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Thread: Orson Welles

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by salvatore1989 View Post
    Still reading it, great book!
    Good to hear. Very detailed book but never too heavy and packed with a lot of detail.
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  2. #102
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    Interesting thread ...

    I watched The Magnificent Ambersons this week-end, (y/t). Rich history in the making, RKO's editing, and b/o failure. From what I've read the timing for a melodrama, 1942, war involved US led to failure. Film watcher's wanted lighter fare, comedy's and musicals.

    Welle's was a curious, enigmatic character, and did seem content with the changing landscape of his interest in communication.

    Parkinson's and Cavett interviews were worth viewing.

    (Footnote: David Chase's new series on old Hollywood, Ribbon of Dreams, is based on a line from Orson Welles ... "A film is a Ribbon of Dreams.")
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  3. #103
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    Here's a sorta two-fer one...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J7AZ...eature=related

    Can you spot the two-fer part heh.

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Taggerez View Post
    I love Touch of Evil not a bad shot in the entire movie.
    I heard it's still a mystery how that long tracking shot that opens the movie was done.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudioJoe View Post
    I heard it's still a mystery how that long tracking shot that opens the movie was done.
    There is one longer continuous shot in the Alfred Hitchcok classic, The Rope. For years that was the longest continuous shot.
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudioJoe View Post
    I heard it's still a mystery how that long tracking shot that opens the movie was done.
    No mystery. It was a combination of focus pulling (depth of field) and dolly shot. Toland designed his own lenses (not sure if he built them as well) and he was able to achieve great depth of field shots which others at the time couldn't do. Orson knew this and exploited it to great benefit in several other scenes in the movie. The camera started with the lens sticking out the window, focusing on the kid, and they reversed back on the track revealing more of the room but keeping the kid in background in focus (depth of field). If you look closely, as the camera tracks back over the table, the vase containing the flowers is wobbling! The dolly or grip assistants must have got the table there lickety split after the camera passed but not in time enough for the vase to stabilise.
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  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by neilmpenny View Post
    No mystery. It was a combination of focus pulling (depth of field) and dolly shot. Toland designed his own lenses (not sure if he built them as well) and he was able to achieve great depth of field shots which others at the time couldn't do. Orson knew this and exploited it to great benefit in several other scenes in the movie. The camera started with the lens sticking out the window, focusing on the kid, and they reversed back on the track revealing more of the room but keeping the kid in background in focus (depth of field). If you look closely, as the camera tracks back over the table, the vase containing the flowers is wobbling! The dolly or grip assistants must have got the table there lickety split after the camera passed but not in time enough for the vase to stabilise.
    Thanks. I figured there were people still around who might know the mechanics behind that cinematic feat!

    Quote Originally Posted by STsFirstmate View Post
    There is one longer continuous shot in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, The Rope. For years that was the longest continuous shot.
    Regards,
    Mary
    Agreed. I knew Hitchcock made "Rope" as a personal challenge to see if he could do a film without cutting between cameras and angles, but merely by zooming in on a set detail (such as the back of someone's coat), fading to black, changing the reel and then zooming out again.

    The miraculous trick (for its time) in Touch of Evil was the way the camera starts close-up at ground level as the couple get in the convertible, then rapidly pulls back and away, then goes airborne, until we end with that marvelous "bird's eye" view of the Mexican street scene just before the car bomb explodes.
    Last edited by StudioJoe; 11-15-2010 at 09:55 AM.

  8. #108
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    Touch of Evil is a great movie. It makes me want to shower after watching it every single time but I can't look away. I mean that as high praise. I think it is Charlton Heston's best performance ever.
    Regards,
    Mary

  9. #109
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    Orson Welles War of the Worlds Grover's Mill NJ

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_War...radio_drama%29


    I've always found this story to be fascinating how a fake broadcast can turn a small town (Grover's Mill NJ) and the rest of the world on it's ass.
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  10. #110
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    One of our local radio stations did a version in the around 1957 nor 58. The localized it with the story taking place here in the Bay Area. I happen to be listening. I was like 6 or 7. I thought it was real. Took my parents a while to convince me it wasn't. I have since heard a recording of the broadcast and can see where people could think something was happening for real.
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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Mr. Wells was a well known "non flusher". He left Tom Snyder a gift when Tom Did the Tomorrow show. Gad what a mess that had to be.

    "I'll flush no extrusion before its time."

    Orson Welles

    I have also heard of legendary farting contests between Orson Welles and Oliver Hardy in the Brown Derby washroom. Oh, to have been one of the flys on those walls.
    Last edited by MagnusDippytack; 03-02-2011 at 11:41 PM. Reason: Additional thought.
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusDippytack View Post
    "I'll flush no extrusion before its time."

    Orson Welles

    I have also heard of legendary farting contests between Orson Welles and Oliver Hardy in the Brown Derby washroom. Oh, to have been one of the flys on those walls.
    That would be a death sentence.
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  13. #113
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    I watched Me and Orson Welles this weekend. While I don't like the guy that played him quite as much as I liked Leiv Schrieber's Orson in RKO 281, I thought it was really good and a pretty good barometer of Welles' mercurial personality. If you're a fan, check out both movies.
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  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by radiojane View Post
    I watched Me and Orson Welles this weekend. While I don't like the guy that played him quite as much as I liked Leiv Schrieber's Orson in RKO 281, I thought it was really good and a pretty good barometer of Welles' mercurial personality. If you're a fan, check out both movies.
    Thanks radiojane! Need to check these out!
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusDippytack View Post
    "I'll flush no extrusion before its time."

    Orson Welles

    I have also heard of legendary farting contests between Orson Welles and Oliver Hardy in the Brown Derby washroom. Oh, to have been one of the flys on those walls.
    Quote Originally Posted by neilmpenny View Post
    That would be a death sentence.

    I think that may fall under "cruel and unusual punishment"!
    Cindy

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Trim View Post
    One of our local radio stations did a version in the around 1957 nor 58. The localized it with the story taking place here in the Bay Area. I happen to be listening. I was like 6 or 7. I thought it was real. Took my parents a while to convince me it wasn't. I have since heard a recording of the broadcast and can see where people could think something was happening for real.
    I remember listening to the original whole broadcast back in the '70's, and yeah, it seemed like a real news event. Very realistic!
    Cindy

  17. #117
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    That BASTARD!!!

  18. #118
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    Orson Wells made the most ballyhooed film of all time and he got to bang Ava Gardner. Only in America.
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  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusDippytack View Post
    Orson Wells made the most ballyhooed film of all time and he got to bang Ava Gardner. Only in America.
    In her prime!
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  20. #120
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    I never really could get into OW. I never thought he was good looking at all. And I didn't like the #1 movie of all time "Citizen Cane". After it was over, and my friends just kinda stared at each other lol. But man what a lucky man he was to have had Rita and other beautiful actress back then.

  21. #121
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    The Barbara Leaming bio on Welles tells of how Rebecca was conceived in a moment of passion too hot to delay to find a condom. Every time Orson walked by the couch the conception took place on, he'd cuss about his loss of control. A willing and eager father he was not.
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  22. #122
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    imagine this, you're an actor or actress and slated to be in a commercial with orson welles. a legend. you show up, know your lines and across the table from you 'the master' is drunk out of his gourd. i wish they looked up the two actors and asked them what it was like that day. after watching orson, watch it again just to watch the actress and the actor's reactions. the actor is very intently looking at the wine bottle and the actress is just trying to hold it in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFevH5vP32s



    if you haven't seen it, it is priceless.
    the opie and andy version is pretty good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNNLBfUzV1A
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    Last edited by johnny; 03-24-2012 at 01:40 PM.
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  23. #123
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    and of course, the infamous 'frozen pees' commercial in which orson doesn't want to read his lines. priceless
    'no money is worth this.'

    "get me a jury and show me how you can say 'in july' and i'll go down on you" great line

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhWM4...feature=fvwrel
    Last edited by johnny; 03-24-2012 at 05:55 PM.
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  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    imagine this, you're an actor or actress and slated to be in a commercial with orson welles. a legend. you show up, know your lines and across the table from you 'the master' is drunk out of his gourd. i wish they looked up the two actors and asked them what it was like that day. after watching orson, watch it again just to watch the actress and the actor's reactions. the actor is very intently looking at the wine bottle and the actress is just trying to hold it in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFevH5vP32s



    if you haven't seen it, it is priceless.
    the opie and andy version is pretty good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNNLBfUzV1A
    'mmmeee---HAAAAAAAAaaaaa' i never knew that was a word. but it evidently means something when you are 3 sheets to the wind...





    Oh my!! Yeah, talk about an uncomfortable situation! I would also love to hear the two actors take on that once in a lifetime moment.

    When I click the Opie and Andy clip, I thought was going to see Andy and Opie Taylor. Had no clue!
    Cindy

  25. #125
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    mmmeee---HAAAAAAAAaaaaa...now That is a great opening!

    watch his fingers on the table.

    the only thing 'Fermented' on that set was Orson...
    Last edited by johnny; 03-24-2012 at 05:45 PM.
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  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    imagine this, you're an actor or actress and slated to be in a commercial with orson welles. a legend. you show up, know your lines and across the table from you 'the master' is drunk out of his gourd. i wish they looked up the two actors and asked them what it was like that day. after watching orson, watch it again just to watch the actress and the actor's reactions. the actor is very intently looking at the wine bottle and the actress is just trying to hold it in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFevH5vP32s



    if you haven't seen it, it is priceless.
    the opie and andy version is pretty good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNNLBfUzV1A
    'mmmeee---HAAAAAAAAaaaaa' i never knew that was a word. but it evidently means something when you are 3 sheets to the wind...




    I am not totally sure but I think the male actor is Larry Wilcox who played Office Jon Baker in the 80's TV series CHiPs.
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  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Trim View Post
    I am not totally sure but I think the male actor is Larry Wilcox who played Office Jon Baker in the 80's TV series CHiPs.
    that would be priceless JT, imagine that. being on the set with a drunk orson welles or a sober eric estrada
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  28. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    that would be priceless JT, imagine that. being on the set with a drunk orson welles or a sober eric estrada
    You know, I would take a drunk Orson any day.
    Cindy

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    You know, I would take a drunk Orson any day.
    spot on, me too!
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  30. #130
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    I'd have to disagree about ME & ORSON WELLES... I thought Christian McKay nearly channeled the young Welles brilliantly - his look, his body language, even down to his imperious gaze; whereas Liev Schreiber was all gloss and charm in RKO 281. McKay even managed a passable interpretation of Welles' voice - again, Shreiber didn't even try. FYI: ME & ORSON WELLES is also considered to be one of the best film depictions of a stage production. And, WHAT a production! Welles' innovative directional approach to JULIUS CEASAR is still seriously discussed in master theatre workshops.

  31. #131
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    A "lost" 1938 silent slapstick comedy "Too Much Johnson" produced and directed by Welles has been found. The film was never completed and never shown to the public. A 35-mm nitrate work copy was discovered in Italy, restored, and will be publicly screened for the first time.

    http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/08/07/L...6581375903748/
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    Orson Welles Arena documentary

    Here's the 2 hour 44 min. BBC Arena documentary from 1982:


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    "Too Much Johnson" sounds like a porno.

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    "Gladiolus" beat me to it! You don't really need to see it so I took that with me on my flash player for a long walk and just listened. He seems like such an intelligent, interesting person, someone you would want to know. He also seem like a generally intelligent, capable guy who could have done anything but chose to make movies.

  35. #135
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    I watched 'F For Fake' last night. What an interesting world he mixed in.
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    Oh god, I tried to watch that; I really did. But you know that part where he gets real low and intimate and strange with that lady (daughter of somebody I think), almost sexual ( not that sexual things bother me) I said to myself "What the hell is this supposed to be? He's lost me." and I shut it off. I hate to think there's something I'm not smart enough to watch, but I just didn't have the patience for it.

  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upset View Post
    "Too Much Johnson" sounds like a porno.
    I think the word "Johnson" was carefully chosen because the plot is about a Augustus Billings, played by Joseph Cotton, who carries on multiple affairs telling his lovers his name is Johnson. Get it?
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  38. #138
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    Tonight's American Experience on PBS is a documentary about Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds. I gather from the description that it'll be both the broadcast and people who heard it the first time around talking about what it was like as they listened, the panic that came from it as well. If interested and it's not in your TV listings, check their website as they often have recently broadcast episodes on the site for awhile. Starts in about a half hour PST here.
    .

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    My mother, who is 85 now, remembers knowing nothing about WOTW until the next morning when she overheard a few of her classmates talking about it. As memory serves, it seems mom and her sis were listening America's Top 40 or something like that.

    A bit of trivia regarding Welles which I found somewhat surprising...Orson was originally picked by Roger Corman to play Capone in his 1967 film "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre", with Jason Robards playing Moran. But according to IMDB the deal was nixed by Fox because the studio felt Welles was "undirectable", so Robards moved over to play Capone and Ralph Meeker was brought in to play Moran. IMDB used the word "deal", so I take it that Corman had asked Welles and he agreed.

    I think Meeker turned out to be great for Moran including physical resemblance.

    No doubt Welles would have resembled Capone but I just can't wrap my head around his would-be performance. Anybody have any thoughts on Orson Welles playing Al Capone back in 1967?
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    Welles absolutely had that difficult to work with rep in MovieLand. Welles as Capone? Seems like it'd be very Laurence Olivier playing Sheriff Andy Taylor to me. But one of Andy's most acclaimed roles was his performance in A Face in the Crowd. So I guess it could go either way.

    The other thing is, wasn't Orson already getting rather round in the sixties? Or maybe I'm thinking of him in those wine commercials he used to do. If he was that size at the time though, I don't think Welles playing Capone would really work.
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    You know. I was looking at pictures of Orson last night....and I think Vincent DiOnifrino looks so much like him it's eerie. Also...young Orson was pretty hot. Then.....he just let himself go. He totally let himself go.

    Especially after Vincent got fat. (too many donuts, Goren!)

    Ol Orson seriously scared the crap out of people with World of The Worlds. I was listening to it last night since it was the 75th anniversary. Then, I watched some made for TV movie about it from the 70s that had John Ritter as one of the panic-stricken townspeople (a role I played myself in my drama class's reenactment of a "what would have happened during the broadcast" type thing back in high school.)

    I still don't get how dumb someone would have to be to think Martians were invading back then though. Germans....yeah. (it was 1938...come on!) but, Martians...Hell no.

    Also. I haven't read the other pages yet. So, I don't know if this has been posted. But, this was Orson's last interview. He died a few hours after taping this. And, the weird thing is. He's taking about birthdays and stuff and being really freaking hilarious about getting old....and....boom, he croaks hours later. Sucks.

    EDIT: I read back. This is the interview he did right before cramming 18 hot dogs down his pie hole with Merv watching...and then died an hour after. This is why 70 year old people are not allowed in hot dog eating contests....probably.



    ETA: Orson was not the Black Dahlia killer. That theory is insane. I really don't believe it one bit. I think Orson had issues in his earlier years yes (he was a smartass kid back in the 30s...He was in his 20s...and well, alot of men in their 20s are....dipshits for the most part.) But, to say that he killed a woman. Nope, sorry. Don't believe it.
    Last edited by Dr. Fishhead; 10-31-2013 at 07:05 AM.
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  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Fishhead View Post
    You know. I was looking at pictures of Orson last night....and I think Vincent DiOnifrino looks so much like him it's eerie. Also...young Orson was pretty hot. Then.....he just let himself go. He totally let himself go.

    Especially after Vincent got fat. (too many donuts, Goren!)

    Ol Orson seriously scared the crap out of people with World of The Worlds. I was listening to it last night since it was the 75th anniversary. Then, I watched some made for TV movie about it from the 70s that had John Ritter as one of the panic-stricken townspeople (a role I played myself in my drama class's reenactment of a "what would have happened during the broadcast" type thing back in high school.)

    I still don't get how dumb someone would have to be to think Martians were invading back then though. Germans....yeah. (it was 1938...come on!) but, Martians...Hell no.

    Also. I haven't read the other pages yet. So, I don't know if this has been posted. But, this was Orson's last interview. He died a few hours after taping this. And, the weird thing is. He's taking about birthdays and stuff and being really freaking hilarious about getting old....and....boom, he croaks hours later. Sucks.

    EDIT: I read back. This is the interview he did right before cramming 18 hot dogs down his pie hole with Merv watching...and then died an hour after. This is why 70 year old people are not allowed in hot dog eating contests....probably.
    Vincent D'Onifrino was brilliant as the Martian host in Men in Black.

    Considering that today the average American has no clue what is going on in the next county, it is not hard to believe that in the Mid-West bible belt, in the unsophisticated 30's, the locals did believe they were being invaded by Martians.

    Orson was found in bed dead, with his laptop sitting on his stomach, soon after having the hotdogs with Merv. Wonder what he was working on?
    Last edited by neilmpenny; 10-31-2013 at 08:43 AM.
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  43. #143
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    Probably trying to type Rosebud I presume?

    Or, "I shouldn't have eaten those hot dogs.....ROSEBUD!"

    Sorry. Couldn't resist.
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    The psychology behind the panic was explained in the show I watched - both by people who heard it's original broadcast and psychologists. Have a look for it on the PBS American Experience website for the explanation.
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  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeChick View Post
    Welles absolutely had that difficult to work with rep in MovieLand. Welles as Capone? Seems like it'd be very Laurence Olivier playing Sheriff Andy Taylor to me. But one of Andy's most acclaimed roles was his performance in A Face in the Crowd. So I guess it could go either way.

    The other thing is, wasn't Orson already getting rather round in the sixties? Or maybe I'm thinking of him in those wine commercials he used to do. If he was that size at the time though, I don't think Welles playing Capone would really work.
    Regarding Griffith in A Face In The Crowd, he was still playing a southerner so it wasn't that much of a stretch for him.

    Orson as Capone?...well, Al seemed to be putting on the pounds in and around 1929 before he was sent to prison and he always appeared to be stocky built anyway...more like Rod Steiger's turn as Capone, which is the best I've seen.

    I don't recall how heavy Orson was in 1967...close I guess but his persona and acting style I think would be like casting Olivier as Andy Taylor.
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

  46. #146
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    I disagree, as the range of acting required to start as a simple country bumpkin and end as a manipulative egomaniac shows there was more to it than playing himself as a young man.

    As for Orson, look up his old wine commercials on YouTube to decide.
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  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeChick View Post
    As for Orson, look up his old wine commercials on YouTube to decide.
    Well I do believe that Capone was never even close to the weight of Welles in those wine commercials. I wonder what Roger Corman was thinking in the first place.

    Welles being gassed in those outtakes is kinda sad though.
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

  48. #148
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    Yeah, the booze really did him in in the end. Most actors would spit the wine out between takes back then. Not him though. Makes Dean Martin look sober by comparison.
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  49. #149
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    Well, a lot of the time the glass in Dean's hand was just a prop filled with tea. However Dean and Frank and Accujack Peter and Joey and maybe Sammy would usually be feeling no pain, go out and do a boffo hotel show several nights a week until the wee hours of the morning, finish up, then go shower and shave. By that time the sun was up and the Pack ventured out to shoot scenes for Ocean's Eleven until nearly dark, then back to the hotel to start another all night show.

    Of course none of them had a waistline problem either.
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

  50. #150
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    How could they with that schedule, lol. Kinda reminds me of my own.
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