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Orson Welles

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Gender Male
Death37 years ago
Date of birth May 6,1915
Zodiac sign Taurus
Born Kenosha
Wisconsin
United States
Date of died October 10,1985
DiedHollywood
Los Angeles
California
United States
Spouse Paola Mori
Rita Hayworth
Virginia Nicholson
Height 187 (cm)
Education Todd Seminary for Boys
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Children Rebecca Welles
Beatrice Welles
Christopher Welles Feder
ParentsRichard Head Welles
Beatrice Ives
Grandchildren Marc McKerrow

This is Orson Welles
Les Bravades
Orson Welles on Shakespeare
The big brass ring
The Cradle Will Rock: An Original Screenplay
The Trial
Radio's Greatest Detectives
The Masterworks of Orson Welles
Citizen Kane: The Complete Screenplay
Mr. Arkadin: Aka Confidential Report: The Secret Sordid Life of an International Tycoon
The Orson Welles Library
War of Worlds: Original Broadcast
The Golden Age of Radio
Io, Orson Welles
Sed de mal[: Touch of evil
Orson Welles
Este e Orson Welles
Monsieur Arkadin
Citizen Cane Book
Les Misérables: Radio Drama of the Classic Victor Hugo Masterpiece
W W W W. Wars of worlds of Wells and Welles
The Merchant of Venice: Revised Edition
Rip Van Winkle Renascent
The Life Of Jesus: Jesus Of Nazareth
The Merchant of Venice: Macbeth
Magic Lens: The Transformation of the Visual Arts in the Narrative World of Carlos Fuentes
Treasure Island
Seven Plays by William Shakespeare: With Transgender Characters, Plus Hamlet
Almanac - Dramatic Readings
This is Orson Welles
This is Orson Welles
The War of the Worlds
Orson Welles: Interviews
This is Orson Welles
War of Worlds: Original Broadcast
Citizen Kane: The Complete Screenplay
Orson Welles
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Date of Upd.
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Orson Welles Life story


George Orson Welles was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed 23-year-old Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as the title character, Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965) and F for Fake (1973). His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur".: 6 Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was posthumously released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician, noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. In 2018, he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph.

Early life


George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a son of Richard Head Welles (1872–1930): 26  and Beatrice Ives Welles (née Beatrice Lucy Ives; 1883–1924).: 9  He was named after one of his great-grandfathers, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, and his brother George Head.: 37  An alternative story of the source of his first and middle names was told by George Ade, who met Welles's parents on a West Indies cruise toward the end of 1914. Ade was traveling with a friend, Orson Wells (no relation), and the two of them sat at the same table as Mr. and Mrs. Richard Welles. Mrs. Welles was pregnant at the time, and when they said goodbye, she told them that she had enjoyed their company so much that if the child were a boy, she intended to name him after them: George Orson.Despite his family's affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles's mother, a pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Art Institute of Chicago to support her son and herself; the oldest Welles boy, "Dickie", was institutionalized at an early age because he had learning difficulties. Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital on May 10, 1924, just after Welles's ninth birthday.: 3–5  : 326  The Gordon String Quartet, a predecessor to the Berkshire String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrice's funeral.After his mother's death, Welles ceased pursuing music. It was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in the village of Wyoming in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward.: 8  There, he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, including the 12-year-old Prince Aly Khan. Then, in what Welles later described as "a hectic period" in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician who had been a close friend of both his parents. Welles briefly attended public school: 133  before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East. When they returned, they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, Illinois, that was owned by his father. When the hotel burned down, Welles and his father took to the road again.: 9 "During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom," wrote biographer Frank Brady.: 9 "In some ways, he was never really a young boy, you know," said Roger Hill, who became Welles's teacher and lifelong friend.: 24 

Welles briefly attended public school in Madison, Wisconsin, enrolled in the fourth grade.: 9  On September 15, 1926, he entered the Todd Seminary for Boys,: 3  an expensive independent school in Woodstock, Illinois, that his older brother, Richard Ives Welles, had attended ten years before until he was expelled for misbehavior.: 48  At Todd School, Welles came under the influence of Roger Hill, a teacher who was later Todd's headmaster. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there.

"Todd provided Welles with many valuable experiences," wrote critic Richard France. "He was able to explore and experiment in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. In addition to a theatre, the school's own radio station was at his disposal.": 27  Welles's first radio experience was on the Todd station, where he performed an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that was written by him.: 7 On December 28, 1930, when Welles was 15, his father died of heart and kidney failure at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago. Shortly before this, Welles had announced to his father that he would stop seeing him, believing it would prompt his father to refrain from drinking. As a result, Orson felt guilty because he believed his father had drunk himself to death because of him. His father's will left it to Orson to name his guardian. When Roger Hill declined, Welles chose Maurice Bernstein.: 71–72 Following graduation from Todd in May 1931,: 3  Welles was awarded a scholarship to Harvard College, while his mentor Roger Hill advocated he attend Cornell College in Iowa. Rather than enrolling, he chose travel. He studied for a few weeks at the Art Institute of Chicago: 117  with Boris Anisfeld, who encouraged him to pursue painting.: 18 Welles occasionally returned to Woodstock, the place he eventually named when he was asked in a 1960 interview, "Where is home?" Welles replied, "I suppose it's Woodstock, Illinois, if it's anywhere. I went to school there for four years. If I try to think of a home, it's that."

Early career (1931–1935)


After his father's death, Welles traveled to Europe using a small portion of his inheritance. Welles said that while on a walking and painting trip through Ireland, he strode into the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claimed he was a Broadway star. The manager of the Gate, Hilton Edwards, later said he had not believed him but was impressed by his brashness and an impassioned audition he gave.: 134  Welles made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre on October 13, 1931, appearing in Ashley Dukes's adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg. He performed small supporting roles in subsequent Gate productions, and he produced and designed productions of his own in Dublin. In March 1932, Welles performed in W. Somerset Maugham's The Circle at Dublin's Abbey Theatre and traveled to London to find additional work in the theatre. Unable to obtain a work permit, he returned to the U.S.: 327–330 Welles found his fame ephemeral and turned to a writing project at Todd School that became immensely successful, first entitled Everybody's Shakespeare and subsequently, The Mercury Shakespeare. Welles traveled to North Africa while working on thousands of illustrations for the Everybody's Shakespeare series of educational books, a series that remained in print for decades.In 1933, Roger and Hortense Hill invited Welles to a party in Chicago, where Welles met Thornton Wilder. Wilder arranged for Welles to meet Alexander Woollcott in New York in order that he be introduced to Katharine Cornell, who was assembling a repertory theatre company. Cornell's husband, director Guthrie McClintic, immediately put Welles under contract and cast him in three plays.: 46–49  Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Candida toured in repertory for 36 weeks beginning in November 1933, with the first of more than 200 performances taking place in Buffalo, New York.: 330–331 In 1934, Welles got his first job on radio—with The American School of the Air—through actor-director Paul Stewart, who introduced him to director Knowles Entrikin.: 331  That summer, Welles staged a drama festival with the Todd School at the Opera House in Woodstock, Illinois, inviting Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards from Dublin's Gate Theatre to appear along with New York stage luminaries in productions including Trilby, Hamlet, The Drunkard and Tsar Paul. At the old firehouse in Woodstock, he also shot his first film, an eight-minute short titled, The Hearts of Age.: 330–331 On November 14, 1934, Welles married Chicago socialite and actress Virginia Nicolson: 332  (often misspelled "Nicholson") in a civil ceremony in New York. To appease the Nicolsons, who were furious at the couple's elopement, a formal ceremony took place December 23, 1934, at the New Jersey mansion of the bride's godmother. Welles wore a cutaway borrowed from his friend George Macready.: 182 

A revised production of Katharine Cornell's Romeo and Juliet opened December 20, 1934, at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York.: 331–332  The Broadway production brought the 19-year-old Welles (now playing Tybalt) to the notice of John Houseman, a theatrical producer who was casting the lead role in the debut production of one of Archibald MacLeish's verse plays, Panic.: 144–158  On March 22, 1935, Welles made his debut on the CBS Radio series The March of Time, performing a scene from Panic for a news report on the stage production: 70–71 By 1935, Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theatre as a radio actor in Manhattan, working with many actors who later formed the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America's Hour, Cavalcade of America, Columbia Workshop and The March of Time.: 331–332  "Within a year of his debut Welles could claim membership in that elite band of radio actors who commanded salaries second only to the highest paid movie stars," wrote critic Richard France.: 172 

Theatre (1936–1938)


Federal Theatre Project


Part of the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Theatre Project (1935–39) was a New Deal program to fund theatre and other live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States during the Great Depression. It was created as a relief measure to employ artists, writers, directors and theatre workers. Under national director Hallie Flanagan it was shaped into a truly national theatre that created relevant art, encouraged experimentation and innovation, and made it possible for millions of Americans to see live theatre for the first time.

John Houseman, director of the Negro Theatre Unit in New York, invited Welles to join the Federal Theatre Project in 1935. Far from unemployed—"I was so employed I forgot how to sleep"—Welles put a large share of his $1,500-a-week radio earnings into his stage productions, bypassing administrative red tape and mounting the projects more quickly and professionally. "Roosevelt once said that I was the only operator in history who ever illegally siphoned money into a Washington project," Welles said.: 11–13 The Federal Theatre Project was the ideal environment in which Welles could develop his art. Its purpose was employment, so he was able to hire any number of artists, craftsmen and technicians, and he filled the stage with performers.: 3  The company for the first production, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth with an entirely African-American cast, numbered 150. The production became known as the Voodoo Macbeth because Welles changed the setting to a mythical island suggesting the Haitian court of King Henri Christophe,: 179–180  with Haitian vodou fulfilling the role of Scottish witchcraft.: 86  The play opened April 14, 1936, at the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem and was received rapturously. At 20, Welles was hailed as a prodigy. The production then made a 4,000-mile national tour: 333  that included two weeks at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas.Next mounted was the farce Horse Eats Hat, an adaptation by Welles and Edwin Denby of The Italian Straw Hat, an 1851 five-act farce by Eugène Marin Labiche and Marc-Michel.: 114  The play was presented September 26 – December 5, 1936, at Maxine Elliott's Theatre, New York,: 334  and featured Joseph Cotten in his first starring role.: 34  It was followed by an adaptation of Dr. Faustus that used light as a prime unifying scenic element in a nearly black stage, presented January 8 – May 9, 1937, at Maxine Elliott's Theatre.: 335 Outside the scope of the Federal Theatre Project,: 100  American composer Aaron Copland chose Welles to direct The Second Hurricane (1937), an operetta with a libretto by Edwin Denby. Presented at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in New York for the benefit of high school students, the production opened April 21, 1937, and ran its scheduled three performances.: 337 In 1937, Welles rehearsed Marc Blitzstein's political operetta, The Cradle Will Rock. It was originally scheduled to open June 16, 1937, in its first public preview. Because of severe federal cutbacks in the Works Progress projects, the show's premiere at the Maxine Elliott Theatre was canceled. The theater was locked and guarded to prevent any government-purchased materials from being used for a commercial production of the work. In a last-minute move, Welles announced to waiting ticket-holders that the show was being transferred to the Venice, 20 blocks away. Some cast, and some crew and audience, walked the distance on foot. The union musicians refused to perform in a commercial theater for lower non-union government wages. The actors' union stated that the production belonged to the Federal Theatre Project and could not be performed outside that context without permission. Lacking the participation of the union members, The Cradle Will Rock began with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment on stage with some cast members performing from the audience. This impromptu performance was well received by its audience.

Mercury Theatre


Breaking with the Federal Theatre Project in 1937, Welles and Houseman founded their own repertory company, which they called the Mercury Theatre. The name was inspired by the title of the iconoclastic magazine The American Mercury.: 119–120  Welles was executive producer, and the original company included such actors as Joseph Cotten, George Coulouris, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, John Hoyt, Norman Lloyd, Vincent Price, Stefan Schnabel and Hiram Sherman.

"I think he was the greatest directorial talent we've ever had in the [American] theater," Lloyd said of Welles in a 2014 interview. "When you saw a Welles production, you saw the text had been affected, the staging was remarkable, the sets were unusual, music, sound, lighting, a totality of everything. We had not had such a man in our theater. He was the first and remains the greatest."The Mercury Theatre opened November 11, 1937, with Caesar, Welles's modern-dress adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy Julius Caesar—streamlined into an anti-fascist tour de force that Joseph Cotten later described as "so vigorous, so contemporary that it set Broadway on its ear.": 108  The set was completely open with no curtain, and the brick stage wall was painted dark red. Scene changes were achieved by lighting alone.: 165  On the stage was a series of risers; squares were cut into one at intervals and lights were set beneath it, pointing straight up to evoke the "cathedral of light" at the Nuremberg Rallies. "He staged it like a political melodrama that happened the night before," said Lloyd.Beginning January 1, 1938, Caesar was performed in repertory with The Shoemaker's Holiday; both productions moved to the larger National Theatre. They were followed by Heartbreak House (April 29, 1938) and Danton's Death (November 5, 1938).: 344  As well as being presented in a pared-down oratorio version at the Mercury Theatre on Sunday nights in December 1937, The Cradle Will Rock was at the Windsor Theatre for 13 weeks (January 4 – April 2, 1938).: 340  Such was the success of the Mercury Theatre that Welles appeared on the cover of Time magazine, in full makeup as Captain Shotover in Heartbreak House, in the issue dated May 9, 1938—three days after his 23rd birthday.On April 6, 1938, during a production of Caesar, Orson Welles accidentally stabbed Joseph Holland with a steel knife during Act 3 Scene 1 where Brutus betrays Caesar, a real knife being used for the way it dramatically caught light during the scene. Holland took a month to recover from the injury, and this incident permanently damaged relations between the two.

Radio (1936–1940)


Simultaneously with his work in the theatre, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.: 77  Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air. While he was directing the Voodoo Macbeth Welles was dashing between Harlem and midtown Manhattan three times a day to meet his radio commitments.: 172 In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio's Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series' April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish's verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career: 78  and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.: 46 In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables. It was his first job as a writer-director for radio,: 338  the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre, and one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements.: 160  He invented the use of narration in radio.: 88 "By making himself the center of the storytelling process, Welles fostered the impression of self-adulation that was to haunt his career to his dying day", wrote critic Andrew Sarris. "For the most part, however, Welles was singularly generous to the other members of his cast and inspired loyalty from them above and beyond the call of professionalism.": 8 That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.: 83 

The Mercury Theatre on the Air


After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air.: 12  The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.

The Mercury Theatre's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame. The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question. Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion. The myth of the result created by the combination was reported as fact around the world and disparagingly mentioned by Adolf Hitler in a public speech.

Welles's growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse. The Mercury Theatre on the Air made its last broadcast on December 4, 1938, and The Campbell Playhouse began five days later.

Welles began commuting from California to New York for the two Sunday broadcasts of The Campbell Playhouse after signing a film contract with RKO Pictures in August 1939. In November 1939, production of the show moved from New York to Los Angeles.: 353 After 20 shows, Campbell began to exercise more creative control and had complete control over story selection. As his contract with Campbell came to an end, Welles chose not to sign on for another season. After the broadcast of March 31, 1940, Welles and Campbell parted amicably.: 221–226 

Hollywood (1939–1948)


RKO Radio Pictures president George Schaefer eventually offered Welles what generally is considered the greatest contract offered to a filmmaker, much less to one who was untried. Engaging him to write, produce, direct and perform in two motion pictures, the contract subordinated the studio's financial interests to Welles's creative control, and broke all precedent by granting Welles the right of final cut.: 1–2  After signing a summary agreement with RKO on July 22, Welles signed a full-length 63-page contract August 21, 1939.: 353  The agreement was bitterly resented by the Hollywood studios and persistently mocked in the trade press.: 2 

Citizen Kane


RKO rejected Welles's first two movie proposals, but agreed on the third offer—Citizen Kane. Welles co-wrote, produced and directed the film, and he performed the lead role. Welles conceived the project with screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who was writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse.: 16  Mankiewicz based the original outline of the film script on the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially and came to hate after being exiled from Hearst's circle.: 231 After agreeing on the storyline and character, Welles supplied Mankiewicz with 300 pages of notes and put him under contract to write the first draft screenplay under the supervision of John Houseman. Welles wrote his own draft,: 54  then drastically condensed and rearranged both versions and added scenes of his own. The industry accused Welles of underplaying Mankiewicz's contribution to the script, but Welles countered the attacks by saying, "At the end, naturally, I was the one making the picture, after all—who had to make the decisions. I used what I wanted of Mank's and, rightly or wrongly, kept what I liked of my own.": 54 Welles's project attracted some of Hollywood's best technicians, including cinematographer Gregg Toland. For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre. Filming Citizen Kane took ten weeks.Hearst's newspapers barred all reference to Citizen Kane and exerted enormous pressure on the Hollywood film community to force RKO to shelve the film.: 111  RKO chief George Schaefer received a cash offer from MGM's Louis B. Mayer and other major studio executives if he would destroy the negative and existing prints of the film.: 112 While waiting for Citizen Kane to be released, Welles produced and directed the original Broadway production of Native Son, a drama written by Paul Green and Richard Wright based on Wright's novel. Starring Canada Lee, the show ran March 24 – June 28, 1941, at the St. James Theatre. The Mercury Production was the last time Welles and Houseman worked together.: 12 Citizen Kane was given a limited release and the film received overwhelming critical praise. It was voted the best picture of 1941 by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle. The film garnered nine Academy Award nominations but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. Variety reported that block voting by screen extras deprived Citizen Kane of Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor (Welles), and similar prejudices were likely to have been responsible for the film receiving no technical awards.: 117 The delay in the film's release and uneven distribution contributed to mediocre results at the box office. After it ran its course theatrically, Citizen Kane was retired to the vault in 1942. In postwar France, however, the film's reputation grew after it was seen for the first time in 1946.: 117–118  In the United States, it began to be re-evaluated after it began to appear on television in 1956. That year it was also re-released theatrically,: 119  and film critic Andrew Sarris described it as "the great American film" and "the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since The Birth of a Nation." Citizen Kane is now widely hailed as one of the greatest films ever made.

The Magnificent Ambersons


Welles's second film for RKO was The Magnificent Ambersons, adapted by Welles from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named cinematographer. The meticulous Cortez worked slowly and the film lagged behind schedule and over budget. Prior to production, Welles's contract was renegotiated, revoking his right to control the final cut. The Magnificent Ambersons was in production October 28, 1941 – January 22, 1942.Throughout the shooting of the film Welles was also producing a weekly half-hour radio series, The Orson Welles Show. Many of the Ambersons cast participated in the CBS Radio series, which ran from September 15, 1941, to February 2, 1942.: 525 

Journey into Fear


At RKO's request, Welles worked on an adaptation of Eric Ambler's spy thriller Journey into Fear, co-written with Joseph Cotten. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was the producer. Direction was credited to Norman Foster. Welles later said that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was determined by whoever was closest to the camera.: 165 Journey into Fear was in production January 6 – March 12, 1942.

War work


Goodwill ambassador


In late November 1941, Welles was appointed as a goodwill ambassador to Latin America by Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and a principal stockholder in RKO Radio Pictures.: 244  The mission of the OCIAA was cultural diplomacy, promoting hemispheric solidarity and countering the growing influence of the Axis powers in Latin America.: 10–11  John Hay Whitney, head of the agency's Motion Picture Division, was asked by the Brazilian government to produce a documentary of the annual Rio Carnival celebration taking place in early February 1942.: 40–41  In a telegram on December 20, 1941, Whitney wrote Welles, "Personally believe you would make great contribution to hemisphere solidarity with this project.": 65 The OCIAA sponsored cultural tours to Latin America and appointed goodwill ambassadors including George Balanchine and the American Ballet, Bing Crosby, Aaron Copland, Walt Disney, John Ford and Rita Hayworth. Welles was thoroughly briefed in Washington, D.C., immediately before his departure for Brazil, and film scholar Catherine L. Benamou, a specialist in Latin American affairs, finds it "not unlikely" that he was among the goodwill ambassadors who were asked to gather intelligence for the U.S. government in addition to their cultural duties. She concludes that Welles's acceptance of Whitney's request was "a logical and patently patriotic choice".: 245–247 In addition to working on his ill-fated film project It's All True, Welles was responsible for radio programs, lectures, interviews and informal talks as part of his OCIAA-sponsored cultural mission, which was regarded as a success.: 192  He spoke on topics ranging from Shakespeare to visual art at gatherings of Brazil's elite, and his two intercontinental radio broadcasts in April 1942 were particularly intended to tell U.S. audiences that President Vargas was a partner with the Allies. Welles's ambassadorial mission was extended to permit his travel to other nations including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.: 247–249, 328  Welles worked for more than half a year with no compensation.: 41, 328 : 189 Welles's own expectations for the film were modest. "It's All True was not going to make any cinematic history, nor was it intended to," he later said. "It was intended to be a perfectly honorable execution of my job as a goodwill ambassador, bringing entertainment to the Northern Hemisphere that showed them something about the Southern one.": 253 

It's All True


In July 1941, Welles conceived It's All True as an omnibus film mixing documentary and docufiction: 221 : 27  in a project that emphasized the dignity of labor and celebrated the cultural and ethnic diversity of North America. It was to have been his third film for RKO, following Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).: 109  Duke Ellington was put under contract to score a segment with the working title, "The Story of Jazz", drawn from Louis Armstrong's 1936 autobiography, Swing That Music.: 232–233  Armstrong was cast to play himself in the brief dramatization of the history of jazz performance, from its roots to its place in American culture in the 1940s.: 109  "The Story of Jazz" was to go into production in December 1941.: 119–120 Mercury Productions purchased the stories for two other segments—"My Friend Bonito" and "The Captain's Chair"—from documentary filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty.: 33, 326  Adapted by Norman Foster and John Fante, "My Friend Bonito" was the only segment of the original It's All True to go into production.: 109  Filming took place in Mexico September–December 1941, with Norman Foster directing under Welles's supervision.: 311 In December 1941, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs asked Welles to make a film in Brazil that would showcase the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.: 65  With filming of "My Friend Bonito" about two-thirds complete, Welles decided he could shift the geography of It's All True and incorporate Flaherty's story into an omnibus film about Latin America—supporting the Roosevelt administration's Good Neighbor policy, which Welles strongly advocated.: 41, 246  In this revised concept, "The Story of Jazz" was replaced by the story of samba, a musical form with a comparable history and one that came to fascinate Welles. He also decided to do a ripped-from-the-headlines episode about the epic voyage of four poor Brazilian fishermen, the jangadeiros, who had become national heroes. Welles later said this was the most valuable story.: 158–159 : 15 Required to film the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro in early February 1942, Welles rushed to edit The Magnificent Ambersons and finish his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. He ended his lucrative CBS radio show: 189  February 2, flew to Washington, D.C., for a briefing, and then lashed together a rough cut of Ambersons in Miami with editor Robert Wise.: 369–370  Welles recorded the film's narration the night before he left for South America: "I went to the projection room at about four in the morning, did the whole thing, and then got on the plane and off to Rio—and the end of civilization as we know it.": 115 Welles left for Brazil on February 4 and began filming in Rio on February 8, 1942.: 369–370  At the time it did not seem that Welles's other film projects would be disrupted, but as film historian Catherine L. Benamou wrote, "the ambassadorial appointment would be the first in a series of turning points leading—in 'zigs' and 'zags,' rather than in a straight line—to Welles's loss of complete directorial control over both The Magnificent Ambersons and It's All True, the cancellation of his contract at RKO Radio Studio, the expulsion of his company Mercury Productions from the RKO lot, and, ultimately, the total suspension of It's All True.: 46 In 1942 RKO Pictures underwent major changes under new management. Nelson Rockefeller, the primary backer of the Brazil project, left its board of directors, and Welles's principal sponsor at RKO, studio president George Schaefer, resigned. RKO took control of Ambersons and edited the film into what the studio considered a commercial format. Welles's attempts to protect his version ultimately failed. In South America, Welles requested resources to finish It's All True. Given a limited amount of black-and-white film stock and a silent camera, he was able to finish shooting the episode about the jangadeiros, but RKO refused to support further production on the film.

"So I was fired from RKO," Welles later recalled. "And they made a great publicity point of the fact that I had gone to South America without a script and thrown all this money away. I never recovered from that attack.": 188  Later in 1942, when RKO Pictures began promoting its new corporate motto, "Showmanship In Place of Genius: A New Deal at RKO",: 29  Welles understood it as a reference to him.: 188 

Radio (1942–1943)


Welles returned to the United States August 22, 1942, after more than six months in South America.: 372  A week after his return he produced and emceed the first two hours of a seven-hour coast-to-coast War Bond drive broadcast titled I Pledge America. Airing August 29, 1942, on the Blue Network, the program was presented in cooperation with the United States Department of the Treasury, Western Union (which wired bond subscriptions free of charge) and the American Women's Voluntary Services. Featuring 21 dance bands and a score of stage and screen and radio stars, the broadcast raised more than $10 million—more than $146 million today—for the war effort.On October 12, 1942, Cavalcade of America presented Welles's radio play, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, an entertaining and factual look at the legend of Christopher Columbus.

"It belongs to a period when hemispheric unity was a crucial matter and many programs were being devoted to the common heritage of the Americas," wrote broadcasting historian Erik Barnouw. "Many such programs were being translated into Spanish and Portuguese and broadcast to Latin America, to counteract many years of successful Axis propaganda to that area. The Axis, trying to stir Latin America against Anglo-America, had constantly emphasized the differences between the two. It became the job of American radio to emphasize their common experience and essential unity.": 3 Admiral of the Ocean Sea, also known as Columbus Day, begins with the words, "Hello Americans"—the title Welles would choose for his own series five weeks later.: 373 Hello Americans, a CBS Radio series broadcast November 15, 1942 – January 31, 1943, was produced, directed and hosted by Welles under the auspices of the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs. The 30-minute weekly program promoted inter-American understanding and friendship, drawing upon the research amassed for the ill-fated film, It's All True. The series was produced concurrently with Welles's other CBS series, Ceiling Unlimited (November 9, 1942 – February 1, 1943), sponsored by the Lockheed-Vega Corporation. The program was conceived to glorify the aviation industry and dramatize its role in World War II. Welles's shows were regarded as significant contributions to the war effort.: 64 Throughout the war Welles worked on patriotic radio programs including Command Performance, G.I. Journal, Mail Call, Nazi Eyes on Canada, Stage Door Canteen and Treasury Star Parade.

The Mercury Wonder Show


In early 1943, the two concurrent radio series (Ceiling Unlimited, Hello Americans) that Orson Welles created for CBS to support the war effort had ended. Filming also had wrapped on the 1943 film adaptation of Jane Eyre and that fee, in addition to the income from his regular guest-star roles in radio, made it possible for Welles to fulfill a lifelong dream. He approached the War Assistance League of Southern California and proposed a show that evolved into a big-top spectacle, part circus and part magic show. He offered his services as magician and director,: 40  and invested some $40,000 of his own money in an extravaganza he co-produced with his friend Joseph Cotten: The Mercury Wonder Show for Service Men. Members of the U.S. armed forces were admitted free of charge, while the general public had to pay.: 26  The show entertained more than 1,000 service members each night, and proceeds went to the War Assistance League, a charity for military service personnel.The development of the show coincided with the resolution of Welles's oft-changing draft status in May 1943, when he was finally declared 4-F—unfit for military service—for a variety of medical reasons. "I felt guilty about the war," Welles told biographer Barbara Leaming. "I was guilt-ridden about my civilian status.": 86  He had been publicly hounded about his patriotism since Citizen Kane, when the Hearst press began persistent inquiries about why Welles had not been drafted.: 66–67 The Mercury Wonder Show ran August 3 – September 9, 1943, in an 80-by-120-foot tent located at 900 Cahuenga Boulevard, in the heart of Hollywood.: 377 : 26 At intermission on September 7, 1943, KMPC radio interviewed audience and cast members of The Mercury Wonder Show—including Welles and Rita Hayworth, who were married earlier that day. Welles remarked that The Mercury Wonder Show had been performed for approximately 48,000 members of the U.S. armed forces.: 378 : 129 

Radio (1944–1945)


The idea of doing a radio variety show occurred to Welles after his success as substitute host of four consecutive episodes (March 14 – April 4, 1943) of The Jack Benny Program, radio's most popular show, when Benny contracted pneumonia on a performance tour of military bases.: 368  A half-hour variety show broadcast January 26 – July 19, 1944, on the Columbia Pacific Network, The Orson Welles Almanac presented sketch comedy, magic, mindreading, music and readings from classic works. Many of the shows originated on U.S. military camps, where Welles and his repertory company and guests entertained the troops with a reduced version of The Mercury Wonder Show.: 64  The performances of the all-star jazz group Welles brought together for the show were so popular that the band became a regular feature and was an important force in reviving interest in traditional New Orleans jazz.: 85 

Welles was placed on the U.S. Treasury payroll on May 15, 1944, as an expert consultant for the duration of the war, with a retainer of $1 a year. On the recommendation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau asked Welles to lead the Fifth War Loan Drive, which opened June 12 with a one-hour radio show on all four networks, broadcast from Texarkana, Texas. Including a statement by the President, the program defined the causes of the war and encouraged Americans to buy $16 billion in bonds to finance the Normandy landings and the most violent phase of World War II. Welles produced additional war loan drive broadcasts on June 14 from the Hollywood Bowl, and June 16 from Soldier Field, Chicago.: 371–373  Americans purchased $20.6 billion in War Bonds during the Fifth War Loan Drive, which ended on July 8, 1944.Welles campaigned ardently for Roosevelt in 1944. A longtime supporter and campaign speaker for FDR, he occasionally sent the president ideas and phrases that were sometimes incorporated into what Welles characterized as "less important speeches".: 372, 374  One of these ideas was the joke in what came to be called the Fala speech, Roosevelt's nationally broadcast September 23 address to the International Teamsters Union which opened the 1944 presidential campaign.: 292–293 Welles campaigned for the Roosevelt–Truman ticket almost full-time in the fall of 1944, traveling to nearly every state: 373–374  to the detriment of his own health: 293–294  and at his own expense.: 219  In addition to his radio addresses he filled in for Roosevelt, opposite Republican presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey, at The New York Herald Tribune Forum broadcast October 18 on the Blue Network.: 386 : 292  Welles accompanied FDR to his last campaign rally, speaking at an event November 4 at Boston's Fenway Park before 40,000 people,: 294  and took part in a historic election-eve campaign broadcast November 6 on all four radio networks.: 387 : 166–167 On November 21, 1944, Welles began his association with This Is My Best, a CBS radio series he would briefly produce, direct, write and host (March 13 – April 24, 1945). He wrote a political column called Orson Welles' Almanac (later titled Orson Welles Today) for The New York Post January–November 1945, and advocated the continuation of FDR's New Deal policies and his international vision, particularly the establishment of the United Nations and the cause of world peace.: 84 On April 12, 1945, the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died, the Blue-ABC network marshalled its entire executive staff and national leaders to pay homage to the late president. "Among the outstanding programs which attracted wide attention was a special tribute delivered by Orson Welles", reported Broadcasting magazine. Welles spoke at 10:10 p.m Eastern War Time, from Hollywood, and stressed the importance of continuing FDR's work: "He has no need for homage and we who loved him have no time for tears ... Our fighting sons and brothers cannot pause tonight to mark the death of him whose name will be given to the age we live in."Welles presented another special broadcast on the death of Roosevelt the following evening: "We must move on beyond mere death to that free world which was the hope and labor of his life.": 390 : 242 He dedicated the April 17 episode of This Is My Best to Roosevelt and the future of America on the eve of the United Nations Conference on International Organization.: 390  Welles was an advisor and correspondent for the Blue-ABC radio network's coverage of the San Francisco conference that formed the UN, taking place April 24 – June 23, 1945. He presented a half-hour dramatic program written by Ben Hecht on the opening day of the conference, and on Sunday afternoons (April 29 – June 10) he led a weekly discussion from the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.

The Stranger


In the fall of 1945 Welles began work on The Stranger (1946), a film noir drama about a war crimes investigator who tracks a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to an idyllic New England town. Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Welles star.Producer Sam Spiegel initially planned to hire director John Huston, who had rewritten the screenplay by Anthony Veiller. When Huston entered the military, Welles was given the chance to direct and prove himself able to make a film on schedule and under budget: 19 —something he was so eager to do that he accepted a disadvantageous contract. One of its concessions was that he would defer to the studio in any creative dispute.: 379 : 309–310 The Stranger was Welles's first job as a film director in four years.: 391  He was told that if the film was successful he could sign a four-picture deal with International Pictures, making films of his own choosing.: 379  Welles was given some degree of creative control,: 19  and he endeavored to personalize the film and develop a nightmarish tone.: 2:30  He worked on the general rewrite of the script and wrote scenes at the beginning of the picture that were shot but subsequently cut by the producers.: 186  He filmed in long takes that largely thwarted the control given to editor Ernest J. Nims under the terms of the contract.: 15:45 The Stranger was the first commercial film to use documentary footage from the Nazi concentration camps.: 189  Welles had seen the footage in early May 1945: 102:03  in San Francisco,: 56  as a correspondent and discussion moderator at the UN Conference on International Organization.: 304  He wrote of the Holocaust footage in his syndicated New York Post column May 7, 1945.: 56–57 Completed a day ahead of schedule and under budget,: 379–380  The Stranger was the only film made by Welles to have been a bona fide box office success upon its release. Its cost was $1.034 million; 15 months after its release it had grossed $3.216 million. Within weeks of the completion of the film, International Pictures backed out of its promised four-picture deal with Welles. No reason was given, but the impression was left that The Stranger would not make money.: 381 

Around the World


In the summer of 1946, Welles moved to New York to direct the Broadway musical Around the World, a stage adaptation of the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days with a book by Welles and music by Cole Porter. Producer Mike Todd, who would later produce the successful 1956 film adaptation, pulled out from the lavish and expensive production, leaving Welles to support the finances. When Welles ran out of money he convinced Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn to send enough money to continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and star in a film for Cohn for no further fee. The stage show soon failed due to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes.

Radio (1946)


In 1946, Welles began two new radio series—The Mercury Summer Theatre of the Air for CBS, and Orson Welles Commentaries for ABC. While Mercury Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptations of some classic Mercury radio shows from the 1930s, the first episode was a condensation of his Around the World stage play, and is the only record of Cole Porter's music for the project. Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as well as Bernard Herrmann. Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a political vehicle for him, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Again, Welles lacked a clear focus, until the NAACP brought to his attention the case of Isaac Woodard. Welles brought significant attention to Woodard's cause.The last broadcast of Orson Welles Commentaries on October 6, 1946, marked the end of Welles's own radio shows.: 401 

The Lady from Shanghai


The film that Welles was obliged to make in exchange for Harry Cohn's help in financing the stage production Around the World was The Lady from Shanghai, filmed in 1947 for Columbia Pictures. Intended as a modest thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles's then-estranged second wife Rita Hayworth co-star.

Cohn disliked Welles's rough cut, particularly the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and was not in sympathy with Welles's Brechtian use of irony and black comedy, especially in a farcical courtroom scene. Cohn ordered extensive editing and re-shoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour of Welles's first cut was removed, including much of a climactic confrontation scene in an amusement park funhouse. While expressing displeasure at the cuts, Welles was appalled particularly with the musical score. The film was considered a disaster in America at the time of release, though the closing shootout in a hall of mirrors (the use of mirrors being a recurrent motif of Welles's) has since become a touchstone of film noir. Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalized their divorce.

Although The Lady from Shanghai was acclaimed in Europe, it was not embraced in the U.S. until decades later, where it is now often regarded as a classic of film noir. A similar difference in reception on opposite sides of the Atlantic, followed by greater American acceptance, befell the Welles-inspired Chaplin film Monsieur Verdoux, originally to be directed by Welles starring Chaplin, then directed by Chaplin with the idea credited to Welles.

Macbeth


Prior to 1948, Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a low-budget version of Macbeth, which featured highly stylized sets and costumes, and a cast of actors lip-syncing to a pre-recorded soundtrack, one of many innovative cost-cutting techniques Welles deployed in an attempt to make an epic film from B-movie resources. The script, adapted by Welles, is a violent reworking of Shakespeare's original, freely cutting and pasting lines into new contexts via a collage technique and recasting Macbeth as a clash of pagan and proto-Christian ideologies. Some voodoo trappings of the famous Welles/Houseman Negro Theatre stage adaptation are visible, especially in the film's characterization of the Weird Sisters, who create an effigy of Macbeth as a charm to enchant him. Of all Welles's post-Kane Hollywood productions, Macbeth is stylistically closest to Citizen Kane in its long takes and deep focus photography.

Republic initially trumpeted the film as an important work but decided it did not care for the Scottish accents and held up general release for almost a year after early negative press reaction, including Life's comment that Welles's film "doth foully slaughter Shakespeare." Welles left for Europe, while co-producer and lifelong supporter Richard Wilson reworked the soundtrack. Welles returned and cut 20 minutes from the film at Republic's request and recorded narration to cover some gaps. The film was decried as a disaster. Macbeth had influential fans in Europe, especially the French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, who hailed the film's "crude, irreverent power" and careful shot design, and described the characters as haunting "the corridors of some dreamlike subway, an abandoned coal mine, and ruined cellars oozing with water."

Europe (1948–1956)


In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the 1948 film Black Magic. His co-star, Akim Tamiroff, impressed Welles so much that Tamiroff would appear in four of Welles's productions during the 1950s and 1960s.

The following year, Welles starred as Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man, alongside Joseph Cotten, his friend and co-star from Citizen Kane, with a script by Graham Greene and a memorable score by Anton Karas.

A few years later, British radio producer Harry Alan Towers would resurrect the Lime character in the radio series The Adventures of Harry Lime.

Welles appeared as Cesare Borgia in the 1949 Italian film Prince of Foxes, with Tyrone Power and Mercury Theatre alumnus Everett Sloane, and as the Mongol warrior Bayan in the 1950 film version of the novel The Black Rose (again with Tyrone Power).

Othello


During this time, Welles was channeling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of Shakespeare's play Othello. From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello, filming on location in Italy and Morocco. The film featured Welles's friends, Micheál Mac Liammóir as Iago and Hilton Edwards as Desdemona's father Brabantio. Suzanne Cloutier starred as Desdemona and Campbell Playhouse alumnus Robert Coote appeared as Iago's associate Roderigo.

Filming was suspended several times as Welles ran out of funds and left for acting jobs, accounted in detail in MacLiammóir's published memoir Put Money in Thy Purse. The American release prints had a technically flawed soundtrack, suffering from a dropout of sound at every quiet moment. Welles's daughter, Beatrice Welles-Smith, restored Othello in 1992 for a wide re-release. The restoration included reconstructing Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's original musical score, which was originally inaudible, and adding ambient stereo sound effects, which were not in the original film. The restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in America.

In 1952, Welles continued finding work in England after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Harry Alan Towers offered Welles another series, The Black Museum, which ran for 52 weeks with Welles as host and narrator. Director Herbert Wilcox offered Welles the part of the murdered victim in Trent's Last Case, based on the novel by E. C. Bentley. In 1953, the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman's epic poem Song of Myself. Towers hired Welles again, to play Professor Moriarty in the radio series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

Welles briefly returned to America to make his first appearance on television, starring in the Omnibus presentation of King Lear, broadcast live on CBS October 18, 1953. Directed by Peter Brook, the production costarred Natasha Parry, Beatrice Straight and Arnold Moss.In 1954, director George More O'Ferrall offered Welles the title role in the 'Lord Mountdrago' segment of Three Cases of Murder, co-starring Alan Badel. Herbert Wilcox cast Welles as the antagonist in Trouble in the Glen opposite Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen. Old friend John Huston cast him as Father Mapple in his 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, starring Gregory Peck.

Mr. Arkadin


Welles's next turn as director was the film Mr. Arkadin (1955), which was produced by his political mentor from the 1940s, Louis Dolivet. It was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy on a very limited budget. Based loosely on several episodes of the Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a billionaire who hires a man to delve into the secrets of his past. The film stars Robert Arden, who had worked on the Harry Lime series; Welles's third wife, Paola Mori, whose voice was dubbed by actress Billie Whitelaw; and guest stars Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, Katina Paxinou and Mischa Auer. Frustrated by his slow progress in the editing room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film without him. Eventually, five different versions of the film would be released, two in Spanish and three in English. The version that Dolivet completed was retitled Confidential Report. In 2005 Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw a reconstruction of the surviving film elements.

Television projects


In 1955, Welles also directed two television series for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles' Sketch Book, a series of six 15-minute shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscences for the camera (including such topics as the filming of It's All True and the Isaac Woodard case), and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles, a series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe (such as Vienna, the Basque Country between France and Spain, and England). Welles served as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own personal observations (a technique he would continue to explore in later works).

During Episode 3 of Sketchbook, Welles makes a deliberate attack on the abuse of police powers around the world. The episode starts with him telling the story of Isaac Woodard, an African-American veteran of the South Pacific during World War II being falsely accused by a bus driver of being drunk and disorderly, who then has a policeman remove the man from the bus. Woodard is not arrested right away, but rather he is beaten into unconsciousness nearly to the point of death and when he finally regains consciousness he is permanently blinded. By the time doctors from the US Army located him three weeks later, there was nothing that could be done. Welles assures the audience that he personally saw to it that justice was served to this policeman although he doesn't mention what type of justice was delivered. Welles then goes on to give other examples of police being given more power and authority than is necessary. The title of this episode is "The Police".

In 1956, Welles completed Portrait of Gina. He left the only copy of it in his room at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. The film cans would remain in a lost-and-found locker at the hotel for several decades, where they were discovered in 1986, after Welles's death.

Return to Hollywood (1956–1959)


In 1956, Welles returned to Hollywood.He began filming a projected pilot for Desilu, owned by Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz, who had recently purchased the former RKO studios. The film was The Fountain of Youth, based on a story by John Collier. Originally deemed not viable as a pilot, the film was not aired until 1958—and won the Peabody Award for excellence.

Welles guest starred on television shows including I Love Lucy. On radio, he was narrator of Tomorrow (October 17, 1956), a nuclear holocaust drama produced and syndicated by ABC and the Federal Civil Defense Administration.Welles's next feature film role was in Man in the Shadow for Universal Pictures in 1957, starring Jeff Chandler.

Touch of Evil


Welles stayed on at Universal to direct (and co-star with) Charlton Heston in the 1958 film Touch of Evil, based on Whit Masterson's novel Badge of Evil. Originally only hired as an actor, Welles was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the insistence of Charlton Heston.: 154  The film reunited many actors and technicians with whom Welles had worked in Hollywood in the 1940s, including cameraman Russell Metty (The Stranger), makeup artist Maurice Seiderman (Citizen Kane), and actors Joseph Cotten, Marlene Dietrich and Akim Tamiroff. Filming proceeded smoothly, with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising the daily rushes. Nevertheless, after the end of production, the studio re-edited the film, re-shot scenes, and shot new exposition scenes to clarify the plot.: 175–176  Welles wrote a 58-page memo outlining suggestions and objections, stating that the film was no longer his version—it was the studio's, but as such, he was still prepared to help with it.: 175–176 In 1978, a longer preview version of the film was discovered and released.

As Universal reworked Touch of Evil, Welles began filming his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote in Mexico, starring Mischa Auer as Quixote and Akim Tamiroff as Sancho Panza.

Return to Europe (1959–1970)


He continued shooting Don Quixote in Spain and Italy, but replaced Mischa Auer with Francisco Reiguera, and resumed acting jobs.

In Italy in 1959, Welles directed his own scenes as King Saul in Richard Pottier's film David and Goliath. In Hong Kong, he co-starred with Curt Jürgens in Lewis Gilbert's film Ferry to Hong Kong. In 1960, in Paris he co-starred in Richard Fleischer's film Crack in the Mirror. In Yugoslavia he starred in Richard Thorpe's film The Tartars and Veljko Bulajić's Battle of Neretva.

Throughout the 1960s, filming continued on Quixote on-and-off until the end of the decade, as Welles evolved the concept, tone and ending several times. Although he had a complete version of the film shot and edited at least once, he would continue toying with the editing well into the 1980s, he never completed a version of the film he was fully satisfied with and would junk existing footage and shoot new footage. (In one case, he had a complete cut ready in which Quixote and Sancho Panza end up going to the moon, but he felt the ending was rendered obsolete by the 1969 moon landings and burned 10 reels of this version.) As the process went on, Welles gradually voiced all of the characters himself and provided narration. In 1992, the director Jesús Franco constructed a film out of the portions of Quixote left behind by Welles. Some of the film stock had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism.

In 1961, Welles directed In the Land of Don Quixote, a series of eight half-hour episodes for the Italian television network RAI. Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented travelogues of Spain and included Welles's wife, Paola, and their daughter, Beatrice. Though Welles was fluent in Italian, the network was not interested in him providing Italian narration because of his accent, and the series sat unreleased until 1964, by which time the network had added Italian narration of its own. Ultimately, versions of the episodes were released with the original musical score Welles had approved, but without the narration.

The Trial


In 1962, Welles directed his adaptation of The Trial, based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Michael and Alexander Salkind. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Josef K, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Paola Mori and Akim Tamiroff. While filming exteriors in Zagreb, Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there could be no set construction. No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d'Orsay, at that time an abandoned railway station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a "Jules Verne modernism" and a melancholy sense of "waiting", both suitable for Kafka. To remain in the spirit of Kafka Welles set up the cutting room together with the Film Editor, Frederick Muller (as Fritz Muller), in the old un-used, cold, depressing, station master office. The film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles found the film riotously funny. Welles also told a BBC interviewer that it was his best film. While filming The Trial Welles met Oja Kodar, who later became his partner and collaborator for the last 20 years of his life.: 428 Welles played a film director in La Ricotta (1963), Pier Paolo Pasolini's segment of the Ro.Go.Pa.G. movie, although his renowned voice was dubbed by Italian writer Giorgio Bassani.: 516  He continued taking what work he could find acting, narrating or hosting other people's work, and began filming Chimes at Midnight, which was completed in 1965.

Chimes at Midnight


Filmed in Spain, Chimes at Midnight was based on Welles's play, Five Kings, in which he drew material from six Shakespeare plays to tell th

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