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
Three stories of murder and the supernatural. In the first, a museum worker is introduced to a world behind the pictures he sees every day. Second, when two lifelong friends fall in love ... See full summary »
After reading too many novels about knights and heroic stories, Don Quijote and his servant Sancho Panza decide to wander the roads of Spain to protect the weak and to accomplish good deeds... See full summary »
Guy Van Stratten, American smuggler, leaves an Italian prison term with one asset, a dying man's words about wealthy, mysterious Gregory Arkadin. Guy finds it most pleasant to investigate Arkadin though his lovely daughter Raina, her father's idol. To get rid of Guy, Arkadin claims amnesia about his own life prior to 1927, sending Guy off to investigate Arkadin's unknown past. Guy's quest spans many countries and eccentric characters who contribute clues. But the real purpose of Guy's mission proves deadly; can Guy himself survive it? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The novel and the screenplay were both based on an episode in the radio series, "The Lives of Harry Lime", in which Welles played his Harry Lime character as rather less villainous that he was in The Third Man (1949). In "Mr. Arkadin", the Harry Lime character is renamed "Guy van Stratten" and is played by Robert Arden, while Welles plays Arkadin. The radio episode was number 37 in the series, entitled "Man of Mystery," and first broadcast on 11 April 1952. The introduction to the episode also describes the movie: "One late afternoon a couple of years ago, a plane was sighted about seventy miles out of Orly Airport in Paris. It was a private plane, medium sized, and nobody was in it; nobody at all. The plane, keeping its course steadily toward Paris, was flying itself. Why was it empty? Who had been flying it? And why, and under what circumstances, had they left it? Why? Thereby hangs a tale." See more »
When the small plane is shown in long shots, it has a solid roof over the cockpit, but when Arkadin is shown on the radio calling the Barcelona tower in closeup, he is sitting in a plane with an open cockpit. See more »
A scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him. The frog refused because the scorpion would sting him. That would not be logical, explained the scorpion, because if he stung the frog they would both drown. So the frog agreed to carry the scorpion. Half way across, the frog felt a terrible pain - the scorpion had stung him. There is no logic in this, exclaimed the frog. I know, replied the scorpion, but I cannot help it - it is my nature.
See more »
Did I ever mention that I watched Mr. Arkadin every day for three months once? And that I recently bought a version of it different from the one I bought years ago (supposedly the UK print), and enjoyed it like I was seeing it for the first time?
Welles is a childhood hero. There's nothing rational about my feelings about Welles. If there are Welles fan boys, I admit to being one. But I have entertained the notion that I like Mr. Arkadin (also called Confidential Report, sometimes) as much as I do because it so completely betrays Welles as a titanic artist having to deal with the small frustrations and vicissitudes of Everyman. The bones of the thing, the behind the scene life of the film, the fact that the whole thing at one point passed through the man's hands shows through more than on any film he ever made. You actually see the customs stamps at the end of reels! His stratagems are more obvious, his resources more threadbare here than even Othello, his most legendary prolonged/disjointed/truncated shoot. Parts of it look shot on Super8; as good as some of it looks, at other times, the lighting doesn't feel professional (I am thinking of the nightclub and penitent procession scenes). In the end, I think Arkadin is the one completed and released Welles film that humanizes the man, without exactly bringing him low.
Clinching my interest in the film is Welles' comment, reiterated for different interviewers through the years, that Arkadin contained the best story he ever thought up to film. (He made a radio script of it first, and when he refined it for film, he saw fit to keep perhaps 95% intact from the radio play.) I may not agree with Welles' own appraisal of Arkadin as a story, but again, his comments betray perhaps more than intended: Welles' deep, and possibly irrational, feeling of attachment to this film. He said he considered it the most 'destroyed' film (destroyed by outside interference) he ever made. --Worse even than The Ambersons! I really think he never had "closure" with the experience of making Arkadin, and it continued to haunt him the rest of his days.
I invite you to take a look at it (it is available in many cheap public domain DVD versions) and see if you, too, fall under its spell. If it leaves you totally cold, or you can't take it seriously, I understand. But remember, better and worse DVD versions exist. Supposedly, the Criterion Collection will release it sometime in the next couple of years. That may be the version to make your definitive move with.
27 of 36 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?