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By JOAN MELLEN and JOAN MELLEN,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 11, 1996
"Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu," by Simon Callow. Viking. 640 pages. $32.95Even if he comes to dislike his subject, the biographer is DTC obliged to grant him his due. In the most mean-spirited and cynical biography in memory, British actor and director Simon Callow has chosen as his mission to attack, denigrate and ridicule Orson Welles.Mr. Callow wants to prove that Welles was overrated, a vain, self-serving liar. Mr. Callow insists Welles was a "great fulfiller" rather than an innovator and repeatedly stole credit from others.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2010
The AFI-Silver's simultaneous tributes to Orson Welles and Elia Kazan celebrate the sizzling theatrical instincts of two creative marvels of the stage who transformed the face — let's make that faces — of American films. Kazan and Marlon Brando forged one of the most influential director-actor partnerships in American movies, but James Dean, too, made his name with Kazan, in the 1955 film version of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" (Saturday at 4:30 p.m and Sunday at 7:20 p.m.)
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 17, 1992
If anyone was ever richer than all his tribe, it was certainly Orson Welles: he was rich in talent and vision and energy. And like the Othello he played in one of his greatest movies, he was brought low by baser men who conspired against him, resenting his greatness; and at the same time, also like Othello, he had to share the responsibility for that destruction, so readily did he collaborate in it.Now, thanks to an inventive effort, "Othello" has been...
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By Michael Sragow | January 1, 2010
The best movie to make its Baltimore debut in 2009 was Kent Mackenzie's "The Exiles." Set in American Indian neighborhoods of the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles, this haunting fusion of fiction and nonfiction techniques was made in 1961. Yet it didn't appear here until last January, when the Charles had the wit to showcase as a "revival" a film that had never opened in the first place. In one legendary scene, when the Bunker Hill bars close, the men zip around to a vista point overlooking the sprawling city.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 16, 2009
"Touch of Evil" opens with a mind-blowing traveling shot that starts at the level of a belt buckle and then swings left and right and up as a quicksilver figure sets a time bomb and places the device in the trunk of a car. Continuing in one unbroken movement as a blonde and a millionaire get into the car, the camera pulls away into a panoramic view of the border town of Los Robles, Mexico, then floats down to follow Mexican narcotics investigator Vargas...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | April 9, 2010
The AFI-Silver's simultaneous tributes to Orson Welles and Elia Kazan celebrate the sizzling theatrical instincts of two creative marvels of the stage who transformed the face — let's make that faces — of American films. Kazan and Marlon Brando forged one of the most influential director-actor partnerships in American movies, but James Dean, too, made his name with Kazan, in the 1955 film version of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" (Saturday at 4:30 p.m and Sunday at 7:20 p.m.)
FEATURES
By A Reader's Guide to Twentieth Century Writers | December 6, 1998
H.G. Wells (1866-1946)Herbert George Wells became prominent for his romantic science-fiction works such as "The Time Machine," "The Invisible Man" and especially "The War of the Worlds," a story about Martian invasion. Orson Welles made "The War of the Worlds" famous in 1947 with a radio adaptation.Another of Wells' futuristic writings is called "The Island of Dr. Moreau" in which a doctor creates frightening animal-human hybrids.Many of Wells' science-fiction novels have been remade into a variety of plays and movies.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | July 21, 1991
In 1941, the world changed. Yes, Hitler invaded Russia and Ted Williams hit .406, but I'm talking about important change.Orson Welles invented the movies.I'm well aware that there was a movie industry before "Citizen Kane" opened at Radio City Music Hall and that the great work by Sergei Eisenstein, Charlie Chaplin, John Ford and Frank Capra had all been done. I'm aware that for most Americans then, the movies were a twice-a-week habit, and that the Hollywood machine was at its highest pitch, cranking out about 800 features a year.
NEWS
By Joan Mellen and Joan Mellen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 26, 1996
"Rosebud: The Story Of Orson Welles," by David Thomson. Knopf. 443 pages. $30."Why are so many Welles books by Englishmen?" David Thomson asks in his new biography of Orson Welles, which trails the wake of Simon Callow's meanspirited attack. A smirking sense of superiority permeates both biographies from across the waters. The barbarian (American) was finally all bluster and narcissism, no matter that Welles directed the "greatest movie that ever has been or will be made."Even when Thomson calls an overweight Welles nearing death a "poor bastard," if "magnificent to the end," there is something ugly about this biography.
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | October 2, 1998
While Orson Welles was editing "Touch of Evil," he left to film a movie in Europe. In his absence, Universal Pictures re-cut the picture and, although Welles wrote the studio an impassioned 58-page memo with his detailed instructions as to how the film should be edited, the "Touch of Evil" that was released in 1958 was Universal's version, not Welles'.That injustice -- one of the most storied in film history -- has been redressed in this, the fourth version of "Touch of Evil," which has been re-edited to the specifications laid out in Welles' memo.
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November 27, 2009
Dec. 4 Armored: (Screen Gems) Officers at an armored transport security firm risk their lives when they embark on a heist against their own company. With Matt Dillon, Jean Reno and Laurence Fishburne. Brothers : (Lionsgate) When a decorated Marine goes missing in Afghanistan, his black-sheep younger brother cares for his wife and children at home. With Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Sam Shepard. Everybody's Fine: (Miramax) In this remake of Giuseppe Tornatore's "Stanno Tutti Bene," a widower embarks on an impromptu road trip to reconnect with each of his grown children.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 16, 2009
"Touch of Evil" opens with a mind-blowing traveling shot that starts at the level of a belt buckle and then swings left and right and up as a quicksilver figure sets a time bomb and places the device in the trunk of a car. Continuing in one unbroken movement as a blonde and a millionaire get into the car, the camera pulls away into a panoramic view of the border town of Los Robles, Mexico, then floats down to follow Mexican narcotics investigator Vargas...
NEWS
By Richard Schickel and Richard Schickel,Los Angeles Times | September 3, 2006
Orson Welles: Hello Americans (Volume 2) Simon Callow Whatever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career Joseph McBride University of Kentucky Press / 384 pages / $29.95 If, as the saying goes, genius is defined by an infinite capacity for taking pains, then Orson Welles was no genius. If, as another saying goes, God is in the details, then there was nothing godlike about him, either - despite the worshipful posturings of his many acolytes. How, people go on wondering, could the man who created Citizen Kane, arguably the greatest of all American films, fritter away the rest of his life - nearly half a century - on movies spoiled by his own inattention or by the machinations of others or, worse, simply abandoned with many of their most significant elements lost?
NEWS
By CHRIS KALTENBACH | February 19, 2006
THE DICK CAVETT SHOW: COMIC LEGENDS / / Shout! Factory / $39.95 Of all the Johnny Carson-wannabes trotted out by the networks, Dick Cavett was probably the best -- precisely because he didn't act like Carson. On The Tonight Show, it was often a toss-up who deserved the spotlight more, Carson or his guest. Rather than competing with his guests, Cavett instead chose simply to ask questions, serve as an audience surrogate -- and let the chips fall where they may. Cavett's shows may not have been as entertaining as Carson's were, but they were invaluable as showcases for his guests' talents.
TRAVEL
By Special to the Sun | March 20, 2005
A Memorable Place Grover's Mill marks Martian 'invasion' By John L. Flynn SPECIAL TO THE SUN Located off a lonely country road a few miles from Princeton University in New Jersey, a solitary monument commemorates the first landing site of the Martian invasion. Martian invasion? Many people may forget that Martian war machines invaded our living rooms on Oct. 30, 1938, through the radio, and a young Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players were responsible for a panic that was very real to many Americans.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Paul Moore and Paul Moore,Sun Staff | January 4, 2004
Critic Peter Conrad has written an unconventional biography of Orson Welles by examining his career as a filmmaker, actor and writer in the context of the facts, self-inventions and obsessions of his tumultuous life. Conrad traces Welles' connections with Shakespearean tragic figures, his manifestations as Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane and Harry Lime in The Third Man and his countless uncompleted film projects. Conrad's Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life (Faber and Faber, 368 pages, $25)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 17, 1992
If anyone was ever richer than all his tribe, it was certainly Orson Welles: He was rich in talent and vision and energy. And like the Othello he played in one of his greatest movies, he was brought low by baser men who conspired against him, resentiIf anyone was ever richer than all his tribe, it was certainly Orson Welles: He was rich in talent and vision and energy. And like the Othello he played in one of his greatest movies, he was brought low by baser men who conspired against him, resenting his greatness; and at the same time, also like Othello, he had to share the responsibility for that destruction, so readily did he collaborate in it.Now, thanks to an inventive effort, "Othello" has been returned to us (it opens today at the Senator)
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | August 4, 1997
Sure, you've heard about how it's one of the greatest films ever, how it's so wondrously photographed, how it's so wittily literate, how Orson Welles was never able to live up to the example he set for himself.But forget all that. "Citizen Kane" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., TCM) is simply a marvelous film, a grand story well told and a lot of fun.There's so much to enjoy: Welles' performance, the crane shot where the guys in the rafters offer their opinion of poor Susan Alexander's opera debut, the ominous visit to the library.
FEATURES
By A Reader's Guide to Twentieth Century Writers | December 6, 1998
H.G. Wells (1866-1946)Herbert George Wells became prominent for his romantic science-fiction works such as "The Time Machine," "The Invisible Man" and especially "The War of the Worlds," a story about Martian invasion. Orson Welles made "The War of the Worlds" famous in 1947 with a radio adaptation.Another of Wells' futuristic writings is called "The Island of Dr. Moreau" in which a doctor creates frightening animal-human hybrids.Many of Wells' science-fiction novels have been remade into a variety of plays and movies.
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