"Director: Orson Welles"

  • The Stranger [Blu-ray]The Stranger | Blu Ray | (29/06/2015) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £N/A

    The legendary story that hovers over Orson Welles' The Stranger is that he wanted Agnes Moorehead to star as the dogged Nazi hunter who trails a war criminal to a sleepy New England town. The part went to Edward G. Robinson, who is marvellous, but it points out how many compromises Welles made on the film in an attempt to show Hollywood he could make a film on time, on budget and on their own terms. He accomplished all three, turning out a stylish if unambitious film noir thriller, his only Hollywood film to turn a profit on its original release. Welles stars as unreformed fascist Franz Kindler, hiding as a schoolteacher in a New England prep school for boys and newly married to the headmaster's lovely if naive daughter (Loretta Young). Welles, the director, is in fine form for the opening sequences, casting a moody tension as agents shadow a twitchy low-level Nazi official skulking through South American ports and building up to dramatic crescendo as Kindler murders this little man, the lovely woods becoming a maelstrom of swirling leaves that expose the body he furiously tries to bury. The rest of the film is a well designed but conventional cat-and-mouse game featuring an eye-rolling performance by Welles and a thrilling conclusion played out in the dark clock tower that looms over the little village. --Sean Axmaker

  • F For Fake [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [2018]F For Fake | Blu Ray | (30/07/2018) from £18.99   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £N/A

    ORSON WELLES'S DELIGHTFULLY SHIFTY DOCUMENTARY Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In F for Fake, a freeform documentary by ORSON WELLES (Citizen Kane), the legendary filmmaker (and selfdescribed charlatan) gleefully reengages with the central preoccupation of his career: the tenuous line between illusion and truth, art and lies. Beginning with portraits of the worldrenowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles embarks on a dizzying journey that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripesnot the least of whom is Welles himself. Charming and inventive, F for Fake is an inspired prank and a clever examination of the essential duplicity of cinema. Features: Restored digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack Audio commentary from 2005 by cowriter and star Oja Kodar and director of photography Gary Graver Introduction from 2005 by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich Orson Welles: OneMan Band, a documentary from 1995 about Welles's unfinished projects Almost True: The Noble Art of Forgery, a 52minute documentary from 1997 about art forger Elmyr de Hory 60 Minutes interview from 2000 with Clifford Irving about his Howard Hughes autobiography hoax Hughes's 1972 press conference exposing Irving's hoax Extended, 9minute trailer PLUS: An essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

  • Citizen Kane [1941]Citizen Kane | DVD | (05/01/2004) from £5.72   |  Saving you £5.53 (123.99%)   |  RRP £9.99

    In the May of 1941 RKO radio Pictures released a controversial film by a 25 year-old first-time director. That premiere of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane was to have a profound and lasting effect on the art of motion pictures. It has been hailed as the best American film ever made and it's as powerful film today as it was fifty years ago. It earned eight Academy Award nominations and won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Through its unique jigsaw-puzzle story-line inventive cinematograp

  • Citizen Kane [DVD]Citizen Kane | DVD | (29/08/2016) from £4.49   |  Saving you £2.50 (55.68%)   |  RRP £6.99

    Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles' 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 25, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions and can't be known easily. Welles plays newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. The result is that every well-meaning or tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event. Written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, and photographed by Gregg Toland, the film is the sum of Welles's awesome ambitions as an artist in Hollywood. He pushes the limits of then-available technology to create a true magic show, a visual and aural feast that almost seems to be rising up from a viewer's subconscious. As Kane, Welles even ushers in the influence of Bertolt Brechton film acting. This is truly a one-of-a-kind work, and in many ways is still the most modern of modern films this century. --Tom Keogh

  • Touch of Evil (1958) (Masters of Cinema) [Blu-ray]Touch of Evil (1958) (Masters of Cinema) | Blu Ray | (14/11/2011) from £11.99   |  Saving you £6.00 (50.04%)   |  RRP £17.99

    Considered by many to be the greatest B movie ever made, the original-release version of Orson Welles's film noir masterpiece Touch of Evil was, ironically, never intended as a B movie at all--it merely suffered that fate after it was taken away from writer-director Welles, then reedited and released in 1958 as the second half of a double feature. Time and critical acclaim would eventually elevate the film to classic status (and Welles's original vision was meticulously followed for the film's 1998 restoration), but for four decades this original version stood as a testament to Welles's directorial genius. From its astonishing, miraculously choreographed opening shot (lasting over three minutes) to Marlene Dietrich's classic final line of dialogue, this sordid tale of murder and police corruption is like a valentine for the cinematic medium, with Welles as its love-struck suitor. As the corpulent cop who may be involved in a border-town murder, Welles faces opposition from a narcotics officer (Charlton Heston) whose wife (Janet Leigh) is abducted and held as the pawn in a struggle between Heston's quest for truth and Welles's control of carefully hidden secrets. The twisting plot is wildly entertaining (even though it's harder to follow in this original version), but even greater pleasure is found in the pulpy dialogue and the sheer exuberance of the dazzling directorial style. --Jeff Shannon

  • Othello [DVD]Othello | DVD | (21/04/2014) from £8.75   |  Saving you £21.24 (242.74%)   |  RRP £29.99

    Filmed as a classical tragedy, Orson Welles' Othello is a tale of passion, jealousy and murder. Welles used his earnings from several performances (including Carol Reed's classic The Third Man) to finance the production, which was shot over several years across multiple locations including Italy and Morocco. The footage was well matched photographically, resulting in an artistically brave compression of a great play. In the title role, Welles shows us a man who has fought many wars but still maintains a princely disposition. As Desdemona, Suzanne Cloutier is guileless but strong enough to have wanted and pursued the Moor. She alone is accused of pretending to be what she is not, and her openness makes her suspect in a world where few appear to be as they are. In a rare filmed role, Micheál MacLiammór excels as the diabolical Iago, a master of manipulating appearances and devoid of any motive save pure evil. MacLiammór shows how a hint can be greater than a howl, executing a series of deceptions (whose victims include Roderigo, Brabantio, and Cassio) that culminate in the symbolic destruction of Desdemona. The financial constraints appear to have ignited an even higher level of creativity within Welles, who never takes the expected angle and directs the film with a vertiginous, exhibitionist energy. Though Roderigo's death scene was filmed in a Moroccan steam bath because the costumes had not arrived, it is refreshing to see a Shakespeare film in which the cast doesn't look like it's on its way to a Beverly Hills costume party with an Elizabethan theme. The allegorical journey between heaven and hell concludes with the exposure of both Iago's scheme and the tragedy of Othello, who ultimately could not believe in the purity of his wife. This Othello won the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes in April 1952. --Kevin Mulhall

  • Citizen Kane : Special Edition [1941]Citizen Kane : Special Edition | DVD | (21/07/2003) from £22.93   |  Saving you £-14.94 (-187.00%)   |  RRP £7.99

    The most acclaimed film in cinema history, Citizen Kane receives extra bolstering each time it tops a "greatest films ever" list. As a piece of filmmaking it ticks all the right boxes: a precociously talented director and lead actor in Orson Welles, Gregg Toland's innovative cinematography, a strong screenplay by Welles and Herman J Mankiewicz, rich scoring from Bernard Herrmann, and so on. For its time, it was technically groundbreaking, and laid out a blueprint for Hollywood filmmaking that's still influential. But, most importantly, as a viewing experience it's still one of the most mesmerising and beautiful films in existence. From its opening scenes--Kane's eerie Gothic mansion, his lone figure muttering the word "Rosebud" as he dies, journalists discussing the newsreel footage of his obituary--Kane lays out an enigma: who exactly was this man? Looping flashbacks build up a portrait of a contradictory figure who, despite living in the public eye, remained a mystery at heart. A testament to the corrupting influence of money, fame and the media and at its centre the tale of a man in search of love, Citizen Kane is a personal tragedy on an epic scale. Technically, it's a lesson in filmmaking in itself whose daring aesthetics nonetheless remain unobtrusive. It's doubtful that a debut director will ever be given such free reign by a studio again and even if this happened, it's doubtful that such a masterpiece would be created. On the DVD: Citizen Kane in this DVD special edition is beautifully remastered and comes with a feature illustrating the before and after of the restoration process. A 50-minute documentary, "Anatomy of a Classic", hosted by Barry Norman, delves into the making of the film as well as trying to deal with some of the myths that surround it, like the (untrue) rumour that Welles ran over both time and budget. Film historian Ken Barnes takes over for a commentary and Welles himself is featured in his controversial 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds and 1945 broadcast of The Happy Prince. A photo gallery, extensive cast and crew profiles, breakdown of all the films expenses and trailer round off this admirable package.--Laura Bushell

  • The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [2018]The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) | Blu Ray | (10/12/2018) from £25.99   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £N/A

    Orson Welles's elegiac follow-up to Citizen Kane, on Blu-ray for the first time in an edition packed with special features. This beautiful, nostalgia-suffused second feature by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)the subject of one of cinema's greatest missing-footage tragediesharks back to turn-of-the-twentieth-century Indianapolis, chronicling the inexorable decline of the fortunes of an affluent family. Adapted from an acclaimed Booth Tarkington novel and characterized by restlessly inventive camera work and powerful performances from a cast including Joseph Cotton (The Third Man), Tim Holt (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), and Agnes Moorehead (Citizen Kane), the film traces the rifts deepening within the Amberson clanat the same time as the forces of progress begin to transform the city they once ruled. Though RKO excised over forty minutes of footage, now lost to history, and added an incongruously upbeat ending, The Magnificent Ambersons is an emotionally rich family saga and a masterful elegy for a bygone chapter of American life. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack Two audio commentaries, featuring film scholars Robert Carringer, James Naremore and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum New interviews with scholars Simon Callow and Joseph McBride New video essay on the film's cinematographers by scholar François Thomas New video essay on the film's score by scholar Christopher Husted Welles on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970 Segment from Pampered Youth, a 1925 silent adaptation of The Magnificent Ambersons Audio from a 1979 AFI symposium on Welles Two Mercury Theatre radio plays: Seventeen (1938), an adaptation of another Booth Tarkington novel by Welles, and The Magnificent Ambersons (1939) Trailer PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell and essays by authors and critics Luc Sante, Geoffrey O'Brien, Farran Smith Nehme, and Jonathan Lethem, and excerpts from an unfinished 1982 memoir by Welles

  • The Trial - 50th Anniversary [Blu-ray]The Trial - 50th Anniversary | Blu Ray | (10/09/2012) from £25.63   |  Saving you £-0.64 (N/A%)   |  RRP £24.99

    An unassuming office worker is arrested and stands trial, but he is never made aware of his charges.

  • Citizen Kane [Blu-ray]Citizen Kane | Blu Ray | (29/08/2016) from £8.99   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £N/A

    Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles' 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 25, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions and can't be known easily. Welles plays newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. The result is that every well-meaning or tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event. Written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, and photographed by Gregg Toland, the film is the sum of Welles's awesome ambitions as an artist in Hollywood. He pushes the limits of then-available technology to create a true magic show, a visual and aural feast that almost seems to be rising up from a viewer's subconscious. As Kane, Welles even ushers in the influence of Bertolt Brechton film acting. This is truly a one-of-a-kind work, and in many ways is still the most modern of modern films this century. --Tom Keogh

  • The Stranger (Dual Format - Blu-ray & DVD)The Stranger (Dual Format - Blu-ray & DVD) | Blu Ray | (04/05/2015) from £29.68   |  Saving you £-7.69 (N/A%)   |  RRP £21.99

    In a way, Scarlet Street is a remake. It's taken from a French novel, La Chienne (literally, "The Bitch") that was first filmed by Jean Renoir in 1931. Renoir brought to the sordid tale all the colour and vitality of Montmartre; Fritz Lang's version shows us a far harsher and bleaker world. The film replays the triangle set-up from Lang's previous picture, The Woman in the Window, with the same three actors. Once again, Edward G Robinson plays a respectable middle-aged citizen snared by the charms of Joan Bennett's streetwalker, with Dan Duryea as her low-life pimp. The plot closes around the three of them like a steel trap. This is Lang at his most dispassionate. Scarlet Street is a tour de force of noir filmmaking, brilliant but ice-cold. The Stranger, according to Orson Welles, "is the worst of my films. There is nothing of me in that picture". But even on autopilot Welles still leaves most filmmakers standing. A war crimes investigator, played by Edward G Robinson, tracks down a senior Nazi to a sleepy New England town where he's living in concealment as a respected college professor. Welles wanted Agnes Moorehead as the investigator and Robinson as the Nazi Franz Kindler, but his producer, Sam Spiegel, wouldn't wear it. So Welles himself plays the supposedly cautious and self-effacing fugitive--and if there was one thing Welles could never play, it was unobtrusive. Still, the film's far from a write-off. Welles' eye for stunning visuals rarely deserted him and, aided by Russell Metty's skewed, shadowy photography, The Stranger builds to a doomy grand guignol climax in a clocktower that Hitchcock must surely have recalled when he made Vertigo. And Robinson, dogged in pursuit, is as quietly excellent as ever. On the DVD: sparse pickings. Both films have a full-length commentary by Russell Cawthorne which adds the occasional insight, but is repetitive and not always reliable. The box claims both print have been "fully restored and digitally remastered", but you'd never guess. --Philip Kemp

  • Around the World with Orson Welles (2-DVD Set)Around the World with Orson Welles (2-DVD Set) | DVD | (24/08/2015) from £12.98   |  Saving you £13.00 (130.13%)   |  RRP £22.99

    Orson Welles, a hugely successful polymath who forged a career in film, radio and theatre, was little known for his TV work. In 1955, Associated-Rediffusion commissioned Welles to make his first television production, inviting him to write, direct and host a mini series. Despite its grand title, the series was filmed entirely in Europe. Part home-movie, part cinematic essay, each episode takes the viewer on a fascinating journey to see the famous people and places in key cities across the continent. In Paris, we are introduced to famous artists such as Jean Cocteau; in Madrid, we attend a bullfight; and in Vienna, in an episode which was long believed lost, we are taken to the locations of The Third Man. A unique and fascinating entry in the career of one of modern cinema's most revered figures, Around the World with Orson Welles finally receives its premiere DVD release from the BFI.

  • Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight [DVD]Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight | DVD | (29/06/2015) from £N/A   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £12.99

    On the brink of Civil War King Henry IV (John Gielgud) attempts to consolidate his reign while fretting with unease over his sons seeming neglect of his royal duties. Hal (Keith Baxter) the young Prince openly consorts with Sir John Falstaff (Orson Welles) and his company of “Diana’s foresters Gentlemen of the shade Minions of the moon”. Hal’s friendship with the fat knight substitutes for his estrangement from his father. Both Falstaff and the King are old and tired; both rely on Hal for comfort in their final years while the young Prince the future Henry V nurtures his own ambitions. Orson Welles considered Chimes at Midnight his personal favorite of all his films. Perhaps the most radical and groundbreaking of all Shakespeare adaptations the film condenses the Bard’s Henriad cycle into a single focused narrative. Its international cast comprises of Jeanne Moreau Fernando Rey Margaret Rutherford and Ralph Richardson as the narrator in addition to Welles and Gielgud. The film’s harrowing war scenes have proven especially influential cited in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V as well as Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.

  • The Trial 50th Anniversary (StudioCanal Collection) [DVD]The Trial 50th Anniversary (StudioCanal Collection) | DVD | (10/09/2012) from £10.75   |  Saving you £5.24 (48.74%)   |  RRP £15.99

    Orson Welles applied his unique directorial style to Kafka's classic work in this 1962 adaptation of The Trial. Anthony Perkins stars as Joseph K., an office clerk who gets arrested one day but is not told why. Welles used interesting techniques during filming, such as pin-screen animation to emphasise the atmosphere of K's world. The result is a moving and atmospheric attempt to capture the essence of Kafka's original work.

  • Touch Of Evil [1958]Touch Of Evil | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £9.48   |  Saving you £2.50 (33.38%)   |  RRP £9.99

    The Strangest Vengeance Ever Planned! Orson Welles' Touch of Evil is nothing short of a masterpiece. Beginning with a three-minute-plus tracking crane shot the film explodes onto the screen literally - the opening shot ends with a car blowing up and that detonation sets into motion a classic noir tale of betrayal and murder. Special mention must go to Henry Mancini's score one the most impressive in cinema history! Welles plays the racist Captain Hank Quinlan a gr

  • Stranger, theStranger, the | DVD | (17/04/2019) from £2.99   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £2.99

    The Stranger

  • The Lady From Shanghai [1948]The Lady From Shanghai | DVD | (18/08/2003) from £5.38   |  Saving you £7.61 (141.45%)   |  RRP £12.99

    Legend has it that Orson Welles more or less conned studio boss Harry Cohn over the phone into making The Lady from Shanghai by grabbing the title from a nearby paperback. In any case, this is one of Welles's most fascinating works, a bizarre tale of an Irish sailor (Welles) who accompanies a beautiful woman (Rita Hayworth) and her handicapped husband (Everett Sloane) on a cruise and becomes involved in a murder plot. But never mind all that (the aforementioned legend also claims that Cohn offered a reward to anyone who could explain the plot to him). The film is really a dream of Welles's driving preoccupations both on and off-screen at the time: the elusiveness of identity, the mystique of things lost, and most of all the director's faltering marriage to Hayworth. In the tradition of male filmmakers who indirectly tell the story of their love affairs with leading ladies, Welles tells his own, photographing Hayworth as a deconstructed star, an obvious cinematic creation, thus reflecting, perhaps, a never-satisfied yearning that leads us back to the mystery of Citizen Kane. --Tom Keogh

  • Orson Welles' Macbeth [1951]Orson Welles' Macbeth | DVD | (17/07/2000) from £5.69   |  Saving you £14.30 (251.32%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Orson Welles' Macbeth is an expressionist masterpiece about a doomed man of ordinary ambition who believes an evil prophecy that he will become King. The shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, Welles long considered Macbeth to be the most filmable of the Bard's work. Produced on a slim budget over a mere 32 days, the results are consistently impressive. As depicted by Welles, the title character is not a warrior king or conscience-stricken, poetic soul on a par with Hamlet; rather, he is revealed to be a facile, superstitious man consigned to fate even as the character does not trust to fate. For her part, Lady Macbeth (Jeanette Nolan) is merely obsessed with the unimpeded exercise of her will to power, viewing her husband's life as a tale told by an idiot (she is particularly effective during the "out, damned spot" scene from Act V). Welles has also created some new scenes here, conflating several characters into a "Holy Father" (Alan Napier) while eliciting strong supporting turns from actors such as Dan O'Herlihy (Macduff) and Roddy McDowall (Malcolm). All of this unfolds within a highly disordered state in which nature itself is on the rant ("Fair is foul and foul is fair"). Though the technically poor soundtrack and the occasional indecipherable Scottish brogue make the film seem a trifle compromised at times, each moment feels preternaturally alive. There is an almost Brechtian quality here, with Welles giving us splendid pieces then leaving it to us to fit them into a theatrically coherent puzzle. Refusing to believe that Birnham Wood could ever travel to Dunsinane, Macbeth is finally exposed as a man of insufficient character. As such, some might suggest that this Macbeth is more accurately described as the story of how Malcolm became King. --Kevin Mulhall

  • Citizen Kane [1941]Citizen Kane | DVD | (20/09/1999) from £6.25   |  Saving you £15.00 (300.60%)   |  RRP £19.99

    Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles' 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 26, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions and can't be known easily. Welles plays newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. The result is that every well-meaning or tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event. Written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, and photographed by Gregg Toland, the film is the sum of Welles's awesome ambitions as an artist in Hollywood. He pushes the limits of then-available technology to create a true magic show, a visual and aural feast that almost seems to be rising up from a viewer's subconscious. As Kane, Welles even ushers in the influence of Bertolt Brechton film acting. This is truly a one-of-a-kind work, and in many ways is still the most modern of modern films this century. --Tom Keogh

  • Othello (1952) [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [2018]Othello (1952) | Blu Ray | (10/12/2018) from £20.79   |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)   |  RRP £N/A

    A visionary adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, one of Orson Welles's greatest films, presented in two versions. Gloriously cinematic despite its tiny budget, Othello, directed by Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), is a testament to the filmmaker's stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth. Unmatched in his passionate identification with Shakespeare's imagination, Welles brings his inventive visual approach to this enduring tragedy of jealousy, bigotry, and rage, and also gives a towering performance as the Moor of Venice, alongside Suzanne Cloutier (Juliette, or Key of Dreams) as the innocent Desdemona, and Micháel Macliammóir (Tom Jones) as the scheming Iago. Shot over the course of three years in Italy and Morocco and plagued by many logistical problems, this fiercely independent film joins Macbeth and Chimes at Midnight in making the case for Welles as the cinema's most audacious interpreter of the Bard. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New, restored 4K digital transfers of two versions of the film, the 1952 European one and the 1955 U.S. and UK one, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks Audio commentary from 1995 featuring filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich and Orson Welles scholar Myron Meisel Filming Othello, Welles's last completed film, a 1979 essay-documentary Return to Glennascaul, a 1953 short film made by actors Micheál MacLiammóir and Hilton Edwards during a hiatus from shooting Othello New interview with Welles biographer Simon Callow Souvenirs d' Othello, a 1995 documentary about actor Suzanne Cloutier by François Girard New interview with Welles scholar François Thomas on the two versions New interview with Ayanna Thompson, author of Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race and Contemporary America Interview from 2014 with scholar Joseph McBride PLUS: An essay by film critic Geoffrey O'Brien

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