After Hollywood had turned its back on him, Orson Welles became better known as a raconteur than as a film director, and something of a TV talk-show staple. As such, he seems a natural subject for University Press of Mississippi's series of interviews with filmmakers. The earliest of the 15 conversations collected here come from mass-market magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post
, dating from when Welles was the theatrical wunderkind who panicked the nation with his War of the Worlds
radio show. But the later colloquies, mostly from film journals and many translated into English for the first time here, are the most substantial, as the erudite, evasive, egotistical, and entertaining Welles discusses everything from Shakespeare to politics. There are some glaring inconsistencies between one interview and another, but Welles' probable lies are fascinating in themselves. Peter Bogdanovich's book-length Welles interview beats this collection in overall depth; but these diverse talks from throughout the course of four decades offer an appropriately multifaceted view of the protean Welles. Gordon FlaggCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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From the Inside Flap
An array of interviews, profiles, and press conferences tracing the half century that this multidimensional film director and actor was in the public eye