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Orson Welles Paperback – March 22, 1996

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Paperback, March 22, 1996
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Editorial Reviews Review

An excellent introduction to Orson Welles's career and accomplishments. Newly revised by author Joseph McBride, Orson Welles now features essays on F for Fake, Welles's last theatrical film; the recently reconstructed It's All True; the still unreleased The Other Side of the Wind (which Welles completed in the late '70s and in which McBride acted); and the seldom seen television pilot The Fountain of Youth. In addition, McBride has updated his chapters on The Magnificent Ambersons, The Stranger, and Macbeth. But, as the author states in his new preface, the core of this volume is still the work written in 1972 by a young enthusiast, a Welles fanatic who viewed Citizen Kane scores of times before composing the essay that would became the book's third chapter. --Raphael Shargel

From Library Journal

As attested by Simon Callow's recent in-depth biography Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu (LJ 11/15/95), Voyager's Theatre of the Imagination CD-ROM, and the OscarR-nominated documentary The Battle over "Citizen Kane," the remarkable Welles continues to fascinate more than ten years after his death. This revised and expanded edition of McBride's 1972 volume incorporates new criticism of recently restored versions of Welles's films and other information that has come to light since its original publication.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Revised, Expand edition (March 22, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306806746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joseph McBride is an American film historian, biographer, screenwriter, and professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University. McBride has published eighteen books since 1968, including acclaimed biographies of Frank Capra, John Ford, and Steven Spielberg. His most recent work is The Broken Places: A Memoir (2015), which deals with his childhood abuse in Catholic schools and an alcoholic family, his breakdown as a teenager, and his triumphant recovery; the book tells the story of his relationship with a troubled young Native American woman who helped teach him to live but could not survive herself. Before that, McBride published Into the Nightmare: My Search for the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit (2013); both epic and intimately personal, that book is the result of McBride's thirty-one-year investigation of the case. It contains many fresh revelations from McBride's rare interviews with people in Dallas, archival discoveries, and what novelist Thomas Flanagan, in The New York Review of Books, called McBride's "wide knowledge of American social history."

McBride's Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Made (Mostly) Painless (2012) draws from his long experience as a screenwriter and as a teacher of screenwriting. Also in 2012, McBride published an updated third edition of his 1997 book Steven Spielberg: A Biography. The American second edition of the Spielberg book was published in 2011 by the University Press of Mississippi, which also reprinted his biographies Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success (1992; 2000) and Searching for John Ford (2001). McBride's other books include: Orson Welles (1972; 1996), Hawks on Hawks (1982), The Book of Movie Lists: An Offbeat, Provocative Collection of the Best and Worst of Everything in Movies (1999), and What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career (2006). He wrote the 1974 critical study John Ford with Michael Wilmington.

McBride's screenwriting credits include the movies Rock 'n' Roll High School and Blood and Guts and five American Film Institute Life Achievement Award specials on CBS-TV dealing with Fred Astaire, Frank Capra, Lillian Gish, John Huston, and James Stewart. He also was cowriter of the United States Information Agency worldwide live TV special Let Poland Be Poland (1982). McBride plays a film critic, Mister Pister, in the legendary unfinished Orson Welles feature The Other Side of the Wind (1970-76). McBride is also the coproducer of the documentaries Obsessed with "Vertigo": New Life for Hitchcock's Masterpiece (1997) and John Ford Goes to War (2002).

McBride received the Writers Guild of America Award for cowriting The American Film Institute Salute to John Huston (1983). He has also received four other WGA nominations two Emmy nominations, and a Canadian Film Awards nomination. The French edition of Searching for John Ford, A la Recherche de John Ford, published in 2007, was chosen the Best Foreign Film Book of the Year by the French film critics' association, le Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinéma.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, McBride grew up in the suburb of Wauwatosa. He attended Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, where he received a National Merit Scholarship, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and worked as a reporter for The Wisconsin State Journal in Madison before departing for California in 1973. A documentary feature on McBride's life and work, Behind the Curtain: Joseph McBride on Writing Film History, written and directed by Hart Perez, had its world debut in 2011 at the Tiburon International Film Festival in Tiburon, Marin County, CA, and was released on DVD in 2012.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fabulous look at Welles' career and a critial look at his work as a filmmaker. One of the best, if not THE best works on this fabulour artist.
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7 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Douglas B. Barr on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, James Naremore is the most perceptive and insightful writer about Welles' work as a filmaker. But McBride is also good, so are Andre Bazin and Jonathan Rosenbaum. But whatever you do, beware of that gossip mongering charlatin Pauline Kael. What a phony she is, the woman had built a reputation as an advocate of art, but in fact she only likes and respects conventionality, and has never forgiven Orson Welles for exposing the studio system as being first and foremost a place where money is the only real consideration. I really think that she and Charles Higham hated Welles because they were somehow jealous that he could do so much, and do it so well. Why would any writer seek to make it difficult for a artistically creative talent like Welles (such a rare thing in Hollywood history) to recieve patronage? But thats exactly what they did, and in Highams case one book was not enough for him, his jealousy was such that he devoted two books trying to convince people that Welles most highly regarded works were really the products of other peoples talents, and the second book was quickly finished in time for the aging Welles to hear about it just before he could die. Why are some people so jealous of originality, and so angry about it, and determined to stop it wherever it exists? Some people simply cannot live with independance and originality, they can only abide with the conventional. This is the type of person Pauline Kael was- in my own humble opinion. I hope she is proud of hurting a man who gave us such calibur of filmaking; contemporary popular movie combined with artistic masterpiece. If it was the product of the studio system, why could the studio system never do anything comprable ever again?Read more ›
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 55D@Peking on February 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Orson Welles is one of my favorite actors and I'm glad I bought this book. I look forward to reading it very soon.
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