Orson Welles


Best known as the director of Citizen Kane and also known for his radio broadcast of “Sea of ​​the Worlds” or “War of the Worlds” by HG Wells, Orson Welles was a specialist who stood out during his career as an actor, writer, director and producer on radio, film and television . In fact, his reach went as far as television commercials, and by the end of his life, he was a household name for his Paul Masson wine commercials and his famous saying, “we won’t sell wine ahead of time.” Orson Welles began his career on stage, directing plays under the Federal Theater Project and later with his company Mercury Theater.. He wasn’t on the radio for long before he made the decision to go conquer Hollywood . His directorial debut, Citizen Kane would be considered the greatest American film of all time. He won immediate acclaim from Welles for his discontinuous storytelling, superb shots, and social commentary.


Who was Orson Welles?

Orson Welles was a famous stuntman who excelled during his career as a famed actor, writer, film director, and also as a radio and television producer . His commercials on the small screen made him famous. Actor who began his career directing plays until he managed to direct one of the best American films.

  • Private life of Orson Welles
  • Orson Welles on the radio
  • Orson Welles in the movies

Private life of Orson Welles

His father was a famous inventor, of good economic condition, his mother was a beautiful concert piano player; Orson Welles was talented in many fields (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died, he was just nine years old and he traveled the world with his father. When his father died at the age of fifteen, he became the ward of Dr. Maurice Bernstein of Chicago. In 1931, he graduated from Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois; He turned down university offers for a drawing tour of Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the London and Broadway stages , traveling a bit more in Morocco and Spain . After spending a short time in Ireland, where Welles participated in thetheater as an actor , he returned to Chicago, where he briefly worked as a theater teacher at the Todd School and co-edited four volumes of works by William Shakespeare . Welles and Houseman stopped working with the Federal Theater Project when they attempted to shut down their June 1937 production of Marc Blitzstein’s pro-work The Cradle Will Rock. They organized the Mercury Theater, which over the next two seasons had a number of extraordinary hits, including Julius Caesar’s Modern Dress (with Welles playing Brutus), an Elizabethan working-class comedy Shoemaker’s Holiday (rewritten by Welles) and George Bernard Shaw. (1856-1950) Heartbreak House (with 24-year-old Welles, convincingly portraying an old man). Welles also found time to play “The Shadow” on the radio and to supervise a “The Mercury Theater on Air,” the most notable success of which was an adaptation of HG Wells (1866-1946) The War of the Worlds , which sparked the Many panicked listeners believed that Martians were invading New Jersey.


Orson Welles on the radio

One of the best productions that managed to monopolize practically an entire country was the well-known War of the Worlds : This story was based on the narration of the fall of hundreds of meteorites to earth that later, in reality, were containers or spaceships that they would fight and defeat the United States forcesby means of heat rays and poisonous gases. During the film, people thought they were actually being invaded. Audience data estimates that about 12 million people listened to the broadcast and another many fell prey to panic, abandoning their homes and collapsing roads, stations or police stations. The emergency telephones collapsed for several hours, receiving a multitude of messages claiming to have seen the aliens. The show simulated a news broadcast , and Welles, as its narrator, described in astonishing detail the alien invasion and attack on New Jersey. The program included news reportsand eyewitness accounts, and it sounded so real that listeners panicked over what they perceived to be a real event. When the truth came out, deluded believers were deeply outraged and angered by the deception and terror generated in thousands of American families.

Orson Welles in the movies

Despite anger at some of his listeners, the broadcast cemented Orson Welles’ status as a genius, and his talent quickly became a fascination to Hollywood . In 1940 Welles signed a $ 225,000 contract with RKO to write, direct, and produce two films . The deal gave the young filmmaker full creative control, as well as a percentage of the profits, and at the time it was the most lucrative deal ever made with an unproven filmmaker. Welles was very young and was only 24 years old. The success was not immediate. The audacity behind that project paled in comparison to what became Orson Welles’ debut film: Citizen Kane (1941). Citizen Kaneit was a revolutionary work of art . In the film, which was nominated for a total of nine Academy Awards (winning best screenplay ), Welles implemented a number of pioneering techniques , including using deep cinematography to present all objects in one detailed shot. . Welles also anchored the look of the film with low-angle shots and told his story from multiple points of view. It was only a matter of time before Citizen Kane’s genius was praised . It is now considered one of the best movies ever made.

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