It Is Orson Welles’ Birthday

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May 6, 2016 — He is one of the greatest figures from Hollywood’s Golden Age. In fact he is one of the greatest talents in the history of the movies.

At the age of 26, Orson Welles co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film ever made. It was his first feature film. 

Before that he had directed and narrated a radio program called The War of the Worlds, based on the H.G. Welles novel of the same name. Legend has it that part of the show’s audience tuned in to the program late; the show was being done as a series of news reports and people fell victim tho fears that earth was being invaded by aliens. The idea that there was mass panic is disputed; still, The War of the Worlds remains one of the most famous radio programs of all time.

Welles would become a major movie star as well, starring in many features, among them Jane Eyre, A Touch of Evil, The Lady from Shanghai and The Third Man. Among the movies he both starred in and directed is The Stranger, a tense film-noir/mystery, co-starring Loretta Young and Edward G. Robinson, in which Welles cast himself as a Nazi war criminal. He would also direct and star in a number of Shakespearean adaptations — Othello, Macbeth and  Chimes at Midnight — which is not technically a play by Shakespeare. Instead, it is a compilation of all of the plays that feature the character Falstaff, who is played by Welles. Many critics consider it to be the best version of Shakespeare ever committed to film.

He would marry three times; the second marriage was to screen goddess Rita Hayworth. 

His talent was enormous, his career unique. He is often voted the greatest movie director of all time.

In 1960 he sat down in a Paris hotel room and gave an interview in which he talked about Citizen Kane. His career, Hollywood and filmmaking. Orson Welles: The Paris Interview is a must-see for anyone who loves movies from Hollywood’s Golden Era.
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