IMDb > The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The Magnificent Ambersons
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The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Booth Tarkington (from the novel by)
Orson Welles (script writer)
View company contact information for The Magnificent Ambersons on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 July 1942 (USA) See more »
From the Man who Made "The Best Picture of 1941" See more »
The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Marvellous work, but sadly suffers from limited time See more (102 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joseph Cotten ... Eugene Morgan

Dolores Costello ... Isabel Amberson Minafer

Anne Baxter ... Lucy Morgan

Tim Holt ... George Minafer

Agnes Moorehead ... Fanny Minafer

Ray Collins ... Jack Amberson
Erskine Sanford ... Roger Bronson
Richard Bennett ... Major Amberson

Orson Welles ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin August ... Citizen (uncredited)
Georgia Backus ... Matron (uncredited)
Harry A. Bailey ... Citizen (uncredited)
Olive Ball ... Mary - Maid (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Reverend Smith (uncredited)
William Blees ... Young Man at Accident (uncredited)
Lyle Clement ... Citizen (uncredited)
Bobby Cooper ... George Minafer as a Boy (uncredited)
Don Dillaway ... Wilbur Minafer (uncredited)
Heenan Elliott ... Workman (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Guest (uncredited)
William Elmer ... Servant (uncredited)
James Fawcett ... Citizen (uncredited)
Mel Ford ... Fred Kinney (uncredited)

Nancy Gates ... Girl (uncredited)
Nina Guilbert ... Guest (uncredited)

William Hoehne Jr. ... Blond haired boy (uncredited)
Maynard Holmes ... Citizen (uncredited)
Edward Howard ... Chauffeur (uncredited)
Harry Humphrey ... Citizen (uncredited)
Elmer Jerome ... Attendee at Funeral (uncredited)
J. Louis Johnson ... Sam - Butler (uncredited)
Lew Kelly ... Citizen (uncredited)
Del Lawrence ... Citizen (uncredited)
Bert LeBaron ... Citizen (uncredited)
John McGuire ... Young Man (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Policeman (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ... Mrs. Foster (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Citizen (uncredited)
Charles R. Phipps ... Uncle John (uncredited)
Hilda Plowright ... Nurse (uncredited)
Drew Roddy ... Elijah (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Hardware Man (uncredited)
Jack Santoro ... Barber (uncredited)
Gus Schilling ... Drug Clerk (uncredited)
Kathryn Sheldon ... Matron (uncredited)
Sada Simmons ... Wife (uncredited)
Dorothy Vaughan ... Mrs. Johnson (uncredited)
James Westerfield ... Policeman at Accident (uncredited)
Joe Whitehead ... Citizen (uncredited)

Directed by
Orson Welles 
Fred Fleck (additional sequences) (uncredited)
Robert Wise (additional sequences) (uncredited)
Writing credits
Booth Tarkington (from the novel by)

Orson Welles (script writer)

Joseph Cotten  additional scenes (uncredited)
Jack Moss  additional scenes (uncredited)

Produced by
Jack Moss .... associate producer (uncredited)
George Schaefer .... executive producer (uncredited)
Orson Welles .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Bernard Herrmann (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Stanley Cortez (photographer)
Jack MacKenzie (uncredited)
Orson Welles (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Robert Wise (film editor)
Jack Moss (uncredited)
Mark Robson (uncredited)
Production Design by
Albert S. D'Agostino (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino (uncredited)
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Maurice Seiderman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fred Fleck .... assistant director (uncredited)
Harry Mancke .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
A. Roland Fields .... set dresser (as Al Fields)
Mark-Lee Kirk .... set designer
Chesley Bonestell .... background paintings (uncredited)
Charles Sayers .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bailey Fesler .... sound recordist
James G. Stewart .... sound recordist
Terry Kellum .... sound (uncredited)
Earl B. Mounce .... sound (uncredited)
James Thompson .... boom operator (uncredited)
John E. Tribby .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Clifford Stine .... process photography (uncredited)
James Fawcett .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunt double: Tim Holt (uncredited)
Helen Thurston .... stunt double: Anne Baxter (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Russell A. Cully .... photographer: additional scenes (uncredited)
William Eglinton .... camera department head (uncredited)
Eddie Garvin .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ralph Hoge .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bill McLellan .... gaffer (uncredited)
Russell Metty .... additional photographer (uncredited)
Russell Metty .... photographer: additional scenes (uncredited)
Earl Miller .... electrician (uncredited)
Nicholas Musuraca .... photographer: additional scenes (uncredited)
Howard Schwartz .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bert Shipman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Phil Stern .... still photographer (uncredited)
Harry J. Wild .... photographer: additional scenes (uncredited)
Casting Department
Rufus Le Maire .... casting: Hollywood (uncredited)
Robert Palmer .... casting: Hollywood (uncredited)
Arthur Willy .... casting: New York (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edward Stevenson .... designer: ladies' wardrobe
Claire Cramer .... wardrobe department head (uncredited)
Earl Leas .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Margaret Van Horn .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Mark Robson .... assistant editor (uncredited)
I.J. Wilkinson .... negative cutter (uncredited)
Music Department
Dave Dreyer .... music department head (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... conductor (uncredited)
Bernard Herrmann .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Elroy G. Cline .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
William Alland .... assistant: Mr. Welles (uncredited)
John Barada .... ranch manager (uncredited)
Leda Bauer .... script reader: New York (uncredited)
Howard Benedict .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Herbert Drake .... publicist (uncredited)
H. Emolieff .... film export manager (uncredited)
Fred Fleck .... unit business manager (uncredited)
Winifred Hablam .... production notes (uncredited)
John Hamilton .... first aid (uncredited)
Ross Hastings .... production attorney (uncredited)
G.B. Hobe .... production treasurer (uncredited)
Amalia Kent .... script supervisor (uncredited)
J.B. McDonough .... business manager (uncredited)
Elizabeth McGaffey .... research department head (uncredited)
Ivy R. McLean .... public relations (uncredited)
L. Messenger .... script reader: Hollywood (uncredited)
Howard Nelson .... maintenance (uncredited)
J.J. Nolan .... office manager (uncredited)
Roy S. Otto .... dailies projectionist (uncredited)
Sid Rogell .... backlot manager (uncredited)
Ann Rogers .... secretary: Mr. Welles (uncredited)
Louis Shapiro .... location manager (uncredited)
Richard Wilson .... assistant: Orson Welles (uncredited)
H. Winnicar .... studio teacher (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min | 148 min (original cut) | 131 min (preview)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

In the absence of Orson Welles, RKO cut 50 minutes from the original film--which was later destroyed--ostensibly to free up vault space at the studio. However, there was also conjecture that this was done to prevent Welles from attempting to make any changes to what was left of his film. The RKO-mandated re-editing had been left in the hands of two men: Robert Wise and studio rep Jack Moss. A phone was put into Moss' office that fed directly to Welles' hotel room in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. According to future director Cy Endfield, who was working with Moss at the time, Moss would simply not answer the phone when it rang, suspecting it was Welles with his latest batch of comments and suggestions for the re-edit, Similarly, when Moss received lengthy telegrams from Welles with more suggestions and thoughts, he would throw them away.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
[first lines]
Narrator: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...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Me and Orson Welles (2008)See more »
String Quintet In E, Op. 13 No. 5: MinuetSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Marvellous work, but sadly suffers from limited time, 11 March 2003
Author: BritishFilms1 from Scotland

This is the tale of a well-known and respected American family - "The Magnificent Ambersons" and their rise and fall. The movie is not bad at all, there are some superlative performances from stars and character players alike. However, it is a sad fact that this, Orson Wells second masterpiece, suffered from the scissors in the cutting room. Being an RKO/Mercury Theatre production, executives reduced the picture from a much-required 135 minutes to a satisfactory, but a speedy 88 minutes, therefore, not giving satisfactory time for the viewer to understand the masterpiece fully.

Now, for my review of the players. Joseph Cotten gives an irregular performance as the romantic lead, silent star Dolores Costello is very much underused, as is then very young Anne Baxter, who would could onto bigger stardom in the next decade. Stealing the acting honors throughout the production are Tim Holt with his superb portrayal of the spoiled brat heir-to-the-throne, so to speak and Agnes Moorehead as his Auntie, who put their plan into action to sabotage a relationship between the widowed Isbabelle Amberson and charmer Eugene Morgan.

Overall, lives up to it's expectations of success, but suffers due to limited screen time and a very confusing plot for audiences of our generation.


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Lucy gds-yvan
This is the worst movie I've seen in many years. HomerDPoe
The point of the movie Rizzyay
Three cheers for RKO! Hermies_Purrbuckets
If Welles had played George tcsung
Wilbur Minafer NewtonFigg
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