IMDb > It's All True (1993)

It's All True (1993) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 4 | slideshow) Videos
It's All True -- World-premiered in October 1993 at the New York Film Festival, this French-backed documentary is an assemblage of lost footage about Orson Welles' aborted 1942 three-part Latin American film "It's All True."


User Rating:
7.1/10   561 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bill Krohn (writer) &
Richard Wilson (writer) ...
View company contact information for It's All True on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 October 1993 (USA) See more »
A documentary about Orson Welles's unfinished three-part film about South America. | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A must-see for Wellesians and lovers of beauty, but, although I worship at the great man's altar, not to my taste. See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Manuel 'Jacare' Olimpio Meira ... Himself
Jeronimo André De Souza ... Himself
Raimundo 'Tata' Correia Lima ... Himself
Manuel 'Preto' Pereira da Silva ... Himself (as Manuel 'Preto' Pereira Da Silva)
Jose Sobrinho ... Himself
Francisca Moreira da Silva ... Herself (as Francisca Moreira Da Silva)

Miguel Ferrer ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Carmen Miranda ... Herself (voice) (archive footage)
Edmar Morel ... Himself - Interviewee
Grande Otelo ... Himself

Orson Welles ... Himself - Interview (archive footage)

Directed by
Bill Krohn 
Myron Meisel 
Orson Welles 
Richard Wilson 
Norman Foster (segment "My Friend Benito")
Writing credits
Bill Krohn (writer) &
Richard Wilson (writer) &
Myron Meisel (writer)

Produced by
Catherine L. Benamou .... associate producer
Régine Konckier .... producer
Bill Krohn .... producer
Myron Meisel .... producer
Jean-Luc Ormières .... producer
Richard Wilson .... producer
Original Music by
Jorge Arriagada 
Cinematography by
George Fanto 
Gary Graver 
Film Editing by
Ed Marx 
Production Management
Eric Aijala .... post-production manager
Anthony Bozanich .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Dean Beville .... supervising sound editor
Mike Chock .... sound editor
Ezra Dweck .... sound re-recording mixer
Stephen Hunter Flick .... sound designer
Geoffrey G. Rubay .... sound editor
Jean-Pierre Ruh .... sound
Special Effects by
Pini Klavir .... special effects supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Chico Albuquerque .... still photographer
Reginaldo Calmon .... assistant camera
Ned Scott .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Jennifer Hooper .... second editor
Andrew Patterson .... additional editor
Lillie Thom .... assistant editor
Other crew
Catherine L. Benamou .... senior researcher
Shifra Haran .... assistant: Mr. Welles
Edmar Morel .... researcher
Elizabeth Wilson .... assistant: Mr. Wilson
Randy Gitsch .... researcher: RKO Archive (uncredited)
Carol Bahoric .... special thanks
Fred Chandler .... special thanks
Jodie Foster .... special thanks
Dean Goodhill .... special thanks
Michael Schlesinger .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Brazil:89 min | USA:87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

After RKO shut down production of "It's All True," Welles tried to buy the extant footage with hopes of getting financing to finish it. He offered his financial interest in "Citizen Kane" and a reported $197,500. RKO retained rights when Welles couldn't meet his financial obligations to the studio. Ownership of the footage fell to Desilu when they bought the studio in 1958. It was inherited by Paramount years later when they bought out Desilu. Paramount donated the footage to the AFI in 1985 and it ultimately was stored in UCLA's Film Archives.See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A must-see for Wellesians and lovers of beauty, but, although I worship at the great man's altar, not to my taste., 13 September 1999
Author: Darragh O' Donoghue ( from Dublin, Ireland

Welles was apparently asked by Nelson Rockefeller to make a film cementing USA-Latin American relations during World War II, to forestall possible Nazi influence in the South. It's easy to feel resentful about this film, especially if you've read David Thomson's majesterial 'Rosebud: The Story Of Orson Welles'. He relates how Welles' persistant and eventually pointless devotion to this project led directly , through his own lapses, to the destruction of his greatest film, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.

On the other hand, this is a major act of cinematic restititution, the equivalent of finding a lost Shakespeare play, or Bach cantata. Any scrap of abandoned Wellesiana is vital, and needs to be seen, for its inherent brilliance of style and ideas, whatever its superficial shortcomings; and to give a more coherent grasp of an awesome, mercurial career.

The only problem is that the project, even if it had been completed, seems to have been wrongheaded, especially in consideration of Welles' particular talents. I had seen snippets of the samba sequence on TNT a few years ago, and they seemed redolent of a certain, loveable Welles - anecdotal, entertaining, sympathetic, larger-than-life, perceptive. A large element of the Welles aesthetic is play. The flaw of this film is that Welles abandons this because he wants to be seen in serious, selfless, unpatronising mode. This attitude today, however, can seem as simplistic, and even dangerous, as the worst pieties of Italian neo-realism.

The restoration is structured as a documentary, as we get a brief background to the story: both Welles' involvement, and the plight of the Brazilian people he portrayed. The film itself was intended to be a triptych. We only get snippets of the first two parts - 'Benito' has some remarkable camera angles later used more meaningfully in OTHELLO and THE IMMORTAL STORY; a loving capturing of Mexico, which, like DEUX OU TROIS CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D'ELLE, manages to aestheticise poverty; and a lovely shot of flying sheep. The second story was supposed to be about the roots of samba - we get some amazing, evocative colour footage of a Rio carnival, all the more moving and alive today when we think that this was going on in the middle of a black and white war.

The centrepiece of IT'S ALL TRUE is a supposedly complete 'Four Men On A Raft' (with an unintentionally comic reminder of 'Three Men On A Boat'): a reconstruction of four peasant fishermen's 1650-mile sea voyage to the Brazilian fascist leader, the appropriately named Vargas, to protest about their atrocious living and working conditions.

This is a silent work of the most ravishing beauty, with some of the most extraordinary images ever filmed, utilising, yet far superior to, Eisensteinian composition: the fishermen at work; life in the community; the sea voyage; visits to beautiful Mexican churches; the arrival of the men at a Rio beach. There is a jaw-dropping funeral sequence, a dwarfed procession under a weltering sky, which is among the best things in Welles (i.e. cinema).

It's just that I, personally, can't stand this kind of filmmaking. It's main influence is the unbearable Robert Flaherty, and besides a trite, TABU-style love story, there is an unthinking romanticising of the peasantry, ignoring them as actual human beings who might prefer not to be seen as so saintly, that verges on the offensive; a benevolent version of the white man's burden. Of course, Welles, politically, was a very decent, liberal, passionate man, but none of the methods used to politically expose, as well as humanise, Charles Foster Kane, are used here: that would be to trivialise the project.

It's this air of repressive earnestness that kills IT'S ALL TRUE for me. Welles could be a brilliant documentary maker - see F FOR FAKE - but this film, for all its peerless beauty, seems little more than propaganda, with Welles' atypical lack of ego making it feel unWellesian and underdone. This is doubly apparent during the closing credits, over which is played a wonderful, amusing encounter between Welles and Carmen Miranda, who explains to him various aspects of the samba. The heroic restorers deserve laurels, medals and a place at the celestial restoration of AMBERSONS, but if you want to see a great 'Good Neighbour' film, watch the magical THE THREE CABALLEROS.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (10 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for It's All True (1993)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Brazil Rio Tigrero: A Film That Was Never Made Carnival of Rhythm Saludos Amigos
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb France section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.