Either as a film director, writer, actoror when combining his talentsOrson Wells has been responsible for some movies I will never forget, many of which were created in the 1940s. Here are some of his films from the 1940s that always remind me of his genius.
1. 'Citizen Kane' (1941)Citizen Kane
is an enduring masterpiece that is considered by manymyself includedto be the greatest movie ever made. Welles portrayal of the title character is unexcelled. I think the visual style of Citizen Kane
looks stunningly fresh and inventive even today, and the unconventional narrative structure of the Oscar-winning screenplay still seems daring.
2. 'The Magnificent Ambersons' (1942)Even after Welles was forced to accommodate changes required by the studio, his adaptation of Booth Tarkingtons novel is a compelling classic film. I love the way this movie chronicles an aristocratic Indianapolis familys decline at the dawn of the automobile age, while creating a complex character study of a spoiled son who slowly realizes his selfishness.
3. 'The Third Man' (1949)
In The Third Man
story, direction, performances, cinematography, and music all come together to create an unforgettable film. Orson Welles is stunning as Harry Lime, one of the most deliciously memorable villains in all of film history. Ive always slightly preferred the longer 1949 British version of this movie that begins with director Carol Reeds voice-over narration
4. 'The Lady from Shanghai' (1948)In this evocative film noir, sailor Michael O'Hara (Orson Welles) is lured into a scam by a beautiful woman (Rita Hayworth) and her lawyer husband. But nothing is what is seems, and O'Hara soon finds himself on trial for murder. One Wellesian touch that I find stunning is the sequence set in a fun-house hall of mirrors. To my mind, it is among the most dazzling on film.