The reminiscences of school days, long-departed friends, and early, naïvely audacious adventures conjure a scaled-down Welles, whose cracker-barrel warmth reminds us that his mighty creations have a core of nostalgic yearning for an unforgotten modesty that lay forever just out of reach. (After all, Rosebud.). The anchored and sentimental protagonist of Tarbox's book brings an important new facet to our view of Orson Welles, one of the two greatest characters in the history of cinema.
--Richard Brody, The New YorkerWhat is so moving is that, for the first time, I felt I was hearing the true, unadulterated voice of Orson Welles. Theirs was a relationship of lifelong love, amity and mutual respect, and coursing through their talks is a quality of friendship and generosity of spirit rare in this life. As the conversations move inexorably toward the end--on the night before he is to die, Welles tells Hill, "I'm feeling very mortal these days"--one feels the curtain slowly coming down on a profoundly felt comedy-drama one wishes had several more acts to go.
--Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter In 1926, the 11-year-old Welles entered the Todd School for Boys, an independent boarding school in Woodstock. One of his teachers there was Roger Hill, and a better student-teacher match may not have been made since Plato met Socrates. Todd Tarbox, Roger Hill's grandson and the author of a compelling and captivating new book, "Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts," is cleverly, inventively constructed in the form of a three-act play of candid conversations adapted from the many letters and tape-recorded conversations between Welles and Hill.
--Rick Kogan, Chicago TribuneA remarkable glimpse into cultural history. Welles and Hill were individuals of considerable intellect and culture. They belonged to a generation steeped in the classics of Western literature. Lines from Shakespeare, Poe, Ben Jonson and others form an organic element of their conversations. It is a moving moment when Hill recites Christ's entire "Sermon on the Mount" from memory. Todd Tarbox's book is a genuine contribution to our understanding of a critical historical period and two remarkable personalities.
--David Walsh, WSWS
What I take away most is the love of learning that the Todd School fired in Welles, who was already well-traveled and something of an autodidact. He also treasured the fellowship of his schoolmates and the opportunity to spread his wings in all forms of arts and letters. (Wait till you see his prose and pictures for the official school pamphlet.)
Orson Welles and Roger Hill: A Friendship in Three Acts doesn't take long to read, in part because it's hard to put down. How lucky we are that Todd Tarbox has allowed us to eavesdrop on two such extraordinary men.