, textiles in particular featured cherry blossoms, ayame iris pattern , chrysanthemums, and motifs borrowed directly from kimono designs, such as the sun design on the evening dress in figure 10 Fukai The Art Nouveau movement also had significant influence on fashion, particularly later in the decade.
With roots in the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau emphasized stylized forms of nature, sinuous, curving lines, and a sense of movement Fig. This curvilinear focus worked very well with the S-curve silhouette of the turn-of-the century Tortora Gift of Miss Eva Drexel Dahlgren, T he woman in the illustrations of Charles Dana Gibson was the feminine ideal throughout the s and through the Edwardian Era Fig.
Gibson began creating these drawings around , using various models including, most famously, his wife, Irene Laver The Gibson Girl became an archetype of American upper-middle class womanhood, a fashionable ideal Tortora She was flawlessly beautiful with a voluminous hairstyle framing her face. She was slender with a nipped waist, but still attractively voluptuous. Often wearing shirtwaists and tailor-mades, she participated enthusiastically and skillfully in sport Fig.
However, the Gibson Girl was less controversial than the New Woman; she would not have been a suffragette or politically engaged Wayne. The Gibson Girl look was imitated across the country. After all, the Gibson Girl was always dressed in the latest, most fashionable mode. The depictions of that confident, sporty woman captured the shifting ideals and newfound freedom of the era.
Scribner's for June, cover , June Lithograph and letterpress poster. Gibson Girl , ca. Source: The Gibson Girl Blog.
M enswear in the s maintained an overall narrow silhouette, as in the s. However, trousers became slightly more relaxed in cut Shrimpton The frock coat remained fashionable for formal daywear until the turn of the century, as the morning coat slowly supplanted it Tortora The morning coat, featuring a waistline seam and cutting away in the front, could be quite formal paired with contrasting dark trousers and a top hat, or more casual as a three-piece tweed suit Fig. The lounge or sack suit, featuring a single-breasted jacket without a waist seam Fig. White tie and tailcoats remained the correct dress for evening events, worn with heavily starched, and sometimes pleated, white dress shirts.
A dress version of the sack suit, worn with black tie, had been introduced in the s as the tuxedo or dinner jacket Tortora Figure 3 depicts all of these suit varieties. Johnstone British. Morning Suit , African-American Man, portrait , ca. Mitchell Co.. American Fashions: Menswear , August The shirts of the s were heavily starched and frequently featured stiff stand collars; during this decade the stand collar reached its tallest height at three inches. Collars with turned down wingtips were increasingly worn Tortora As jackets were more frequently left open, shirts and waistcoats were sometimes made in a playful color Laver The top hat and bowler remained the most common forms of headwear, the former paired with more formal ensembles.
During the s, the bowler hat could be exaggeratedly tall, emphasizing the narrow, tailored look Shrimpton Fedoras, a low, soft hat with a crease from front to back, became increasingly stylish Tortora Similar to womenswear, s menswear featured a great deal of sportswear, and those influences were seen in mainstream fashion Laver Light-colored, often striped flannel, lounge suits paired with a straw boater hat were stylish choices for seaside wear, yachting, and tennis Shrimpton Stokes, in the Sargent portrait above wears such a suit.
The reefer jacket, square and double-breasted, could be worn without a waistcoat for sporting and seaside activities Laver ; Shrimpton For shooting, a tweed Norfolk jacket, with its forgiving vertical pleats and characteristic belt, loose knee-breeches, and gaiters were most appropriate. Men also took part in the bicycle craze, and had a variety of choice: Norfolk suits, lounge suits, and reefer jackets Laver ; Tortora American Fashions , May Source: Notes from the Victorian Man.
Dress , ca. The Conner Street Boys , ca. Source: Kurt A. Boy's Little Lord Fauntleroy Suit , Silk velvet and braid, pewter buttons. Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, a--d. Gift of Mrs. Henry W. Farnum, Source: The Philadelphia Museum of Art. By the s, boys were breeched given their first pair of pants as young as three Tortora Thereafter, a young boy typically wore a suit consisting of narrow knickerbockers buckled below the knee, a shirt frequently featuring an Eton collar, and jacket.
Common jacket types included Norfolk jackets, blazers, and lounge jackets with high lapels Shrimpton 49; Tortora Sailor suits, which first appeared in the s, were also a common choice for young boys Shrimpton Figure 2 depicts all these types. While the Little Lord Fauntleroy style captured the popular imagination, few boys actually wore the suit. The look was influenced by the Aesthetic Movement and featured a long jacket sometimes a belted tunic , tight knickerbockers , and a wide lace collar that marked the style.
Fashion Plate , May 26, Harper's Bazar. Source: Proquest: Harper's Bazar Archive. African-American Girl , ca. Gelatin silver photographic print. Girl's day dress , ca. Girls were dressed as miniature versions of their mothers Tortora Their dresses, while shorter in length, reflected the fashionable s silhouette for women Fig. Young girls began wearing training corsets around age thirteen, and their skirts steadily lengthened throughout the teenage years Shrimpton As with boys, sailor suits were also worn by small girls as seen in the far right of the fashion plate.
Another important development was the popularization of the smocked dress Shrimpton 55 as seen in this excellent example in figure 6. Smocking was associated with innocence it was also frequently associated with Greenaway looks and thought ideal for young girls Mitchell Europe Source: Omniatlas. Have a primary source to suggest? Contact us! Also see the 19th-century overview page for more research sources She has focused much of her research on the nineteenth century, particularly millinery and theatre costume.
Deeply passionate about history and the arts, Harper is dedicated to bringing stories from the past to life. Tweets by FITfashionstory. A s throughout the nineteenth century, babies and toddlers, of both sexes, wore white dresses with circular bonnets Paoletti In the s, some baby dresses could be quite elaborate featuring multiple tucks, rows of lace, and smocking Shrimpton References: Font, Lourdes M. Kyoto: Taschen, Victorian Dress in Photographs.
London: B. Batsford, London: Bloomsbury, November 20, Fashioning the Victorians: A Critical Sourcebook. Victorian Fashion. Oxford: Shire Publications, New York: Fairchild Books, Boston: University of Massachusetts Press, Historical Context. The United States, Source: McMurray University. Viyella a blend of wool and cotton is introduced and is popularly used for night wear. Timeline Entries. Berlin, Godey, The Godey company, Health and Home