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

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14 January 2009 | chaaa
| Just when you thought Linklater's body of work couldn't get any more erratic...
Me and Orson Welles is a wonderful story of a young boy (Efron)whose only acting experience is in high school musicals (ha! See what they did there) who manages to get a small part in Orson Welles' (Adam McKay) 1937 production of Julius Caesar. The film follows the volatile relationship between Orson and his company. He is a madman, a selfish, arrogant user and an absolute genius. He knows how the politics of show-business and he knows people, and how to play them. However, for all his antics, he is powerfully charismatic and it seems generally accepted that he is a genius.

Christian McKay's performance here as Orson Welles is wonderfully broad as he goes through every one of Orson Welles persona's with equal relish. He is snappy and arrogant but at the same time warm enough to earn some affection so when he lets a character down, you feel just as played yourself. The rest of the cast were great too. Zac Efron does his best here to leap from Disney heartthrob to leading man, and I personally thought he was solid and likable, with just enough of a sparkle in his eye and just enough skill to keep it there.

Overall this film has a charming story, which ends on such a high note I didn't know whether to smile or cry. It also boasts a very strong cast and most importantly a sweet disposition that stayed with me for a good half hour after the credits rolled.

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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 ...


A common mistake in movies and TV, fire sprinklers are activated individually - a match held to one would only cause that particular sprinkler head to open, and not all of the sprinklers as shown in the movie.

Crazy Credits

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


Oh Babe! Maybe Someday
Written by
Duke Ellington
Performed by Ivie Anderson, Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Courtesy of RCA Victor
By arrangement with Sony BMG Entertainment


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Comedy | Drama

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