Global Shopping Center
UK | Germany
Home - DVD - Directors - ( W ) - Welles, Orson Help

1-20 of 21       1   2   Next 20

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

$31.96 $28.51 list($39.95)
1. F for Fake - Criterion Collection
$20.24 $15.51 list($26.99)
2. Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special
$11.24 $9.46 list($14.98)
3. Touch of Evil (Restored to Orson
$26.99 list($29.99)
4. The Trial
$22.49 $20.88 list($24.99)
5. Othello
$22.46 $18.66 list($24.95)
6. The Lady from Shanghai
$13.49 $8.94 list($14.99)
7. It's All True
$9.95 $6.22
8. Film Noir Vol. 1: The Stranger/Cause
$7.99 $4.15
9. The Trial
$7.99 $3.93
10. Mr. Arkadin
$22.46 $16.95 list($24.95)
11. Citizen Welles - The Stranger,
$26.99 $24.04 list($29.99)
12. Around the World with Orson Welles
$6.98 $1.10
13. David and Goliath
$7.99 $3.91
14. The Stranger / Orson Welles on
$6.98
15. Mr. Arkadin
$4.95 $1.69
16. David and Goliath
17. The Magnificent Ambersons
18. Chimes at Midnight
$4.98 $2.89
19. David e Golia
$7.98 $3.91
20. David e Golia

1. F for Fake - Criterion Collection
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $39.95
our price: $31.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0007M2234
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 1063
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

To call Orson Welles's F For Fake a documentary would be somewhat deceitful, but deceit itself is very much the subject of this curious film essay. Welles ruminates on the nature of artistic fakery through two examples, that of infamous art forger Elmyr de Hory and the writer Clifford Irving, whose bogus autobiography of Howard Hughes set off a minor media flurry in the 1970s. Postmodernist that he is, Wells then proceeds to narrate and edit the film in such a perversely frenetic way as to blur the lines between what is real and what is deception, making for an often confusing but engaging work of art in itself. We even see the footage we've been watching as it's being spliced together in Welles's editing room. The specter of Welles's often maligned later career hangs over the proceedings like a challenge--is he going to actually complete this strange movie about chicanery, or will it become one of the many unfinished experiments of his twilight years? Happily, Welles concludes the proceedings with a delightful sequence about Picasso, lust, and what constitutes real art. F For Fake is a fine example of a master filmmaker who had at least a couple tricks left up his sleeve. --Ryan Boudinot ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars G For Great
Orson Welles' "For for Fake" can be at times a very confusing movie. But, if you find yourself confused, the problem is your thinking to hard. You're trying to make sense of a movie that simply doesn't want you to make sense of it. Think of the film as a magic act. You know you're being fooled, but you sit and watch anyways because you are being entertained. To think how the trick was done that's away from the mystery. And just like a magican Welles' doesn't want to reveal his secrets.

"F for Fake" is supposedly about a famous art forger, Elmyr de Hory and the relationship between himself and a man named Clifford Irving. Right from the beginning Welles tells us we are going to watch a movie about lies and deception.

At first the film, notice a called it a film not a documentary, plays off as real. We think we are seeing a movie that is examing how in fact is Elmyr de Hory. At admittedly it is very interesting. Welles comprises this material in a very effective way. Though all the while we are asking ourselves, just how much as this can we trust?

The film zips through three main plot points. One dealing with de Hory another involving Howard Hughes,which leads us back to Clifford Irving, and then finally a segment about Welles himself and some of the tricks he has pulled off, namely his famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.

"F for Fake" I believe was the last film Welles directed, and while it may not be in the same league as his other works; "Citizen Kane", "Touch of Evil", or "Chimes at Midnight" it is still an enjoyable film. In some ways it is quite fitting that this would be his last film. He was a man who had to struggle to find a place in the Hollywood studio system to get his films made and here he has the last laugh.

Bottom-line: Highly entertaining film about lies and deception. The movie has the ability to suck us into its story, and manages to fool us. Worthwhile for fans of Orson Welles.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rich film, nothing else like it
Orson Welles's F For Fake is a great film, and it's surprising to me that it isn't more widely acclaimed.A brilliant investigation into lying, manipulation, and the chicanery that forms the foundation of high culture, it reminds me of something Michael Moore might do if he were more concerned with metaphysics than politics, or Ross McElwee if he wore a cape and was outwardly self-obsessed.Great stuff, especially for anyone jaded by the b.s. flowing from the art world.
My one complaint-a few too many shots of Kodar prancing around in high heels-Welles's work in those sections was like a twelve year old's idea of what sexually attractive looks like.
Brilliantly shot and edited, narrated with style and panache by Welles, and it has substance to back up the style.
Criterion added some good extras.The unreleased trailer for F For Fake might be even better than the movie itself--it makes promises God himself couldn't keep.The documentary on Welles's late period of unfinished work is enjoyable, but by no means a revelation.The clips that are shown are intriguing, but a more penetrating and honest analysis of his later years by someone more removed from the subject would have been preferable to Kodar's well-intentioned puff piece.The swinging london skit shown in the film is hilarious.
The documentary on De Hory is okay, a bit dry, and has a bit of a smell of "expert" posturing about it.The 60 minutes interview with Clifford Irving is strange.The man reveals nothing that rings sincerely.Based on it, Irving comes off to me as the most dangerous and desperate man involved in the proceedings.There doesn't seem to be anything there beyond an enthusiasm for finding an angle and playing it successfully.Hughes's telephone interview is sad for the promises he makes and the potential he had.
In all, a great package and nearly worth the steep price tag

5-0 out of 5 stars Fake in the most truthful way possible.
Sure, I saw Citizen Kane. It was pretty good, but despite what all the experts said, it wasn't the best film I'd ever seen, let alone of all time. After seeing Kane I was utterly convinced of Greg Tolland's genius but Orson Welles? Eh, not so much. Having seen him in Kane I thought he was terribly overrated, because I just couldn't see what the whole fuss was about. I wasn't impressed because the first time I saw Kane, it reminded me of the Simpsons episode that paid homage to the movie--and I thought the Simpsons was better! I thought that it was so full of cliches, but then I remembered it's like that joke about the person who went to see Hamlet for the first time and came back pouting that it was full of cliches.

But because I'm a sporting type of person, I finally decided to watch F for Fake just to figure out if Welles really was as good a director as everyone in the world seemed to think he was. I'd give him one more film, I said to myself, but really I'd written him off. I thought I was going to unmask the fake--I'd expose Welles for the overrated, overblown director he was.

Boy, was I wrong. This movie is like nothing else I've ever seen; as someone else remarked, this is MTV before MTV, this is meta before meta, this movie blows Kane out of the water and more. Oja Kodar said that Orson Welles often edited his films with an ear for music, and if that's the case then this film is pure jazz. Such unparalleled virtuoso narration is nothing short of AMAZING. Prior to seeing this film, I'd fallen in love with Michael Winterbottom's 24 Hour Party People released in 2002 which is a pretty good send-up of the Manchester scene, that also takes place in the editing room. But F for Fake came out a full 25 years before that movie and despite the retro feel, it blows it out of the water.

The extra features on the second disc are quite noteworthy, if only because they showcase footage from Kodar and Welles' unfinished movies, a veritable treasure trove of lost masterpieces. Watching Kodar and Welles together, one gets a sense of a real, loving, creative partnership between the two of them.

On a sidenote, I left this film with a great appreciation for Orson's "intractable contrariness" and his great desire to always push the envelope in service of his Art. Though Welles does claim to be a charlatan, a fraud, an utter fake, he was perhaps the very best at using lies to tell the truth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Genius Stifled
Orson Welles' 1937 "Julius Caesar" is the longest running Broadway production of the play. Welles played Brutus. In 1938, Welles' On-the-Air Mercury Theatre broadcast "War of the Worlds". It was a hoax. But it caused a nationwide panic. Listeners were convinced that the Earth was being invaded by Mars. RKO Studios signed Welles to direct "Citizen Kane" in 1941. It is regarded by many as the Best Film ever made. Welles had conquered stage, radio, and the cinema. Criterion has just released the flawless, two-disc DVD, "F For Fake", an anamorphic, digitally-restored transfer(1.66:1).Disc One is Welles' 1976 essay/documentary; a non-linear, freeze-frame interview of art forger Elmyr De Hory, culled from 35mm and blown-up 16mm. Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving, is later exposed as the fraudulent chronicler of Howard Hughes. "F For Fake" features Joseph Cotten, Laurence Harvey, and Welles' mistress, Oja Kodar. Filmed in France, Rome, and southern California, "F For Fake" includes shots of Howard Hughes' bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was the last film Welles ever directed. Extras include a Peter Bogdanovich introduction, a nine-minute trailer(curiously un-restored), and a commentary track. Disc Two contains the elusive 88-minute documentary, "One-Man Band". It has never been available before on film, video, or DVD( I saw it once 2 years ago on late-night cable). The 1995 "One-Man Band" examines Welles' lost/unfinished movies. This treasure trove includes scenes from "The Other Side of the Wind", "The Deep", and, reportedly, his mysterious "Don Quixote(A work in progress, on-and-off, for 15 years)". Welles stares into the camera, pauses, and recites Herman Melville in fragments of his "Moby Dick". He is electrifying. The process is staggering; and finally heart-breaking. So much talent, and finally, a sense of loss. Disc Two has another stunning documentary, an essay, a 60 Minutes excerpt, and a Howard Hughes press conference. Director, actor, writer, painter, magician. Orson Welles was, perhaps, the greatest auteur of the 20th Century. Big words. Big man. Big cigar. Welles once said that we are all really 2 or 3 different people inside. Or none of these at all. Was Orson Welles a fake?Welles' classic 1958 "Touch of Evil" ended in these last lines:Tanya: Isn't somebody gonna come and take him away?Schwartz: Yeah, in just a few minutes. You really liked him, didn't you?Tanya: The cop did..the one who killed him...he loved him.Schwartz:Is that all you have to say for him? Tanya:He was some kind of a man...What does it matter what you say about people?

5-0 out of 5 stars Film Unlike Other Films - A Cinematic Thesis...
Society consists of symbols with a wide range of meanings within the world.The alphabet is one of most commonly used code systems of symbols.The letters in the alphabet have the power to form words and every single word has a meaning.When a number of words such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives fuse together, they form a sentence.The structure of a sentence is to produce a contextual meaning, which sometimes uses symbolism to enhance the sentences in regards to the theme of the topic.Several joined sentences create a paragraph, which usually focuses on one idea that also could be a symbol.A number of ideas compiled into a narrative form makes a thesis for readers to contemplate, which could help the person either assimilate, or adapt the new ideas to previous knowledge and wisdom.This is due to the notion that new ideas comprise a symbolic meaning for the individual.Orson Welles seems to have used this concept when he made the film, F for Fake.

F for Fake playfully utilizes every single scene while maximizing the symbolic value of words, images, and behavior among the individuals portrayed in the film.These scenes offer several representational impressions to the audience, as Welles' meticulous editing seems to have the same meaning a typewriter has to a writer.In this sense, F for Fake does not offer a conventional film or documentary, as Welles uses both authentic film clips edited with stage performances.Instead, Welles advocates his ideas in neither a fictionalized nor a non-documentary manner, as he fuses these two into a notion of deceit, forgery, trickery, and any other way that could deceive the audience.In 1972 over a Parisian lunch with writer and film essayist Jonathan Rosenbaum he expressed that he was working on this film, which Welles referred to as a new kind of film.The structure of the film brings the notion of a thesis where the candidate attempts to support his or her own thesis from a wide range of angles.Each visual symbol has a meaning while the scenes form the visual sentences, as the different acts form paragraphs in this cinematic thesis.The heavy editing, which Welles spent over a year on, describes Welles' cerebrally complexity while trying to defend this extraordinarily cinematic thesis.

In the beginning of the film Welles implies that a key he used for a magic trick "...was not symbolic of anything."This, however, suggests another deceit, as the audience has already seen the sequence and had time to ponder the meaning of the key to which Welles is fully aware.The pondering has already caused the audience to give the key a visual meaning, which the viewer has either assimilated or adapted to previous knowledge.There is also a scene where the audience gets to follow a stunning woman in high heels and a short miniskirt , as several people open their eyes starring while salivating and car horns honk in the background.Suggestively, the scene causes the audience to think that all the men probably are secretively wishing for the woman's company.This too is a clever lie, as Welles simply has edited together a number of scenes which insinuate that people are starring while horns can be heard in the background.Welles seems to suggest that what one sees cannot be believed, as what one sees might only be a fabricated version of the truth.

To comfort the audience Welles informs that the viewers that they will not be victims to deception as he places in writing that "For the next hour everything in this film is strictly based on the available facts."This portion of the film leads the audience through a two-piece sequence about a famous art forger named Elmyr de Hory, Cliff Irving, and the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes.One focuses on Elmyr while the second part emphasizes Elmyr's biographer Irving who also was into forgery, as he wrote a forged autobiography by Howard Hughes who then lived secretively in a luxury Las Vegas penthouse.This brings several of the previous notions back, as Welles continues to discuss the idea of deceit.One of the interesting ideas in this sequence explains the meaninglessness of experts, as fakers cannot be troubled by experts.One thing that Elmyr advises of is that no one should have the ultimate power to decide quality, as he himself probably fooled many so-called experts with his own forgeries.This also implies that the expert could as well be the faker, if this one person knew what was good.This notion would also suggest that this very review would be a fake, as it also does not express anything unique while it merely retells the design and purpose of the film.

F for Fake offers an intriguing cinematic thesis that crawls within the brain causing an itch that does not seem to want to leave.The film is nothing like anything that Welles has done before, or after this film, which also supports what he has said in regards to the film.One reason that no other film that he created since did not mimic this film could be the concept of the film, as it provides an opportunity for him to play with his own ideas in a visual manner.This film took over a year for him to make, as it also seems to be a film of personal growth and understanding of the world as a whole.The personal aspect of the film seems to saturate the whole experience, as he refers to himself while acting and making comments in regards to the people in film from behind the cutting board.Ultimately, Welles attempts to erase the idea of him being the "expert", as he provides examples of his own forgery from when he provided the War of the Worlds over the radio, which caused mass hysteria throughout the United States. ... Read more


2. Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $26.99
our price: $20.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00003CX9E
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 515
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (499)

5-0 out of 5 stars What else is left to say?
This is the greatest American film ever made, as entertaining as it is revolutionary.

When it was made, Orson Welles tackled a seemingly simple topic, a reflection back on a dead man's search for love and happiness in his life, and made a film that's epic in scope, gorgeous in its visual execution, brilliantly written, incredibly acted.

All in all, it's inspiring to filmmakers looking for a great debut film from a new director. "Citizen Kane" also works for regular moviegoers just looking for a good drama.

Using interviews with all his closest friends and colleagues, Welles uses flashback to create a portrait of the life of millionaire media magnate Charles Foster Kane. Kane was, in conflicting accounts of those who knew him, a man of great character and potential or a wealthy, cold, manipulative scoundrel.

What, if anything, can be learned about the man from his last word? What does "Rosebud" mean?

The answer makes for good mystery, and it leads the viewer to ask key questions about what defines our lives and gives them meaning.

This film is fantastic, one that should be watched once a year to help you keep perspective on life.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best.
Even after sixty years, CITIZEN KANE remains as one of the greatest movies of all time. Though it is true that some are bored by the movie because it's "just a boring black-and-white movie with no action", those who hold that opinion are in the minority. KANE is often held as the pinnacle of filmmaking by movie buffs not just because of the advances the movie made in film production, but also because it set the standard that all filmmakers wish to reach: the total director's vision; a movie made with total control and no studio intervention. With that said, what does KANE hold for the average film-goer? The movie has an excellent script (it won an Oscar), great acting, and a haunting score. The story, though loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst, is an old one: powerful man starts out promising and full of ideals, becomes consumed by greed and looses his vision, and ends up loosing it all (anyone read MacBeth or ALL THE KING'S MEN?). Overall, a deeply penetrating and thinking movie that film buffs usually love and that most everyone else will at least enjoy if they don't mind a strong drama filmed in black and white.

5-0 out of 5 stars AFI got this one right
Can you imagine what the perception of RKO was at the time they made this decision? Let's see, how about we give complete control of a major film to a twenty five year old radio voice with zero film experience (whose claim to fame was scaring the life out of the public with a fake story about aliens landing on earth) and even better, let him staff the movie with actors who have little to no screen experience. On top of that, we'll let it become one of the most controversial pictures of its time because it mirrors the life of one of the biggest names in America today. Why, it may never be able to be released because of the lawsuits-- Great idea!

I have just described Citizen Kane. All of the above is true, which makes the fact that it is possibly the greatest film in American Film History even more amazing. Everything is perfect. The script (which Welles co-wrote), the actors (all relative unknowns except Welles and Joseph Cotton), the special effects (listen to Roger Ebert's Commentary on this special edition for details) and finally, the makeup-- You won't believe how great a job they do making 25 year old Welles look 60.

As for the story, it's done in a most interesting fashion. Charles Foster Kane (Welles) dies at the very beginning of the movie and utters his famous last word "Rosebud". A reporter is given the task of finding out just what that one word meant. So he goes and interviews all the people who knew Kane to try to learn the meaning of the word. In the process, we are shown Kane through the eyes of those who knew him. We never see Kane through his own eyes, always what his former associates saw.

This is interesting, because Kane is a tragic figure as seen by just about everyone. He is unhappy and lonely. We as an audience eventually learn the meaning of Rosebud. I have read reviews that complain that the movie is about this one thing (I won't reveal what it is). But long before we learn the identity of Rosebud, the film has made its point. What is the point? My opinion is that the film shows us basically the worthlessness and despair of materialism. Loving "stuff" or money will ultimately lead to unhappiness.

By the way, this movie almost was never seen. The man I spoke of at the beginning of the review is William Randolph Hearst, former newspaper magnate. He saw too much of himself in the film and sued to squash it. Fortunately he lost. The second disc in the set is a two hour documentary on this topic. It is also excellent and well worth a viewing.

One last thing. Although this movie has been ranked on the AFI list as number one American movie of all time, it did NOT win Best Picture in 1941. That film? "How Green was my Valley"

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Review
The best review of Citizen Kane - perhaps of any film - I've ever read is the one titled "Narrative and Eye Disconnect" posted by "A viewer from Richmond, VA USA" on March 21, 2004. I recommend searching through Amazon's reviews to find it, then watching Citizen Kane and re-reading that review. Even though the reviewer gives Kane just one star, s/he writes with great insight into the movie and cinema in general, and has enhanced my appreciation of Citizen Kane exponentially. Thank you, "Viewer from Richmond," whoever you are!

5-0 out of 5 stars Works on the basic levels as well as artistically
So many of the films that critics unanimously pick as the greatest of all time are overrated, confusing, ponderous, overly symbolic art pieces that leave viewers scratching their heads. The collective reaction is, "What in the hell was the director smoking?" Arty camera work and tons of symbolism and metaphors can never take the place of good acting, solid direction and, most importantly, a good script.

Much has been made of Citizen Kane's technical brilliance -- Welles' use of overlapping conversations, Gregg Toland's deep focus photography, set design that incorporates ceilings, etc. However, none of this would really mean anything if the film didn't have a great story and screenplay. Citizen Kane may be a triumph in filmmaking technique, but it is also a deeply engrossing story with characters we can relate to and sympathize with. Welles' Kane is a selfish, unhappy, overly controlling dictator who has everything and yet still manages to make himself more and more unhappy. Most of us know the feeling of not appreciating someone or something good in our lives until he/she/it is gone. We see the promise and idealism in Kane's early life, like him and believe, as Joseph Cotten's Jed Leland does, that Kane is a great man who can do so much good in society. As Kane's life progresses, however, he becomes more and more bitter, alienates everyone who cares about him and dies alone, longing for the simplicity of his early life before he became wealthy. When Kane, as an old man, loses control when his second wife Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore) leaves him, we can't help but feel for him -- even though most or all of his unhappiness is his fault. That the audience feels such empathy for such a flawed character is Citizen Kane's greatest triumph and is the true basis for Kane's reputation as one of the greatest films of all time. ... Read more


3. Touch of Evil (Restored to Orson Welles' Vision)
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $14.98
our price: $11.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305999872
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 2026
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars a film noir masterpiece
While not as highly regarded as Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil is arguably Welles' second greatest film and now it is being presented as the filmmaker had originally intended it to be. Included on the DVD is his 58-page memo to Universal Studios detailing all the changes he wanted to be made to their compromised version of the film.

As it stands now, this is an amazing film with some of the most impressive deep focus photography ever put to screen. The depth of field that Welles creates is astounding.

Touch of Evil is also probably one of the last of classic film noirs produced by Hollywood and was a great way to end this period of the genre.

A lot of people poo-poo the casting of Charlton Heston as a Mexican (?!) government muckty-muck and to be sure that was some really odd bit of casting but he's perfectly cast as the straight-arrow good guy of the film. But he's totally blown off the screen by Welles' corrupt sheriff who simply steals every scene he is in. Janet Leigh, stunning as ever, is also really good as Heston's beleaguered wife.

What I like best about this film is the moody atmosphere that permeates every scene -- even the daylight ones. It draws you into this corrupt, cynical world and never lets go. Essential viewing.

5-0 out of 5 stars 100-Proof Noir
Seedy border town is the setting for this noir classic--justifiably called by a New York Post film critic "The Baroque Cathedral of Film Noir." Orson Welles' entrance as the crass, venal Capt. Quinlan is just one example why this film is a must-see on the big screen--not that this DVD widescreen version is so bad (it's a gem). Quinlan's massive, bloated bulk fills the screen as he climbs out of his car to begin the murder investigation that will soon envelop and taint the film's principal characters--immediately establishing Quinlan as the embodiment of corruption. The breathtaking opening sequence (shot in one take) incorporating the ambient music and sounds of the town's lurid nightlife is a key part of this reedit DVD version, setting right the studio-maimed opening of the original release, which ran opening credits and Henry Mancini's score over this sequence to Welles' fruitless objections, diluting its effectiveness. Respected Mexican police official Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Heston) and his American bride Susan's (Janet Leigh) ("She doesn't look Mexican either," Quinlan sneers) honeymoon is derailed when they become targets first of local crime family boss "Uncle Joe" Grandi (Akim Tamiroff), whose brother is about to be sent to prison because of Vargas, and Grandi's impulsive nephews, and then Quinlan, when Vargas accidentally uncovers the latter's penchant for tampering with crime scenes to ensure a death sentence for the accused--whether guilty or actually innocent. Leigh drips sex and is the perfect pawn for those scheming to wreck her husband's career and their marriage. Joseph Calleia stands out as Pete Menzies, who idolizes Quinlan and painfully must come to terms with his betrayal. Dietricht is enigmatic gypsy Tana (memorable line as she looks over the considerably changed Quinlan and bluntly says: "You're a mess honey.") Mancini score, especially "Tana's Theme" ("Pianola"), is exceptional. One valid complaint about this otherwise beautiful DVD is that the standard version should have been included in addition to the widescreen version for those who have not yet overcome the perception problem of "those black bars." Now for me, widescreen is the best. It is how we see the movie on the big screen. This is how the film was shot, and we see camera angles that are lost when the film has been "reformatted to fit your television screen." Those who put together this DVD should have known better and provided BOTH options--usually standard practice with many DVDs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pulp Fiction
Orson Welles may have made the supposed greatest film in history with "Citizen Kane", but the experience virtually ruined him. Ostracised by Hollywood and the press after his insulting portrayal of William Randolph Hearst, he was relegated to making low budget films.

Touch of Evil was made in 1958; the last film to be directed by Orson Welles. Unexpectedly given the reins of the film, Welles threw away the script for the planned film, and in just two weeks scratched out a script based on a cheapo pulp fiction novel called "Badge of Evil".

The result, as presented now in a restored version (the movie was, like Magnificent Ambersons, butchered by the studio) is quite remarkable.

On the one hand, it is definitely pulp, with an extremely rough-and-ready style, gritty elements (this is the only "pot party" you're likely to see in a "great film" from the studio era!) and a very, very low budget.

On the other hand, it is a masterpiece. I was extremely impressed by the scene in which (*spoiler!*) Hank Quinlan strangles the Hispanic fellow. I have never seen a movie scene shot like this, especially with the surreal effect of the flashing neon, and the slanting camera.
And who can forget the end of the film, where (spoiler!) Hank Quinlan sits in a pile of garbage in a stream, and tries to cleam blood off his hands? Look at Orson's acting in this scene - truly magnificent.

Someone called this the best B film ever made. If you want to see a pulp masterpiece made on the cheap, see Touch of Evil!

5-0 out of 5 stars You don't have any future , just only past!
This cynical answer given by Tanya (Marlene Dietrich) is obviouslly a clear a reference's pattern shakesperian.
Any other fim noir before or future has been able t tarnish Welles's vivid creatin of a mexican nightmare, or his realization of a set of characters who are so well depicted , resonant , cruel and colrful. This shakesperian giant utilizes his accustomed approach so efficiently that it makes hard for any viewer t be capable to disecrn which moment create the dramatic thrust of the story and the others laded of outrage and fuRY.
A film is really good when the camera becmes an eye in the mind of a poet. Welles made movies as an orchestra conductor.
The opening shot , lasting ver four minutes , show us once more the personal style of Welles in what concerns to the moving camera and the longtake, establishing the premise around whixh the narrative is built. Like the genius he was; he knows to emphasize the dramatical effects without losing his goal.The camera begins with a close up of a time bomb ; then the camera travels up and back , and fllows the car as a constant witeness . This opening shot is widely in all and every masterful of cinema in the world. Notice fr instance, the cinematic fluidity works out as a visual device .
Once more , we must recall the huge influence about the expressionism german permeated the visual style nt only of Welles , but Hitchcock and a a crowd of talented directors alng these three decades of glorious films noir.
If you need any other proof, think in Fritz Lang , wh came from Germany and (coincidentially?) fllowed the road of the film noir.
In these puzzle of corruption and shame Quinlan is shocked due he failed to bring his wife's murderer to justice ,and retaliates by enlisting the help of the racketeer Uncle Joe Grandi .
Once more the film noir works out as an extrardinary expressive device to express the hopelessness, the existential anguish , the shadows of the fate, the shame and distrusts that shapes the behavior of the human being. All this puzzle runs with the timeless tragic atmosphere ; you face the cruelty in Vargas's wife in the motel where she is kidnapped where visual scenes suggests us all the horror , told in theatrical language where the words are useless.
When Quinlan (as Macbeth)decides to visit Tanya about his future , he listen these bitter words wh wrk out as headline in the review.
From all the stanpoints , this is the one of top movies entitled as film noir , because Welles enriched the bitter insights so typical of this genre with shakesperian moods.
Notice for instance that Grandi reminds us to Yago ; obviusly Grandi has a minor stature since he is much vulgar and obscene . and Tanya is linked with Macbeth's witches ; and the nightmares and the demons who live in the cavern - mind of Quinlan reminds us to the decadent power.
A unforgettable masterpiece all the way.!

5-0 out of 5 stars Restored to Orson Welles wishes. Great nighttime mood film.
Great black & white film noir film with Orson Welles. The opening sequence has the feeling that you are moving with through the night time streets of the California/Mexico border. You might be astonished by the weight of Orson welles as he does not look like himself from the time of Citizen Kane. The film starts with a bride and groom Janet Leigh and Charlton Heston as they walk into the Mexico border town. Orson Welles plays a wrong-doing police chief who wants to follow the couple. Heston is a well-known Narcotics Investigator and his wife trys to inquisitivly get involved in her husband's professional business. Well, when she sticks her nose in too far, she has got a mexican boy and his boss on her trail. While Heston separates from his wife for official business, he advises her to go on to a hotel for sleep. She ends up in this out of the way hotel taken care of by Dennis Weaver. (Janet Leigh would end up in another hotel two years later in PSYCHO [1960]). Heston must square off with Orson Welles. There are two different versions of this film. When Welles was fired as director, Universal Pictures recut the film. After Welles saw the film in 1958, he wrote a 58-page letter to the studio about the way the film should be re-edited and scenes added. In 1998, Universal obliged. This letter was found and a new version of "Touch Of Evil" was made from the original negetive and the film was reconstructed the way Orson Welles had wishes. This new version is longer at 111 minutes. This DVD version is the 111 minute version. The 1958 print is 108 minutes and shorter prints are 95 minutes. Cast also includes: Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Valentin De Vargas, Ray Collins, Mort Mills, Victor Millan, Lalo Rios, Michael Sargent, Phil harvey, Joi Lansing, Harry Shannon, Dan White, with special guests Marlene Dietrich and Zsa Zsa Gabor. ... Read more


4. The Trial
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305772061
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 15208
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Brilliantly capturing the oppressive paranoia of Franz Kafka's classic novel, Orson Welles' "The Trial" is the story of a young clerk, Josef K., who is arrested, tried and finally executed--all without ever knowing his crime. Welles filmed this baroque work of genius in a deserted Belle Epoque railway station in Paris. The strange setting perfectly captures the bizarre and nightmarish world of Kafka's mythical totalitarian state. ... Read more


5. Othello
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $24.99
our price: $22.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000JN1N
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6503
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Orson Welles' daring and visually adventurous production of William Shakespeare's classic play. Welles, one of the greatest directors ever, revered Shakespeare and was determined to bring his own versions of the Bard's work to the silver screen, though the studios resisted the idea. Without studio funding, Welles struggled for three years to make "Othello" with his own money. The film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and critical acclaim but was rarely seen for many years. Over $1 million dollars in restoration work was spent, including re recording the score and re creating the sound effects, as well as updating the audio to digital. "Othello" remains a testament to Welles' legendary genius. ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars A near-perfect translation of play to film
A must-see for fans of Orson welles and William Shakespeare alike, "Othello" is nearly as impressive and visually brilliant as Welles' masterworks "Citizen Kane" and "Touch of Evil"--maybe more so, considering the director/star shot it bit by bit over several years, jetting back to Hollywood to take acting jobs that helped finance this film and then later assembling it when every shot was finally complete. A Shakespearen expert, Welles superbly pares the source play's text down to the bare bones and uses powerful visual images to communicate the essence of the Moor's tragic story. Aside from fine direction, Welles also turns in an excellent, informed performance. Since many of the bit players weren't available for dubs when the film was near completion, listen for Welles' terrific vocal mimickry "covering" for the missing actors here and there. A fine example of cinematic storytelling, its style and technique surpass the limitations of its threadbare production values.

5-0 out of 5 stars Put Out Thy Light!
This film blew me away! I always know what I am looking forward to in an Orson Welles film; brilliant camera angles over lapping dialogue and that masterfull voice but I was floored by how well all of those aspects are used in Othello. It's hard to believe it was four years in the making and that the production of this film was marred by unusual circumstances but welles never gave up and the beauty is on screen to marvel at. Welles was a master of Shakespeare since a child so the dialogue flows as if second nature to him and the rest of the seasoned veterans handle it just as well and that is the key to this film. Welles always had pure facial emotion working in his favor and when those huge glowing eyes of his is used in the final scenes as he kills Desdamona its as if headlights of danger are piercing through his face and the dark almost unbearable lighting can't hold back those eyes or the viewers emotions and the soundtrack that damn haunting score never looses it's pacing simply amazing. Finaly Welles' fluxuating girth comes in handy his Othello is so imposing and commanding that u to would fear the repercussions of his hand if you betray him! Just cut out all the lights unplug the phone and watch with amazment at the best adaption of Othello ever made! McLiammour plays Iago with such contempt and an under lying lust for the moor that another level of depth is revealed. The opening is all out dramatic and ever the more shoking and draws you into the story instantly! Welles' reworking of the dialogue and dramatic use of the camera and lighting makes the flick ever so frightening and perverse! Doves flying above in a clear sky, the shores crashing against the waves as Othello is told by Iago of his wife's deceit or the gripping of the knife being shoved into Welles' by himself to redeem himself for the crime he has committed against his love! Shakespeare has never been told with the passsion upon which Welles tells it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Welles' indomitable spirit in the face of penury shines...
THE TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO: THE MOOR OF VENICE/ US/France/Italy/Morocco 1952 (3.5 STARS)

The recent restoration of Othello brings to cinematic space the magic of another masterpiece from Orson Welles. To think that a whole master negative of this film (which won the Best film at Cannes in 1952) was lying abandoned in a New Jersey warehouse, was discovered by accident and is the reason for this print that we now have access to, is enough to send shivers down the spine of any Welles-phile.
• Mise-en-scene: Like with many of his other works involving especially Shakespeare, be prepared for Welles' licenses and personal interpretation of subject matter pertaining to Othello. Yet at the end, we are left with a feeling of deep tragedy and loss for Othello, played by Welles himself, and though we feel that Othello was quite an idiot, we at least feel that he was a very unfortunate idiot at that!
• The problem may have been that the critical scene where Iago poisons Othello's mind and fuels his suspicion is scrappy and left unexplored. This may well have had little to do with Welles' artistic choices, and more with his monetary situation at the time. Welles' penury through his European sojourn is widely known and the passion with which he would invest into his films, every penny earned through moonlighting his booming voice and above-average acting skills is legendary, and should put this in context.
• The figure behavior of Micheál MacLiammóir is utterly convincing as the detestable Iago who is consumed by jealousy and rage at being overlooked as the second-in-command. But the person to steal our hearts is Suzanne Cloutier who portrays the fair-dame Desdemona. She is every bit as dainty as we would have imagined her to be.
• The stripped down set design works wonderfully for the film and even though budgets may have been the driving force, Othello's barren palace is preceded only by the barrenness of his blinding jealousy and irrational actions.
• Cinematography: As we have come to expect, Orson Welles has a unique cinematic language, through which he creates a Wellesian world of skin-burning close ups, dutched crazy world-frames and low angle shots to create a tense atmosphere of foreboding. But there is no better example of exploring and using frame depth than in Othello. Time and again Welles plays with foreground element to reveal psychologically subjective and meta-diagetic moods while cleverly using the depth in the frame to forward the narrative and plot the next progression. The title shots of the film are harrowing in their effect, with the interplay of high-contrast earth and sky contours that at once establish the mood for an intense cinematic experience.
• Sound & Editing: The restored version has a brand-new soundtrack mentored by Welles' daughter, and while it enhances the experience to telling effect, it is irony to note that just the new soundtrack cost much more than what Welles assembled the whole film for. The fact that parts of the film were shot MOS and other parts used ADR is distracting due to the obvious lack of lip-sync, but in the final analysis, we watch Welles with reverence almost as if on a visit to Sunday Mass, paying homage, never once forgetting that were are witness to a filmmaker stripped of resources, devoid of many essential tools, but one with indomitable spirit who refused to be cowed-down. Othello is magical in its story telling and another worthy showcase of the genius of Orson Welles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Welles' images match the beauty of Shakespeare's language
Considerable controversy has surrounded this 1992 restoration and re-release of Orson Welles' "Othello." First, the film was wrongly labelled a "lost classic" - not technically true, as Welles aficionados will realize. More seriously, the restoration crew (under the aegis of Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles) re-synced the dialogue and re-recorded the musical score - an abomination to Welles purists. While it would have been preferable to adhere to Welles' vision for the film, such an endeavor becomes extremely difficult when no written record of Welles' intent exists (as it did with his famous 26-page memo to Universal regarding "Touch of Evil"). So it's true that this version lacks a degree of authenticity; but what are the alternatives? Grainy, scratched, poorly synced public domain prints (c.f. "Mr Arkadin" and "The Trial")? Or, worse, no available copy at all (c.f. "Chimes at Midnight")?

Anyway, on to the film. "Othello's" existence helps disprove the charges of profligacy and "fear of completion" that plagued Welles' career after "Citizen Kane." Shot over four years in Morocco and Italy, and financed largely by Welles himself, "Othello" manages to avoid a low-budget look, thanks largely to virtuoso editing that masks the incongruities of time and space. Welles' powers of invention are on full display here, most obviously in the famous Turkish bath scene (an improvised set necessitated by a lack of costumes). Set designer Alexandre Trauner's astute choice of Moroccan and Venetian locations instantly establishes a geographic authenticity; Welles initially expolits them for all their stark beauty before retreating into noirish interiors, underscoring Othello's descent into darkness.

Aside from Michael Macliammoir's chilling Method performance as Iago, the acting in Welles' "Othello" has been criticized as too restrained and modulated for Shakespearean tragedy. Such criticism is largely unwarranted, for this "Othello" is as much for the eyes as the ears: Welles' bold framing and expressionistic camera angles de-theatricalize the play, undermining the need for stage elocution. Indeed, the camera is the true star of this film, as Welles generates images that match the grandeur and eloquence of Shakespeare's language.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Great, just great. Yes, some of the music one wonders if Welles would have used, but it is pure Welles. If not updated the missing elements might take away from this work, instead they compliment it. A must own! ... Read more


6. The Lady from Shanghai
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $24.95
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004W229
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 6011
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun-filled parody of film noir
An often bewildering parody of film noir in particular and Hollywood conventions in general, Columbia relegated "The Lady from Shanghai" to B-movie status due to objections over Orson Welles' manipulation of soon-to-be-ex-wife Rita Hayworth into a ruthless femme fatale. However, Hayworth's metamorphosis is the most superficial of the caricatures that populate the film, among them Everett Sloane (Bernstein from "Citizen Kane") as a leering, corrupt, crippled lawyer, and show-stealing Glenn Anders as the giddily inscrutable Grisby, whose machinations drive what passes for a plot. Amidst this gallery, Welles' own sublimely ridiculous presence, as a hopelessly idealistic sailor with a phony "Black Irish" accent, becomes the most obvious tip-off that the proceedings are anything but serious fare. Once the comic tone is established, the film lurches forward with manic energy, throwing plausibility to the wind as it careens toward the climax in the expressionistic Crazy House and its Hall of Mirrors. The flattering close-ups of Hayworth (inserted by the studio to "save" the picture) clash marvelously with Welles' vertiginous camera angles, adding to the film's discontinuity and enhancing its satirical nature. My favorite line: "I came to in the crazy house, but for a moment there, I thought it was me who was going crazy!" My advice: forget the plot and enjoy "The Lady from Shanghai" for its many guilty pleasures.

4-0 out of 5 stars "He who follows his nature,..."
The first time I saw this Welles classic, I didn't get it. Apparently, neither did Paramount Studios head Harry Cohn. Many people have complained that the plot is incoherent. That was my initial impression as well.

However, after watching it again for a second and third time, I am of a different opinion. This film CAN be followed, but not in the conventional way. While the film's twists and turns and double-crosses make little sense story wise, thematically everything falls into place. My appreciation for this film has grown over the years.

Orson Welles plays Michael O'Hara, an Irish drifter and Spanish Civil War veteran who's troubles begin when he falls for an alluring woman by the name of Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth). Elsa is married to Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane), a crippled, sinister old man who happens to be the world's greatest lawyer. Bannister hires Michael to go on a cruise through the Caribbean with him and his neurotic partner George Grisby.

...This entertaining film noir doesn't make a lot of sense story wise. People double-cross each other for no apparent reason. There are many twists and turns that are virtually impossible to follow. Even the title is somewhat misleading, as the film has little to do with Shanghai, apart from the fact that the title character was born there. Like that other film noir classic, "The Big Sleep", "The Lady from Shanghai" is more about style than substance. One must listen to some of the characters' quotes to make sense of what is going on.

They are as follows:

"It is difficult for love to last long, therefore one who loves passionately, is cured of love in the end."

"He who follows his nature, follows his original nature in the end."

There's also a memorable speech that Michael gives about some sharks he once saw and what became of them.

...

5-0 out of 5 stars "Are you looking for a good paste in the eye?"
No, not Welles' best film. It couldn't be, since "The Lady From Shanghai" was actually a chance for Welles to get back in good with the studio system, a.k.a. the money picture that gets made when they won't let you be an artist. (Too, he saw it as a chance to rebuild the waning relationship he shared with then-wife Rita Hayworth.) However, the problem with Welles is that he excels so much at filmmaking that his worst still runs circles around most other directors' best. At 90 minutes long, this is basically an annotated version of the 2 1/2-hour cut Welles had submitted for release prints. Once again (reiterating Welles' career-long battles with his producers) unapproved editors were cut lose on it. But it's still one of the most gleefully dizzy and fun time machines I've come across. The colorful black-and-white cinematography comes off as disjointed due to the editing. But it's a blessing in disguise. Film noir dictates that shadows rule, both literally and figuratively. The darkness pulls the strings, and "The Lady..." lives up to that. It becomes a whirlwind journey that lands Mike O'Hara between South America and San Francisco's Chinatown, not to mention rendering him (and us) helpless under Hayworth's mesmerizing crooning on the deck of a boat. Yes, and the infamous, unparalleled "showdown" in a funhouse hall-of-mirrors, bringing the thematics of the genre to life as reflections and each spouse's altar ego are shattered into shards one by one. But I also harbor a cheap fascination with the world as it existed long before I was previed to it. '40s and '50s noir have the ability to instantly transplant viewers to forty or fifty years before whatever is presently happening outside their window. By no means the deepest picture released under the Welles filmography, "The Lady From Shanghai" remains a joyous, unabashed rollercoaster through the seediness of negative human nature. Capital escapism.

4-0 out of 5 stars "I came to in the Crazy Room."
Michael O'Hara "Black Irish" (Orson Welles) is hired by famed criminal lawyer Arthur Bannister to work as a crew member on board his yacht--the Circe--for a trip down to Mexico. O'Hara agrees--he's already got an eyeful of Bannister's extremely attractive wife, Elsa (Rita Hayworth). Then Bannister's sleazy partner, Grisby approaches O'Hara with a strange offer. Grisby offers O'Hara a quick $5,000 if he agrees to "pretend" to kill Grisby. Grisby's hardly credible explanation for this outlandish behaviour is that he wishes to disappear with the insurance money.

The plot of "Shanghai Lady" has more holes than a slab of Swiss cheese. Added to that, Orson Welles has the absolutely worst Irish accent I have ever heard. But the film works ... in some ways. The Bannister's marriage is incongruous at best, and it's easy to slip Rita Hayworth in as the femme fatale who married for money. Some of the minor characters are guilty of extreme over-acting, and Welles doesn't put his heart into the role. However, the scenes in the courtroom and the over-the-top ending make the film worthwhile. The DVD comes with a few extras--including a worthwhile interview with Peter Bogdanovich, Talent Files (bios of Welles and Hayworth), vintage advertising (depictions of numerous posters advertising the film) and four film trailers ("Lady of Shanghai" "The Loves of Carmen" "The Last Hurrah" and "A Man For all Seasons").

"Shanghai Lady" was the victim of the decaying marriage between its two stars--Welles and Hayworth. The final film length was 155 minutes, but the studio slashed it down to 88 minutes. Who knows what the director's cut would look like?--displacedhuman

5-0 out of 5 stars "Innocent is a big word--Stupid is more like it"
Stupidity--not innocence, not heroism, not any virtue at all--is the major theme of *The Lady from Shanghai*. Therefore, to some viewers this film will appear to be a stupid movie. That's unfortunate, but that's Orson Welles.

Everybody--EVERYBODY--is stupid in *Lady*! The Welles character, Michael O'Hara, admits he is stupid right off the bat. Elsa, played by Rita Hayworth, seems to be the cleverest of them all until the end...when she and her husband Arthur Bannister die together in the Crazy House, her husband gasping at her, "For a clever girl you make a lot of mistakes." Arthur, "the world's greatest lawyer", obviously has brains and knows what's going on through the whole story, but he's so grotesque (practically crawling through his scenes like a daddy longlegs spider) that his intellect is self-defeating: he's just one of the sharks that Welles describes in the beach scene, ravenously devouring himself. And the Grisby character...take one look at this guy and it's hard to believe *Lady* was made in 1946. Grisby's right out of David Lynch, or more like it, David Cronenberg! The judge, the folks in the courtroom...all STUPID and distorted, just like the images in the funhouse mirrors!

Portraying American people in that unflattering light was just not "on" in the early postwar period. No wonder Orson Welles was being watched by the FBI during those years. Even today, many filmgoers expect movies to give them at least one or two heroic characters that they can identify with. Sorry, friends, *Lady* jumps right into your face and right into your space (like the scene with O'Hara and Grisby overlooking the ocean) and blurts drunkenly, "Yer STOO-pid too, FELLAH!"

But why on earth is Orson Welles telling us we're all stupid? That's made very clear. We are blissfully living out our grubby little lives on the brink of self-destruction. "Do you believe the world is gonna end?" asks Grisby of O'Hara in that ocean overlook scene. That's the question Welles tells us we should be asking ourselves. But just as O'Hara was too stupid to ask himself a few simple questions, like "how can Grisby collect the insurance money if he's declared legally dead?", we don't ask ourselves the important questions that overshadow our silly little existences.

A lot of people won't like it. They sure didn't when *Lady* was released in '48.

But I love it! *Lady* was "postmodern" before postmodern was cool (before anybody knew what postmodern was)! It is deliciously self-referential: the scene in the Shanghai Low Chinese theater, with the strange Oriental play being performed onstage, instantly reminds one of all the strange characters and goings-on in the "real" story, the movie itself. But the movie itself is not real either, of course--it too is a play that reflects the bizarre world of human events, OUR world, the world of the moviegoer who seeks meaning in film and theater. House of mirrors! Movies of the '40's were just NOT self-referential, they really tried to create an alternative world that the audience could escape from its troubles into. Almost all movies then, and still most today, do not hold up a mirror to the audience. But *Lady* does. And still today many people aren't going to like what they see. "It's a bright guilty world," sayeth Welles/O'Hara.

The close-ups of Rita Hayworth singing "Please Don't Kiss Me" establish her as THE most beautiful woman to have ever graced the silver screen. Sorry Marilyn, Lana, Bette, and you too Nicole. "Rita Hayworth gave good face" indeed. I'd have paid the price of the whole DVD just to have those few seconds of film. But there's so much more in *Lady* that's worth watching than the lady.

Peter Bogdanovich's interview and commentary is pretty good, though as a Welles/Hayworth fan there was a good deal of stuff I already knew. But some stuff I didn't know, so I appreciated Peter's contribution.

*The Lady From Shanghai* and *Gilda*...movies just don't get any better! ... Read more


7. It's All True
Director: Norman Foster, Richard Wilson, Myron Meisel, Orson Welles, Bill Krohn
list price: $14.99
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00062IDGU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7068
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Would 25-year-old Orson Welles (whose 1941 Citizen Kane staggered Hollywood) go to Brazil and make a film for the United States' anti-Nazi "Good Neighbor Policy"? Welles eagerly agreed, masterminding a complex film that featured three separate stories, each vividly depicting the charm, drama and politics of South American culture.During the course of filming, Welles encountered hazardous locations and an ever-changing cast of studio executives at RKO.After months of arduous shooting, the studio suddenly pulled the plug and shelved the project.Welles never recovered from this and the true story of what happened to him in Brazil was never told. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lost Piece of Welles Brilliance
"It's All True" often receives minor attention in most histories of Orson Welles, probably because nobody had ever seen it. While Welles was in South America filming this documentary, RKO Pictures was busy destroying The Magnificant Ambersons, which had the signs of becoming greater than even Citizen Kane. This video (a documentary about the documentary) reminded me that "It's All True" had the possiblity of being greater still. Welles established a true contection with the people of South America, and to hear their love and admiration for this foriegn filmmaker only reinforces the tragedy of Welles' career. The film would probably have become a national treasure in Brazil, had Welles been allowed to finish it.

Aside from various clips of no particular order, there exists an entire sequence from the original, telling the story of an epic journey of 4 fisherman traveling half-way around the continent in a simple boat. The sequence lacks a soundtrack, and thus is missing the punch of other good Welles material. Orson always used audio with equal mastery as his visual style, and in this sequence you can see just how rough one was without the other. Still worth of a purchase.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well.....
Orson Welles is, was and will always be one of the greatest of all filmakers. You can't really argue with that.

The chance to see lost footage from any of his unfinished projects is always welcome, but this is something of a missed opportunity I'm afraid.

Richly illustrated with interviews and unique footage, the effort and research cannot be faulted, but frequently beautiful images flick by without any explanation whilst pointless facts are dealt in detail.

The cardinal sin here are the "recuts" of the virtually complete sections of It's All True. The "new" musical scores are obstrusive and syrupy - very "hollywood". They sit uncomfortably with the footage, and are NOT Welles style.

It's not the actual scores but the orchestration which seems so out of place. Instead of drawing you into the sequences it dilutes the impact.

It's a real shame, as you can see the influence such sequences had on later Welles pictures, "The Lady From Shanghai" - one of my favourite films - for example. After such a well researched build up it's real let down to see the work damaged in this way. Why the filmakers couldn't have used original recordings from the time film was made - and by the artists featured - is a mystery.

It's still well worth seeing - but, as I've already said, is a missed opportunity.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Welles Fans
"It's All True" often receives minor attention in most histories of Orson Welles, probably because nobody had ever seen it. While Welles was in South America filming this documentary, RKO Pictures was busy destroying The Magnificant Ambersons, which had the signs of becoming greater than even Citizen Kane. This video (a documentary about the documentary) reminded me that "It's All True" had the possiblity of being greater still. Welles established a true contection with the people of South America, and to hear their love and admiration for this foriegn filmmaker only reinforces the tragedy of Welles' career. The film would probably have become a national treasure in Brazil, had Welles been allowed to finish it.

Aside from various clips of no particular order, there exists an entire sequence from the original, telling the story of an epic journey of 4 fisherman traveling half-way around the continent in a simple boat. The sequence lacks a soundtrack, and thus is missing the punch of other good Welles material. Orson always used audio with equal mastery as his visual style, and in this sequence you can see just how rough one was without the other. Still worth of a purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
A little known documentary that is both entertaining and informative. Touching first hand accounts and rare footage that give an extraordinary look at both Mr. Welles and the Brazilian culture. If there is one reason to own this tape it would be to see over and over again the last part of the film. A piece called "Four Men on a Raft" It is the most beautiful black and white short film I have ever seen. The love Mr. Welles had for these poor fishermen is so wonderfully apparent.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Orson Welles "It's All True".
A treasure for all Welles' fans. A 32 minute documentary on the failure to complete "It's All True" leads into a full presentation of the beautiful 46 minute B&W SILENT drama documentary titled "Four Men On A Raft". An excellent modern ( Stereo ) score made up of renditions of the Brazilian music Welles was investigating is dubbed on together with appropriate sound effects ( wind & waves etc ). Despite being on Nitrate film stock stashed in a studio basement for over 40 years its presented in almost perfect condition. A thrill to see what's left and truly sad to think of what might have emerged. Included amongst the snippets of incomplete material is just 3 minutes B&W and 3 minutes colour Rio Carnival footage and a complete 3 minute segment from "My Friend Burrito". ... Read more


8. Film Noir Vol. 1: The Stranger/Cause For Alarm
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305436479
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29439
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

There isn't much to connect these two features beyond the general umbrella of film noir and the presence of Loretta Young (hardly a noir icon), but the Roan Group's collection features excellent prints of both of these often poorly represented classics. The clean, sharp pictures and clear sound show these two films off at their best.

The legendary story that hovers over Orson Welles's The Stranger is that he wanted Agnes Moorehead to star as the dogged Nazi hunter who trails a war criminal to a sleepy New England town. The part went to E.G. Robinson, who is marvelous, but it points out how many compromises Welles made on the film in an attempt to show Hollywood he could make a film on time, on budget, and on their own terms. He accomplished all three, turning out a stylish if unambitious film noir thriller, his only Hollywood film to turn a profit on its original release. Welles stars as unreformed fascist Franz Kindler, hiding as a schoolteacher in a New England prep school for boys and newly married to the headmaster's lovely if naive daughter (Loretta Young). Welles the director is in fine form for the opening sequences, casting a moody tension as agents shadow a twitchy low-levelNazi official skulking through South American ports and building up to dramatic crescendo as Kindler murders this little man, the lovely woods becoming a maelstrom of swirling leaves that expose the body he furiously tries to bury. The rest of film is a well-designed but conventional cat-and-mouse game featuring an eye-rolling performance by Welles and a thrilling conclusion played out in the dark clock tower that looms over the little village.

In Cause for Alarm, Loretta Young is an elegantly tailored happy homemaker caring for her invalid husband (Barry Sullivan), a former pilot suffering from a mysterious heart disease that has driven him to almost complete madness. Convinced his wife and his doctor are in collusion to kill him, he's carefully recorded the "evidence" of their crime in a letter to the district attorney and prepares to turn the tables on them, but even his own sudden death can't stop the chain of events that plunges his wife into a waking nightmare. An unusual entry into the film noir school of paranoia, Tay Garnett's melodramatic thriller trades the dark alleys and long shadows of urban menace for the sunny, tree-lined streets of middle-class domesticity. Young, so often cool, calm, and carefully coifed in her studio roles, beautifully evokes the American Dream as the dutiful wife who collapses into a state of hysterical desperation. Spinning a web of lies toretrieve the damning letter, her world falls apart around her as she unwittingly sinks herself deeper into a morass of suspicion and circumstantial evidence. Though this is less slick and stylish than his claim to film noir fame The Postman Always Rings Twice, Garnett spins a simple premise into a tense, terrifying ordeal, and Young's deadened narration adds an eerie mood of doom to the suburban setting. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Noir fans won't be dissapointed
This is a great buy for fans of film noir, and/or the actress Loretta Young (I'm both) On one side you have Orson Welles "The Stranger", the movie he made to prove he could work within the studio system without problems. The film was still cut, Welles version was over 2 hours long and the version released in the US was 85 minutes long, and the international release was 95 minutes. This DVD contains the 95 minute version, the cut scenes are thought to be lost. Even with the alterations this is still a terrific film with beautiful photography, tension and great performances all around.

On the other side is Cause for Alarm!, from the director of "The Postman Always Rings Twice". Even with a low budget and simple storyline this manages to be both tense and interesting. It's not a classic but definitely deserves attention from movie lovers. In both films Loretta Young plays a woman who is both scared but strong incredibly well.

The Roan Group did a very good job with the transfers, especially at this price. There are still scratches and grain, but it's nothing distracting. This set is a worthy purchase for noir and classic film fans and shouldn't be overlooked.

4-0 out of 5 stars Roan DVD is 95 min version, not 85 minutes.
The Roan Group DVD, "Film Noir #1: The Stranger/Cause for Alarm" has the 95 minute version of the Stranger. Great transfer and a great film. You also get Loretta Young in "Cause for Alarm" on the other side. Watta deal! ... Read more


9. The Trial
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004YKQD
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21039
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

10. Mr. Arkadin
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004YKQE
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 23256
Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars How many Mr. Arkadins are there?
Viewing Orson Welles' film "Mr. Arkadin today is an experience similar to that the characters in his complex films would feel if they were real-mystery, confusion, frustration, fascination. Except for "Citizen Kane" and "The Trial" every one of Welles' movies--every one he completed that is--was taken over by its financial backers and reedited beyond comprehension. "Mr. Arkadin" is one of his most cryptic works not only because it was taken from its creator and reshaped, but because it was apparently reshaped several time by several different people. We don't have only one bastardized version, but several, at least 3. And according to Welles himself as quoted in Peter Bogdonavich's book "This is Orson Welles", none of these was even close to the story he wanted to tell. So "who is Mr. Arkardin?" is as pertinent a question when asked in the context of the film's story as it is when discussing the film itself. I myself have seen two distinct versions. One, a VHS tape of the "European" release of the film, re-titled "Confidential Report", the other this DVD Laserlight release of the later US release edit. Of the two, "Confidential Report" had the better edit and was also transfered from a much better print. This DVD version is certainly priced right, however--cant' beat Welles for under $4!

As for the film itself, in all its incarnations, "Arkadin" is a fascinating failure, obviously patched together on the run on a miniscule budget. The overall plot is intriguing (and begs to be remade from Orson's original script). A famous, mysterious billionaire, claiming amnesia, hires a sleazy golddigging bum to investigate his own past. To give away more would be evil, so I won't. Let's just say there are some clever twists and turns. Unfortunately, the film only works in spurts. There are quite a few masterful scenes, but they are only loosely connected, a s though only half the filming was completed and the movie had to be cobbled together at the last minute from what was on hand, whether it made sense or not. The awkward narration and many clumsy montages used to fill the gaps make this obvious.

Again, however, I must say that for movie lovers, film students, Welles freaks, or anyone else looking for something very different, you can't beat a Welles DVD for the price of a rental!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Welles' richest and most underrated fables
We will probably never know exactly what Orson Welles envisioned Mr. Arkadin to be, but even in its present state, it remains a commandable achievement and one of his most underrated films. His storytelling mastery is evident throughout, both in the sound and images. As in Citizen Kane, the main character's life is gradually explored, but this time it's the subject of the inquiry who started it himself; this brings the film in the territory of initiations and psychoanalysis. Seemingly to uncover his own past, Arkadin sends low-profile hood Guy Van Stratten in a complex initiatic quest, one in which the initiated is mostly lured by money and luxury. Like Kane, Arkadin takes shape mainly via other people's testimonies, and he undergoes his own type of initiation: for the very first time, he is stripped of the masks and disguises he always relied on, and he is scared at the perspective of his private self (his Jungian 'number 2' personality) being discovered by the only person he cares for. Fables are scattered throughout the film, and the movie itself is such a tale, Arkadin acting as its grand, imposing Ogre, a character possessing strange and far-reaching powers. His overbearing abilities are illustrated in various ways, notably through the film's rapidly changing settings (a device also used in The Trial). The work's depth can also be measured by this consideration: Mr. Arkadin's universe is a huge maze in which Arkadin himself is Minos, Dedalus and the Minotaur all at once. This dense, rich and dreamlike film has never really received its due.

2-0 out of 5 stars Extremely good story but terrible picture quality
I bought Orson Welles Citizen Kane and liked it so I decided to watch other Welles movies. I bought Mr. Arkadin because the DVD is cheap and rated high on IMDB. I should have buyed Touch of Evil instead. The quality of the picture is laughable, sometimes there are glitches in the sound during scene changes. Judging by the picture and sound quality I would say that they used equipment from the 30's to shoot and edit the movie and that the print used for that transfer was stored in a refrigerator during 45 years. Welles directing work is good but obviously he had to deal with the poor quality of the European movie industry of the 50's. Sometimes the picture shake, during the opening credits the captions are white on a white or gray background so we can't read everything. The editing is very poor, there are too many scene changes. When I bought this DVD I expected to receive the LaserLight version, instead I got a DVD made by Alpha Video. The case cover is different and there is no supplemental material. He was mastered cheaply on a PC with the SpruceUp DVD Maestro software, that seem to create problems, each time I try to play the disc on my computer the FBI warning message appear and then the disc eject. I didn't notice any audio syncing problems however. This movie is the perfect candidate for a remake. I give **** for the story and * for the overall quality of the movie.

2-0 out of 5 stars Third-rate Kane knockoff - by the man himself!
This film represents sort of an artistic low point for Welles. Presumably exhausted by his four-year ordeal of producing "Othello" and far removed from his Hollywood glory years, he attempted a comeback with this hodgepodge re-working of the "Citizen Kane" theme. The rich and mysterious Mr. Arkadin hires an investigator to research his past, presumably to keep his secrets away from his enemies. However, everyone interviewed by the private eye mysteriously dies! (This idea was realized more effectively in 1987's "Angel Heart"). Although this film showcases' Welles unique style far better than, say, "The Stranger," its utter lack of production values make the experience somewhat grueling. Welles shoots with a manic energy, but fails to reach the giddy heights of "The Lady from Shanghai" or the visual eloquence of "Othello." Fortunately, Welles gets some entertaining performances from his supporting cast, particularly Michael Redgrave as an effeminate shopkeeper and the ubiquitous Akim Tamiroff ("Touch of Evil's" Uncle Joe Grandi) as the kooky Jacob Zouk.

The Laserlight DVD transfer doesn't help matters. As noted, it's taken from a grainy, choppy, poorly synced public domain print. However, you do get an unintentionally funny Tony Curtis intro, as well as the chance to own a rarely seen Welles film for a budget price.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor quality ruins the experience
I am referring to the Laser Light dvd edition of this film, which promises the best digital transfer of the film. That is great, but they used the worst print anyone could concieve to transfer! I taped this off of television awhile back and decided to buy a dvd version and this is 100 times worse than the version I taped myself on the slowest speed off of late night tv! In reading other reviews it appears that there is a much better VHS version and I would recommend that over this. Do not be fooled like I was with the fine condition of Welles' "The Trial" by Laser Light or the pipe smoking picture packaging of this. This version of Arkardin is a total waste of money. ... Read more


11. Citizen Welles - The Stranger, The Trial, Hearts of Age
Director: William Vance, Orson Welles
list price: $24.95
our price: $22.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005OSK1
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11974
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

For budget-minded cineastes, this two-disc set of Orson Welles films isa welcome addition to any DVD library, even if it falls short of its claims. While the accompanying documentary demonstrates that The Stranger, The Trial, and Welles's 1934 silent short Hearts of Age have been restored, source materials are not specified, inviting speculation that the films were digitally "cleaned" from video sources in the public domain. The films do sound better than ever with a subtle5.1-channel remastering, and the visual quality is good but hardly pristine; Milestone Video's DVD of TheTrial presents a crisper, sharper image.

Those quibbles aside, the set's strengths do make for an acceptable andaffordable means to appreciate Welles's visual ingenuity, stylized bycinematographer Russell Metty in Welles's conventional Nazi-manhunt thrillerThe Stranger, and by Edmond Richard in the brilliant, budget-constrainedproduction of Kafka's The Trial. The films are excellent, and apart fromcritic Jeffrey Lyons's flaccid commentary tracks, this package treats them withall due respect. --Jeff Shannon ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars These other reviews posted are nuts!
I must confess that I was skeptical when I first read the reviews of others who had purchased this colletion...but being a Welles fan and loving the movies and the concept I broke down to draw my own conclusions. Boy am I glad I did...this is a very good value and full of some extras that you won't find elsewhere.

Sometimes when I read reviews posted on Amazon I get the feeling that the 'Siskel and Ebert wannabees' mislead the rest of us that just want the straight scoop.

The review by Amazon, although I disagree with some points, is at least more honest...less emotional and more accurate. I suggest that anyone that reads this will learn from my experience that you can never account for another's tastes and we each need to come to our own conclusions.

I won by going with my gut instinct and will continue to do so! ...

5-0 out of 5 stars Goodies Galore!
"Citizen Welles" is absolutely essential for anyone who is seriously interested in the cinema of Orson Welles. This magnificent 2 DVD package highlights the eclectism of Welles's work -- it illuminates aspects of Welles's career and personality that often get overlooked amid all the "Citizen Kane" hoopalah.

"The Trial" has been marvelously restored. The image detail is clearly defined; the folks at Focus have eliminated most of the artifacts that commonly occur during films of this vintage (ie. excessive dust, dirt, film scratches.) The audio quality is superb; the clarity of the original soundtrack has been restored -- most significanly, the major sych issues that plague most versions of this film have largely been remedied. The film perfectly captures the bleak beaurocratic purgatory of the novel. Welles presents the kinky side of Kafka: the slinky Romy Schneider taunts and tantilizes; Jean Moreau remains luringly aloof; Anthony Perkins must endure it all. Irresistable madness.

"The Stranger" lacks the visual clarity, the crispness of detail, of the restored version of "The Trial." While the image often appears "soft," the version of the film presented in this package is a significant improvement over the Laserlight DVD. The film is a fairly typical Hollywood potboiler: Welles plays the part of an escaped Nazi who becomes a professor at an exclusive New England boys prep school; he befriends the locals, woos the daughter of a Supreme Court justice, and distinguishes himself as a master clocksmith -- Edward G. Robinson tracks him down. This film is significant within the Welles filmography because it presents the director working within the conventional Hollywood framework. Welles plays by the rules and suceeds in producing a well crafted Hollywood genre film.

The short film, "Hearts of Age," offers a rare glimpse at Welles's first cinematic effort.

Film critic, Jeffery Lyons, provides commentary for "The Trial," "The Stranger," and "Hearts of Age." His commentary focuses on the life of Orson Welles. Lyons' approach is anecdotal: he waxes nostalgically about his friendship with the great director -- he offers wonderful biographical tidbits. His commentary provides a cohesive conceptual framework for the enire "Citizen Welles" project.

The menus are well designed and function quite nicely.

"Citizen Welles" is a superb package -- absolutely essential for anyone interested in the films of Orson Welles.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably bad DVD transfer
If one reads between the lines of Amazon's editorial review of Citizen Welles, you'll see a serious concern about the quality of the digital transfers of these movies. The Trial is probably passable, although very far from being "pristine". However, The Stranger is truly shocking in terms of how bad it looks. If you've ever seen a public domain movie on VHS from a fly-by-night distributor, you'll have an idea of how bad The Stranger looks on this set. Even if the source materials used for these DVDs were video tapes originally sold to consumers, it still doesn't explain why The Stranger looks this bad.

By the way, there's actually a quote from Jeffrey Lyons (who does two very mediocre audio commentaries on this set) that says "This restoration is in perfect condition. Orson Welles would have loved seeing it." I can't imagine how Jeffrey Lyons could say this, although I'm sure the money he got paid for his contribution to this DVD set has something to do with it. Orson Welles was one of our greatest directors and his movies don't deserve such shabby treatment.

5-0 out of 5 stars PERFECT QUALITY - Nothing Wrong With This Copy!
Why would someone *LIE* and say that the picture quality to this DVD set was bad?! The picture and sound quality (for both films) is absolutely PERFECT! If you're a fan of Citizen Kane, or Touch of Evil, take a chance.... Open your mind to the next level of Welles genius! The Trial, in particular, will blow your mind with its avant-garde flare!

1-0 out of 5 stars atrocious quality
Citizen Welles is pretty awful. The movies themselves are really fascinating for anyone who is a fan of Welles' work, but this DVD set is a waste of money.

The transfers are unwatchable on a digital display and are pretty disgusting on a regular TV as well. The picture is washed out to the point that even messing with the brightness/contrast couldn't salvage a distinct feature. The restoration documentary seems to imply that this disc is mastered from a video source. I have no clue why they would boast so much about the sound on the box, because it's an incoherent mush. There are MUCH better releases of these films on VHS and the Image DVD of The Stranger is so superior that I really wonder why anyone bothered with this awful thing.

There is a short documentary by Richard France. It's very basic, but I'm sure it's new to someone out there. As interested as I am in Welles, I can't say that I got anything important out of watching Hearts of Age - a student film. It's more a curiosity than entertainment.

Jeffrey Lyons' commentary is bad. Not only did he pretty much just repeat what was on the screen ("...here we see him coming in the room..."), but he was frequently SURPRISED by what he saw. As other reviews noted, either he hadn't seen The Stranger and The Trial in a long long time or he was watching them for the first time. ... Read more


12. Around the World with Orson Welles
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $29.99
our price: $26.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004REO7
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 22026
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Description

Five documentaries made for British television by Orson Welles. The renowned Welles, who directed this television series, lends his inimitable style to this tour through Europe. In Paris, Welles introduces us to famed artists Juliette Greco and Jean Cocteau, who lived in the St. Germain Des Pres quarter. In London we meet the Chelsea pensioners; in Spain we attend a Madrid bullfight and visit the Basque country. Somewhere between a home movie and a cinematic essay, these short films have been described by French critics as the missing link in Welles' work. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Viva Italia
A small retraction: the Orson Welles documentary "Viva Italia" is NOT "Third Man Returns to Vienna", but another great episode! It centers on Italy by telling the story of Gina Lollobrigida, also presenting a.o. Vittorio De Sica, whose great actor/director skills is implicitly used as a Welles parallel. It's a dynamic and truly wonderful episode, and should have been on the disc. The Image disc is still overprized, with it's sadly sloppy transfer and sparse presentation.

3-0 out of 5 stars The missing part...
"Around the world with Orson Welles", is great material for film buffs! Welles is directing himself, with usual flamboyance and visual flair. It does, though, seem somewhat overprized, especially considering that one of the six shorts is lacking! The back cover claims that "the last episode (Third Man Returns to Vienna) has been lost". This is not true. I taped it from the German television station ZDF some years ago, in excellent condition (better sound/picture quality than the materials on the DVD, sadly.) There it had the title: "Viva Italia". Apart from the misinformation and incompleteness of the release, it's especially sad for Welles fans because the Vienna episode is probably the best and most interesting of his semi-documentaries! Returning to the Harry Lime persona is just one of the highlights.. I still recommend the DVD though; thes travelogues are great fun! ... Read more


13. David and Goliath
Director: Richard Pottier, Ferdinando Baldi, Orson Welles
list price: $6.98
our price: $6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000D1FHV
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 36546
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story
5 stars for Orson, sure he mubbles his way through, but it's still Orson, and in colour. 5 stars for the story, God triumphs through this man.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two stars since I like Orson Welles.
Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .

This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.

I am not a grump, so here are the films good points.

1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)

2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.

3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.

4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.

5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!

Bad points:

1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.

2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.

3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.

4. Orson Welles is severely restrained: he is practically asleep as he delivers his lines. For crying out loud! He is the greatest Shakespearian actor America has produced! Can't you do something with him?

So, only if you have a severe like of Orson Welles (like me), or are a poor Sunday school teacher (like me), I don't recommend this film.. Stick with the claymation boy and his dog. OR read the primary text on your own!

1-0 out of 5 stars don't expect much
I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice.

1-0 out of 5 stars David and Goliath, Orson Wells as Saul.
Released as David And Goliath, this is a very enjoyable classic Bible story. On the cover it is billed as an Orson Wells picture, however, Wells does not take the prominent focus. This movie explores the opposite side of the Philistenes gearing up for war against Israel, an aspect not usually covered in Bible stories. If you like classic film, this is definitely one that should be seen.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gives peplum a bad name
Think of all the stereotypes one could conjure up about these Italian sword-and-sandal pictures, a good primer would be the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Bill Murray as a chubby Hercules. Awful dubbing, sets draped in gaudy colors, and sluggish action sequences. DAVID & GOLIATH has all these in spades, in the parlance of our time. I could just see the marquee now: "A film so bad, it needed TWO directors!" Keep in mind though that I'm actually a fan of the genre. But this film is utterly charmless and completely lacking in any energy and exuberance. Sadly, Orson Welles personifies many of these traits in his somnabulent performance as King Saul. He spends what little screen time he has shuffling around with a goblet of wine in hand and mumbles most of his lines. I know that he was doing this for the money so I just try to focus my mind on all the great films he directed. Ivo Payer plays a bland and athletic-looking David, Kronos is an equally poor Goliath, slow and ungainly. Massimo Serato, who has a long list of villainous roles, plays Saul's scheming advisor Abner with ease. Not bad, but not too special either. Worse yet, this production wavers between solemn Biblical tale and two-bit comic book action, and fails in both departments. The original story is dumbed down and robbed of much its complexity. But I don't object to that. I'm not a stickler for faithful literary adaptations. But DAVID & GOLIATH'S aforementioned lethargy accounts for its failure even as a simple adventure flick. Truly, this film was a David & Goliath struggle to get through. ... Read more


14. The Stranger / Orson Welles on Film
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305914842
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 28716
Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Quite a mix
This particular DVD version of "The Stranger" would have been much better without several of the so-called "extras." First, that annoying Delta logo that pops up in the lower right hand corner every so often. That should be the first to go. Second, the bizarre introduction and endnotes from Tony Curtis. What is that about? Lastly, the puny "Orson Welles On Film" documentary left a lot to be desired. It was mostly still photographs of Welles in various poses and long movie clips with some bland narration. For a much better documentary of Welles' career, I recommend "The Battle Over Citizen Kane."

You may wonder why I mentioned all this before talking about the movie itself...well, all the bells and whistles were distracting. However, I did enjoy the movie itself. Edward G. Robinson does a fine job as the Nazi hunter who has tracked down a fugitive (Welles) to a small Conneticut town. Orson Welles gives a quietly sinister performance as Rankin/Kindler; even his little "Mm-hms" are chilling, and when he scowls and glares, it's pretty intimidating. Loretta Young gets a little shrill as Rankin's dim bulb wife, but gives an adequate performance.

In summary: the film is well worth watching, especially for fans of Orson Welles. If you're going to buy it for keeps, however, you may want to look for another version that is better quality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aptly Titled
'The Stranger' is certainly an appropriate title. The film IS a strange one for director/actor Orson Welles ' it was uncharacteristically completed on time and under budget. It is also a fairly straight-ahead thriller that just barely has the 'Welles touch.' In fact, compared to Welles' other work, it seems'well, ordinary.

Welles plays a Nazi war criminal who has found refuge as a professor in a sleepy college town. This is the type of town where nothing much ever happens and the owner of the town's general store knows everyone and everything about them. When Edward G. Robinson comes to town looking for 'antiques,' suspicions are aroused, especially Welles'.

The best parts of 'The Stranger' are the cat-and-mouse game between Welles and Robinson as well as the relationship between Welles and his new wife Loretta Young. The film still holds up as a good thriller, but not a great one. The second half of the film feels too manipulated. You might say, 'But Welles was a MASTER of manipulation,' and you'd be right. But the difference here is in the manipulation of supporting characters who aren't given sufficient room to develop or to think.

The commentary track by Jeffrey Lyons is, unfortunately, unremarkable. Lyons spends much of his commentary giving us a resume of each film the actors made, rather than discussing the merits and qualities of the film. I was hoping that someone with the knowledge and expertise that Lyons possesses would give us more.

Although not as good as other Welles films, every film lover should watch the film to catch glimpses of greatness from Welles, Robinson, and Young.

95 minutes

4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth the admission price
A neat thriller from Welles. Perhaps his least ambitious film, but a good story well-told and well-acted.

Welles is the nazi war criminal hiding out in a small Connecticut town where he has become a valued member of the community.

Edward G Robinson, playing a good guy for a change, is the detective who tracks him down, and then has to prove who he is.

It isn't up there with Citizen Kane, or the Magnificent Ambersons, it isn't a movie that will have your jaw dropping at its extravagant brilliance and fire-work, box-of-tricks direction. But it is solid, it is entertaining and it is well-scripted.

Certainly any project with the Orson Welles stamp is worth watching and this, on its own terms, is a well-honed and interesting minor classic.

Welles is superb in the lead role. There's a wonderful bit of dialogue when his professorial nazi character is fielding questions on the German character. Somebody asks him about Karl Marx to disprove a point.

"Ah, but Marx wasn't a German, he was a jew," comes the telling response, delivered with such arrogance and conviction it makes you seethe.

Well worth the admission price.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well-paced thriller, atypical of Welles' style
The quality of this DVD is adequate: more watchable than the other Welles "Laserlight Classics," but nowhere near as sharp as, say, the recent DVD releases of "Citizen Kane" or "The Third Man." The bizarro Tony Curtis introduction is perhaps worth the price of admission alone! The bonus documentary is fairly perfunctory, but does contain some interesting and rarely seen trailers of Welles films.

On to the movie itself: In a scenario reminiscient of (but far less effective than) Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," Edward G. Robinson pursues the title character (Welles), who may or may not be an escaped Nazi, through a sleepy Connecticut town. Although "The Stranger" illustrates Welles' concerns that World War II did not spell the end of fascism, the film is by his own admission more of an attempt at profitable Hollywood product than an artistic statement. Despite this and the film's failure to live up to the inevitable comparison's with "Shadow of a Doubt," "The Stranger" remains a well-paced thriller, more enjoyable when considered apart from the rest of Welles' oeuvre. The trademark Welles style is evident in the South American prologue and the drugstore scenes, and the film achieves genuine suspense during the "paper chase" scene and the grand finale.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good film-noir
This is a very good film and one of the lesser-known film-noirs. Orson Welles is an escaped Nazi war criminal named Franz Kindler who hides out in a bucolic Connecticut town under an assumed name. He believes he can finally put his dark past behind him since nobody knows his true identity. He becomes a teacher at a prep school for boys and marries the headmaster's pretty but very naive daughter Mary, played very well by Loretta Young. Edward G. Robinson is also terrific in his role as a war crimes commissioner on Kindler's trail who shows up in town as an antique dealer. Welles and Robinson's characters play a cat & mouse game that ends in a dramatic climax atop the town's clock tower. At times Welles' performance comes off as over the top and the film can seem slightly melodramatic, but I believe those factors enhance the dense and brooding atmosphere. This is a good film with a simple plot and on cue performances that allow us to see the characters' motivations without being distracted by unimportant details. Richard Long and Martha Wentworth also star. Recommended! ... Read more


15. Mr. Arkadin
Director: Orson Welles
list price: $6.98
our price: $6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006AUGO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 36107
Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars How many Mr. Arkadins are there?
Viewing Orson Welles' film "Mr. Arkadin today is an experience similar to that the characters in his complex films would feel if they were real-mystery, confusion, frustration, fascination. Except for "Citizen Kane" and "The Trial" every one of Welles' movies--every one he completed that is--was taken over by its financial backers and reedited beyond comprehension. "Mr. Arkadin" is one of his most cryptic works not only because it was taken from its creator and reshaped, but because it was apparently reshaped several time by several different people. We don't have only one bastardized version, but several, at least 3. And according to Welles himself as quoted in Peter Bogdonavich's book "This is Orson Welles", none of these was even close to the story he wanted to tell. So "who is Mr. Arkardin?" is as pertinent a question when asked in the context of the film's story as it is when discussing the film itself. I myself have seen two distinct versions. One, a VHS tape of the "European" release of the film, re-titled "Confidential Report", the other this DVD Laserlight release of the later US release edit. Of the two, "Confidential Report" had the better edit and was also transfered from a much better print. This DVD version is certainly priced right, however--cant' beat Welles for under $4!

As for the film itself, in all its incarnations, "Arkadin" is a fascinating failure, obviously patched together on the run on a miniscule budget. The overall plot is intriguing (and begs to be remade from Orson's original script). A famous, mysterious billionaire, claiming amnesia, hires a sleazy golddigging bum to investigate his own past. To give away more would be evil, so I won't. Let's just say there are some clever twists and turns. Unfortunately, the film only works in spurts. There are quite a few masterful scenes, but they are only loosely connected, a s though only half the filming was completed and the movie had to be cobbled together at the last minute from what was on hand, whether it made sense or not. The awkward narration and many clumsy montages used to fill the gaps make this obvious.

Again, however, I must say that for movie lovers, film students, Welles freaks, or anyone else looking for something very different, you can't beat a Welles DVD for the price of a rental!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Welles' richest and most underrated fables
We will probably never know exactly what Orson Welles envisioned Mr. Arkadin to be, but even in its present state, it remains a commandable achievement and one of his most underrated films. His storytelling mastery is evident throughout, both in the sound and images. As in Citizen Kane, the main character's life is gradually explored, but this time it's the subject of the inquiry who started it himself; this brings the film in the territory of initiations and psychoanalysis. Seemingly to uncover his own past, Arkadin sends low-profile hood Guy Van Stratten in a complex initiatic quest, one in which the initiated is mostly lured by money and luxury. Like Kane, Arkadin takes shape mainly via other people's testimonies, and he undergoes his own type of initiation: for the very first time, he is stripped of the masks and disguises he always relied on, and he is scared at the perspective of his private self (his Jungian 'number 2' personality) being discovered by the only person he cares for. Fables are scattered throughout the film, and the movie itself is such a tale, Arkadin acting as its grand, imposing Ogre, a character possessing strange and far-reaching powers. His overbearing abilities are illustrated in various ways, notably through the film's rapidly changing settings (a device also used in The Trial). The work's depth can also be measured by this consideration: Mr. Arkadin's universe is a huge maze in which Arkadin himself is Minos, Dedalus and the Minotaur all at once. This dense, rich and dreamlike film has never really received its due.

2-0 out of 5 stars Extremely good story but terrible picture quality
I bought Orson Welles Citizen Kane and liked it so I decided to watch other Welles movies. I bought Mr. Arkadin because the DVD is cheap and rated high on IMDB. I should have buyed Touch of Evil instead. The quality of the picture is laughable, sometimes there are glitches in the sound during scene changes. Judging by the picture and sound quality I would say that they used equipment from the 30's to shoot and edit the movie and that the print used for that transfer was stored in a refrigerator during 45 years. Welles directing work is good but obviously he had to deal with the poor quality of the European movie industry of the 50's. Sometimes the picture shake, during the opening credits the captions are white on a white or gray background so we can't read everything. The editing is very poor, there are too many scene changes. When I bought this DVD I expected to receive the LaserLight version, instead I got a DVD made by Alpha Video. The case cover is different and there is no supplemental material. He was mastered cheaply on a PC with the SpruceUp DVD Maestro software, that seem to create problems, each time I try to play the disc on my computer the FBI warning message appear and then the disc eject. I didn't notice any audio syncing problems however. This movie is the perfect candidate for a remake. I give **** for the story and * for the overall quality of the movie.

2-0 out of 5 stars Third-rate Kane knockoff - by the man himself!
This film represents sort of an artistic low point for Welles. Presumably exhausted by his four-year ordeal of producing "Othello" and far removed from his Hollywood glory years, he attempted a comeback with this hodgepodge re-working of the "Citizen Kane" theme. The rich and mysterious Mr. Arkadin hires an investigator to research his past, presumably to keep his secrets away from his enemies. However, everyone interviewed by the private eye mysteriously dies! (This idea was realized more effectively in 1987's "Angel Heart"). Although this film showcases' Welles unique style far better than, say, "The Stranger," its utter lack of production values make the experience somewhat grueling. Welles shoots with a manic energy, but fails to reach the giddy heights of "The Lady from Shanghai" or the visual eloquence of "Othello." Fortunately, Welles gets some entertaining performances from his supporting cast, particularly Michael Redgrave as an effeminate shopkeeper and the ubiquitous Akim Tamiroff ("Touch of Evil's" Uncle Joe Grandi) as the kooky Jacob Zouk.

The Laserlight DVD transfer doesn't help matters. As noted, it's taken from a grainy, choppy, poorly synced public domain print. However, you do get an unintentionally funny Tony Curtis intro, as well as the chance to own a rarely seen Welles film for a budget price.

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor quality ruins the experience
I am referring to the Laser Light dvd edition of this film, which promises the best digital transfer of the film. That is great, but they used the worst print anyone could concieve to transfer! I taped this off of television awhile back and decided to buy a dvd version and this is 100 times worse than the version I taped myself on the slowest speed off of late night tv! In reading other reviews it appears that there is a much better VHS version and I would recommend that over this. Do not be fooled like I was with the fine condition of Welles' "The Trial" by Laser Light or the pipe smoking picture packaging of this. This version of Arkardin is a total waste of money. ... Read more


16. David and Goliath
Director: Richard Pottier, Ferdinando Baldi, Orson Welles
list price: $4.95
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00004WGC7
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 46501
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story
5 stars for Orson, sure he mubbles his way through, but it's still Orson, and in colour. 5 stars for the story, God triumphs through this man.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two stars since I like Orson Welles.
Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .

This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.

I am not a grump, so here are the films good points.

1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)

2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.

3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.

4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.

5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!

Bad points:

1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.

2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.

3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.

4. Orson Welles is severely restrained: he is practically asleep as he delivers his lines. For crying out loud! He is the greatest Shakespearian actor America has produced! Can't you do something with him?

So, only if you have a severe like of Orson Welles (like me), or are a poor Sunday school teacher (like me), I don't recommend this film.. Stick with the claymation boy and his dog. OR read the primary text on your own!

1-0 out of 5 stars don't expect much
I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice.

1-0 out of 5 stars David and Goliath, Orson Wells as Saul.
Released as David And Goliath, this is a very enjoyable classic Bible story. On the cover it is billed as an Orson Wells picture, however, Wells does not take the prominent focus. This movie explores the opposite side of the Philistenes gearing up for war against Israel, an aspect not usually covered in Bible stories. If you like classic film, this is definitely one that should be seen.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gives peplum a bad name
Think of all the stereotypes one could conjure up about these Italian sword-and-sandal pictures, a good primer would be the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Bill Murray as a chubby Hercules. Awful dubbing, sets draped in gaudy colors, and sluggish action sequences. DAVID & GOLIATH has all these in spades, in the parlance of our time. I could just see the marquee now: "A film so bad, it needed TWO directors!" Keep in mind though that I'm actually a fan of the genre. But this film is utterly charmless and completely lacking in any energy and exuberance. Sadly, Orson Welles personifies many of these traits in his somnabulent performance as King Saul. He spends what little screen time he has shuffling around with a goblet of wine in hand and mumbles most of his lines. I know that he was doing this for the money so I just try to focus my mind on all the great films he directed. Ivo Payer plays a bland and athletic-looking David, Kronos is an equally poor Goliath, slow and ungainly. Massimo Serato, who has a long list of villainous roles, plays Saul's scheming advisor Abner with ease. Not bad, but not too special either. Worse yet, this production wavers between solemn Biblical tale and two-bit comic book action, and fails in both departments. The original story is dumbed down and robbed of much its complexity. But I don't object to that. I'm not a stickler for faithful literary adaptations. But DAVID & GOLIATH'S aforementioned lethargy accounts for its failure even as a simple adventure flick. Truly, this film was a David & Goliath struggle to get through. ... Read more


17. The Magnificent Ambersons
Director: Orson Welles

Asin: B00005JKGX
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 57166
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

18. Chimes at Midnight
Director: Orson Welles

Asin: B00005JMMW
Catlog: DVD
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. David e Golia
Director: Richard Pottier, Ferdinando Baldi, Orson Welles
list price: $4.98
our price: $4.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005QJJG
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 55819
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story
5 stars for Orson, sure he mubbles his way through, but it's still Orson, and in colour. 5 stars for the story, God triumphs through this man.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two stars since I like Orson Welles.
Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .

This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.

I am not a grump, so here are the films good points.

1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)

2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.

3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.

4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.

5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!

Bad points:

1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.

2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.

3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.

4. Orson Welles is severely restrained: he is practically asleep as he delivers his lines. For crying out loud! He is the greatest Shakespearian actor America has produced! Can't you do something with him?

So, only if you have a severe like of Orson Welles (like me), or are a poor Sunday school teacher (like me), I don't recommend this film.. Stick with the claymation boy and his dog. OR read the primary text on your own!

1-0 out of 5 stars don't expect much
I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice.

1-0 out of 5 stars David and Goliath, Orson Wells as Saul.
Released as David And Goliath, this is a very enjoyable classic Bible story. On the cover it is billed as an Orson Wells picture, however, Wells does not take the prominent focus. This movie explores the opposite side of the Philistenes gearing up for war against Israel, an aspect not usually covered in Bible stories. If you like classic film, this is definitely one that should be seen.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gives peplum a bad name
Think of all the stereotypes one could conjure up about these Italian sword-and-sandal pictures, a good primer would be the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Bill Murray as a chubby Hercules. Awful dubbing, sets draped in gaudy colors, and sluggish action sequences. DAVID & GOLIATH has all these in spades, in the parlance of our time. I could just see the marquee now: "A film so bad, it needed TWO directors!" Keep in mind though that I'm actually a fan of the genre. But this film is utterly charmless and completely lacking in any energy and exuberance. Sadly, Orson Welles personifies many of these traits in his somnabulent performance as King Saul. He spends what little screen time he has shuffling around with a goblet of wine in hand and mumbles most of his lines. I know that he was doing this for the money so I just try to focus my mind on all the great films he directed. Ivo Payer plays a bland and athletic-looking David, Kronos is an equally poor Goliath, slow and ungainly. Massimo Serato, who has a long list of villainous roles, plays Saul's scheming advisor Abner with ease. Not bad, but not too special either. Worse yet, this production wavers between solemn Biblical tale and two-bit comic book action, and fails in both departments. The original story is dumbed down and robbed of much its complexity. But I don't object to that. I'm not a stickler for faithful literary adaptations. But DAVID & GOLIATH'S aforementioned lethargy accounts for its failure even as a simple adventure flick. Truly, this film was a David & Goliath struggle to get through. ... Read more


20. David e Golia
Director: Richard Pottier, Ferdinando Baldi, Orson Welles
list price: $7.98
our price: $7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001A79O4
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 54045
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story
5 stars for Orson, sure he mubbles his way through, but it's still Orson, and in colour. 5 stars for the story, God triumphs through this man.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two stars since I like Orson Welles.
Even Orson Welles couldn't save this movie. If the had let him direct and edit, maybe . . .

This is a late 1950's-ish biblical epics that rode the wake of "Ten Commandments" and "Ben-Hur." But is is really a pale comparison.

I am not a grump, so here are the films good points.

1. They try. (Don't worry-this list gets better!)

2. They are smart enough to put Orson Welles in a movie. Admittedly, this is the "Fat Orson" that you see in "The Trial (Le Process)" and "Touch Of Evil," but it is kind of fun to see his largish blue eyes in color.

3. They use the King James English, so it has the pseudo-Shakespearian fell to the dialogue. My denomination uses the King James Bible so I appreciated the poetry and flow of the language. It gives a sense of importance to what is being said, like Yoda's backwards-speak.

4. To their credit, they use the camera correctly, and try (that word again) to do a "deep focus" approach to cinematography. So it is fun to look at.

5. I like casting Ivo Payer as David. He looks like the early Second Century depictions of Jesus Christ. Not like the pious olive complexioned and rather effeminate figure we see nowadays, but more like the robust Apollo. Good job!

Bad points:

1. This film has horrible pacing. It is long and drawn out in all the wrong areas. They could have cut 30 minutes off this film, and it would be fine.

2. The copy is bad and scratchy, so it looks like the old reel-to-reels I used to watch in kindergarten.

3. They spend a lot of time focusing on Goliath, but to not point. It is more to show off special effects. I'm fine with minimal liberties taken with a story, but then need to have a reason for being in a movie.

4. Orson Welles is severely restrained: he is practically asleep as he delivers his lines. For crying out loud! He is the greatest Shakespearian actor America has produced! Can't you do something with him?

So, only if you have a severe like of Orson Welles (like me), or are a poor Sunday school teacher (like me), I don't recommend this film.. Stick with the claymation boy and his dog. OR read the primary text on your own!

1-0 out of 5 stars don't expect much
I bought this DVD ...and could tell from the packaging it was nothing spectacular. I was right. If you're looking for a better rendition of the story of David and Goliath, though, I'm not sure what to tell you. There aren't many to choose from. I think Orson does okay for Saul and the guy playing Goliath is a giant, but not ridiculously huge. He still looks human, but acts retarded. David, on the other hand does much to ruin the movie as he looks more like an aspiring body builder than a shepherd or musician as he flaunts his way through the film. Also I think it's trite the way he practically becomes Jesus on his first trip to Jerusalem with his persecuted sadness at the sins of the capitol city. The daughters of Saul are pretty and almost make the film interesting as one coaxes Abner to villainy while the other coaxes David to righteousness. The scenes are incredibly drawn out and a 90 minute movie feels like three or four hours. If you put this one on fast-forward, you won't even notice.

1-0 out of 5 stars David and Goliath, Orson Wells as Saul.
Released as David And Goliath, this is a very enjoyable classic Bible story. On the cover it is billed as an Orson Wells picture, however, Wells does not take the prominent focus. This movie explores the opposite side of the Philistenes gearing up for war against Israel, an aspect not usually covered in Bible stories. If you like classic film, this is definitely one that should be seen.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gives peplum a bad name
Think of all the stereotypes one could conjure up about these Italian sword-and-sandal pictures, a good primer would be the Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Bill Murray as a chubby Hercules. Awful dubbing, sets draped in gaudy colors, and sluggish action sequences. DAVID & GOLIATH has all these in spades, in the parlance of our time. I could just see the marquee now: "A film so bad, it needed TWO directors!" Keep in mind though that I'm actually a fan of the genre. But this film is utterly charmless and completely lacking in any energy and exuberance. Sadly, Orson Welles personifies many of these traits in his somnabulent performance as King Saul. He spends what little screen time he has shuffling around with a goblet of wine in hand and mumbles most of his lines. I know that he was doing this for the money so I just try to focus my mind on all the great films he directed. Ivo Payer plays a bland and athletic-looking David, Kronos is an equally poor Goliath, slow and ungainly. Massimo Serato, who has a long list of villainous roles, plays Saul's scheming advisor Abner with ease. Not bad, but not too special either. Worse yet, this production wavers between solemn Biblical tale and two-bit comic book action, and fails in both departments. The original story is dumbed down and robbed of much its complexity. But I don't object to that. I'm not a stickler for faithful literary adaptations. But DAVID & GOLIATH'S aforementioned lethargy accounts for its failure even as a simple adventure flick. Truly, this film was a David & Goliath struggle to get through. ... Read more


1-20 of 21       1   2   Next 20
Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

Top