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Orson Welles

Picture of Orson Welles.

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985), best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio. Noted for his innovative dramatic productions as well as his distinctive voice and personality, Welles is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the twentieth century, especially for his significant and influential early work—despite his notoriously contentious relationship with Hollywood.

His distinctive directorial style featured layered, nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unique camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. Welles’s long career in film is noted for his struggle for artistic control in the face of pressure from studios. Many of his films were heavily edited and others left unreleased. He has been praised as a major creative force and as “the ultimate auteur.”

After directing a number of high-profile theatrical productions in his early twenties, including an innovative adaptation of Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to instant notoriety.

Citizen Kane (1941), his first film with RKO, in which he starred in the role of Charles Foster Kane, is often considered the greatest film ever made. Several of his other films, including The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1974), are also widely considered to be masterpieces.

In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two separate British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time. Well known for his baritone voice, Welles was also an extremely well regarded actor and was voted number 16 in AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list of the greatest American film actors of all time. He was also a celebrated Shakespearean stage actor and an accomplished magician, starring in troop variety shows in the war years.

Born: Born: May 6, 1915 In Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA


2021: The Masque of the Red Death
2020: Hopper/Welles
2019: The Welles Raft
2018: The Eyes of Orson Welles
2018: Jeanne Moreau: Free Spirit
2018: They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
2018: The Other Side of the Wind
2015: This Is Orson Welles
2015: The Merchant of Venice
2014: Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
2013: Talking Pictures
2013: Too Much Johnson
2010: Orson Welles: The Paris Interview
2007: The Deep
2005: The Well
2005: The Other Side of Welles
2005: Filmmakers vs. Tycoons
2004: The Hitch Hiker
2003: Rita
2003: Modern Art – A Complete Guide
2002: Lost in La Mancha
2001: A Huey P. Newton Story
2001: NASA: A Space Odyssey Vol. 3
2000: L’affaire Dominici par Orson Welles
2000: Moby Dick
2000: Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces
1997: Tudo é Brasil
1995: A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
1995: The Battle Over Citizen Kane
1995: Orson Welles: The One-Man Band
1993: Working with Orson Welles
1993: La Classe américaine
1993: It’s All True
1992: Don Quixote
1990: Rita Hayworth: Dancing Into the Dream
1990: With Orson Welles: Stories from a Life in Film
1988: Someone to Love
1986: The Transformers: The Movie
1985: Orson Welles’ Magic Show
1985: Moonlighting
1985: Scene of the Crime (US)
1984: Where Is Parsifal?
1984: The Spirit of Charles Lindbergh
1984: The Road to Bresson
1984: The Last Sailors: The Final Days of Working Sail
1983: Hot Money
1983: Orson Welles in the french Cinematheque
1983: The Greatest Adventure–The Story of Man’s Voyage to the Moon
1982: The Quest for Fire Adventure
1982: Orson Welles’ The Dreamers
1982: Arena: The Orson Welles Story
1982: Butterfly
1982: Slapstick (Of Another Kind)
1981: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
1981: Filming ‘The Trial’
1981: History of the World: Part I
1981: The Enchanted Journey
1980: A Step Away
1980: The Secret of Nikola Tesla
1980: The Greenstone
1980: Shogun
1980: Magnum P.I
1979: The Late, Great Planet Earth
1979: The Orson Welles Show
1979: The Muppet Movie
1979: Soft Self-Portrait of Salvador Dali
1978: Tut: The Boy King
1978: The Force Beyond
1978: Mysterious Castles of Clay
1978: A Woman Called Moses
1978: The Biggest Battle
1978: Filming Othello
1977: From Fiber to Fabric: Wool’s a Natural
1977: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
1977: It Happened One Christmas
1977: Hot Tomorrows
1976: F for Fake Trailer
1976: Voyage of the Damned
1975: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi
1975: Who’s Out There?
1975: F for Fake
1975: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
1975: AFI Tribute to Orson Welles
1975: Bugs Bunny: Superstar
1974: The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts
1974: And then there were none
1974: The Challenge… A Tribute to Modern Art
1973: The Cave
1973: The Battle of Sutjeska
1973: Orson Welles’ Great Mysteries
1972: Get to Know Your Rabbit
1972: Future Shock
1972: Necromancy
1972: Treasure Island
1972: Don Quixote
1971: Sentinels of Silence
1971: Malpertuis
1971: The Wings of Man
1971: Freedom River
1971: Flames of Persia
1971: V.I.P. Schaukel
1971: Ten Days Wonder
1971: London
1971: Directed by John Ford
1971: A Safe Place
1970: Catch-22
1970: A Horse Called Nijinsky
1970: Upon This Rock
1970: Start the Revolution Without Me
1970: The Kremlin Letter
1970: Waterloo
1970: Is It Always Right to Be Right?
1970: Night Gallery
1970: The Golden Honeymoon
1969: Tepepa
1969: To Build a Fire
1969: The Fight for Rome II – The Betrayal
1969: The Southern Star
1969: Twelve Plus One
1969: The Battle of Neretva
1968: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
1968: Portrait: Orson Welles
1968: Oedipus the King
1968: Vienna
1968: The Immortal Story
1968: The Fight for Rome
1968: House of Cards
1968: Around the World of Mike Todd
1968: The Dick Cavett Show
1967: The Sailor from Gibraltar
1967: Ten Days That Shook the World
1967: Casino Royale
1967: I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname
1966: Orson Welles in Spain
1966: Is Paris Burning?
1966: A Man for All Seasons
1965: Chimes at Midnight
1965: A King’s Story
1965: Marco the Magnificent
1964: Nella terra di Don Chisciotte
1964: The Finest Hours
1963: La ricotta
1963: Ro.Go.Pa.G.
1963: The V.I.P.s
1963: Hollywood and the Stars
1962: Lafayette
1962: The Trial
1961: The Tartars
1961: King of Kings
1960: Crack in the Mirror
1960: David and Goliath
1959: Compulsion
1959: High Journey
1959: Ferry to Hong Kong
1958: Touch of Evil
1958: The Long, Hot Summer
1958: The Fountain of Youth
1958: The Roots of Heaven
1958: The Vikings
1957: Man in the Shadow
1956: Moby Dick
1956: The Steve Allen Show
1955: Three Cases of Murder
1955: Mr. Arkadin
1955: Napoleon
1955: Moby Dick Rehearsed
1955: Orson Welles’ Sketch Book
1955: Around the World with Orson Welles
1955: The Land of the Basques
1955: Orson Welles’ Sketchbook
1954: Royal Affairs in Versailles
1954: Trouble in the Glen
1953: Return to Glennascaul: A Story That Is Told in Dublin
1953: King Lear
1952: Man, Beast, and Virtue
1952: Trent’s Last Case
1952: Omnibus
1951: I Love Lucy
1951: Hallmark Hall of Fame
1951: Othello
1950: What’s My Line?
1950: The Black Rose
1949: Disorder
1949: Black Magic
1949: The Third Man
1949: Prince of Foxes
1948: The Ed Sullivan Show
1948: Macbeth
1947: The Lady from Shanghai
1946: The Stranger
1946: Tomorrow Is Forever
1946: Battle for Survival
1946: Duel in the Sun
1944: Follow the Boys
1943: Journey into Fear
1943: Jane Eyre
1943: Show-Business at War
1942: The Magnificent Ambersons
1941: Citizen Kane
1940: Swiss Family Robinson
1939: The Green Goddess
1937: The Spanish Earth
1934: The Hearts of Age

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