In fog-dripping, barren and sometimes macabre settings, 11th-century Scottish nobleman Macbeth is led by an evil prophecy and his ruthless yet desirable wife to the treasonous act that ... See full summary »
A Navy engineer, returning to the U.S. with his wife from a conference, finds himself pursued by Nazi agents, who are out to kill him. Without a word to his wife, he flees the hotel the ... See full summary »
Dolores del Rio
The young, handsome, but somewhat wild Eugene Morgan wants to marry Isabel Amberson, daughter of a rich upper-class family, but she instead marries dull and steady Wilbur Minafer. Their only child, George, grows up a spoiled brat. Years later, Eugene comes back, now a mature widower and a successful automobile maker. After Wilbur dies, Eugene again asks Isabel to marry him, and she is receptive. But George resents the attentions paid to his mother, and he and his whacko aunt Fanny manage to sabotage the romance. A series of disasters befall the Ambersons and George, and he gets his come-uppance in the end. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
The film's second preview was set in the more sophisticated town of Pasadena. Robert Wise had restored Orson Welles's 22 minutes of cuts and made smaller cuts in other places to make up the difference. The results were much more positive, but panic had already set in at the studio. When Welles heard of the problems, he begged the studio to send Wise to Brazil so they could re-cut the film together, but that was still impossible. Instead, RKO created a committee consisting of Jack Moss, Wise and Joseph Cotten to shorten the film. Welles sent lengthy telegrams to the committee suggesting changes. In the end, RKO chief George Schaefer turned the entire editing process over to Wise. See more »
In scene where Lucy and George say goodbye while walking down the street, Lucy's hair is pulled behind her neck. In closeup, as she watches George leave, her hair is in ringlets hanging in front of shoulders, then reverts to original hairdo when she goes into pharmacy. See more »
The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their midland town spread and darken into a city. In that town, in those days, all the women who wore silk or velvet knew all the other women who wore silk or velvet, and everybody knew everybody else's family horse and carriage. The only public conveyance was the streetcar. A lady could whistle to it from an upstairs window, and the car would halt at once and wait for her, ...
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All of the credits except the RKO logo, the film's title and the copyright notice are recited orally (by Orson Welles) at the end of the film, not written out onscreen. As Welles recites the names of the production crew, we see such items as a motion picture camera when he says "Director of Photography", a pair of hands turning knobs as he says the words "Sound Recording By", etc. See more »
Without having a great deal of experience as a movie director and devoid of the magnificent Toland, MA is in my opinion the movie that completely establishes Welles in the greatest directors category. It is almost impossible for me to fathom the amount of labor Welles took upon himself in this period of his life, engaging in an unheard of before million dollar project, facing critical reviews for Kane and moving to South Amercia to film for FDR a project that will also be doomed.
MA is more coherent than Kane, the direction is more consistent with the prevalence of the long takes as the first motor of story-telling. Having already acquired enough technical skills on Kane, Welles embarks on a project that gives more character depth analyzing much in the manner of Ford's Stagecoach or The Long Voyage Home a cast of characters in a series of changes (only Welles takes up the idea of the aging cast from Kane). There is no lead in the movie; though Cotten is credited first the intrigue revolves mostly around the stubborn Georgie (Holt). Much of the conflict is already configured after less than half an hour of film. Actually, up to the iris in the snow I think the movie is simply perfect, pure Welles gold. I could't imagine that part of the movie any other way than it is, that is...perfect.
The cinematography is great especially because the lights had to fit the long takes. The realism that Welles envisaged with the lighting scheme in Kane is more suited here, I think, because we don't get the same fractured view of reality that appears in Kane (and subsequent Welles films that rely heavily on editing). Though Kane had some wonderful long takes they were more of a display of the virtuoso director and his cinematographer with not so much coherence overall. MA first introduces Welles' capacity to comment on his own movies with camera movement, that will lead him to Mr. Arkadin and Touch of Evil. When you have a sophisticated long take presenting the ball room and its magnificence that long take is a way of commenting on that magnificence. It's like saying: hey, those guys went through heaven and hell to make this ball so great and I will show you this by a very clever and complex use of camera movement! Though long takes were previously used by Hitchcock in Rebecca and by Welles' favorite director Renoir with different purposes, Welles clearly has his own motives for using them and a personal style to go along.
Beautiful movie, not as great as Kane, Touch of Evil, The Trial or Chimes at Midnight but powerful and revealing a maturing Welles. A movie like this shows us that Welles not only did not fall down after Kane but was getting even better...!
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