Me and Orson Welles (2008)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy, Drama

Me and Orson Welles (2008) Poster

In 1937, a teenager is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar", directed by a young Orson Welles.

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  • Claire Danes and Richard Linklater at an event for Me and Orson Welles (2008)
  • Zac Efron in Me and Orson Welles (2008)
  • Zac Efron at an event for Me and Orson Welles (2008)
  • Claire Danes at an event for Me and Orson Welles (2008)
  • Claire Danes at an event for Me and Orson Welles (2008)
  • Zac Efron in Me and Orson Welles (2008)

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25 April 2011 | tedg
F is for Fake
Okay, start with one of the most interesting and influential characters in film. Make a film that has him in it.

Take one of the most interesting and theatrical productions in theater, present it is as film and make the same film about its inception including chaos, the various seductions of the players and some presentation of his bellicose leadership.

Hang the thing on a story of callow discovery and you may have something. But alas, this almost succeeds on every score and it makes us unhappy because from the first we expect something worthy. We expect to be immersed somehow. "Cradle will Rock" succeeded in that respect where this did not.

One problem is there is no sense of the inner composition in Welles' mind. Sure we find he is oafish, appetite driven, needlessly obnoxious. But for each of these, there should be some window into what matters, what we came for. It sure wasn't hearing about a kid's screwups.

The impression fostered throughout is that some combination of accident, unsophisticated audience and dedicated cast/crew made the production a success. I saw this with "Hamlet 2" and as bad as that was, it was better in key ways. Above all, it tried.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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Did You Know?


Orson Welles was very much the leader of the Mercury Theatre Company, despite his relative youth. Born in 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA to an inventor and manufacturer father and a concert pianist mother, both of whom had died before he reached fifteen, Welles was blessed with a commanding physique and a deep and resounding voice. During a visit to Europe at the age of sixteen, he managed to persuade Dublin's Gate Theatre that he was a Broadway star and made his stage debut there in "Jew Süss". He became, in fact, a Broadway legend and a ubiquitous and groundbreaking radio star, following the stage success of "Caesar" with more than a year as the voice of The Shadow in the popular radio serial. All this by the age of twenty-four, when he began work on his enduring cinema classic "Citizen Kane". Although many felt that his controversial fifty year career was one of unfulfilled promise, his legacy included such classic films as "The Magnificent Ambersons", "Othello", "Chimes at Midnight" and "Touch of Evil", his iconic performance as Harry Lime in Carol Reed's "The Third Man" and the memory of his notorious 1938 broadcast version of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds".


Dr. Mewling: By the year of 1592, Shakespeare was already an actor, and a playwright. Records of how his stage career began have not survived. We do know that in 1594 he joined a theater troupe. Called... anyone remember? Not everyone at once now. The Lord ...


When Orson finds Richard on the park bench, Orson's collar is up in the wide shot, but only half-up in the following close-up shots.

Crazy Credits

Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer".


I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Written by
Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh
Performed by Billie Holiday & Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Used by Permission of Aldi Music
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony BMG Entertainment


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama

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