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Fade to Black (2006)

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In an attempt to recover from his marriage to Rita Hayworth and restart his career, Orson Welles travels to Italy...only to be drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue, murder and politics when an actor is murdered on his set.

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Title: Fade to Black (2006)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tommaso Moreno
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Lea Padovani
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Brewster
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Aida Padovani
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Stella
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Viola
Zoran Miljkovic ...
Customs Agent
Milan Jelic ...
Pale Journalist
Dubravko Jovanovic ...
Journalist 1
Vladimir Aleksic ...
Journalist 2
...
Grisha
Marko Zivic ...
Assistant Director
Frano Lasic ...
Dellere
Paolo Lorimer ...
Tufano
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Storyline

In an attempt to recover from his marriage to Rita Hayworth and restart his career, Orson Welles travels to Italy...only to be drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue, murder and politics when an actor is murdered on his set.

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Plot Keywords:

actor | murder | italy

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 May 2007 (Serbia)  »

Also Known As:

Fade to Black  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

John Sayles wrote several early drafts of the script. See more »

Quotes

Orson Welles: [First lines, narrating, as graphic archival images of war and strife in Italy are shown] Oh, yes. The Second World War was quite a disaster for poor old Italy. Their Fascist leader, Mussolini, had teamed up with Hitler and thought he was on a winning ticket. Then, Benito was shot by Partisans and strung up by his heels in the local square... Now, in 1948, the country is still leaderless, broke, and heading for chaos. Sure, the rich are still rich... If you're not in furs, you're in rags. People...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Orson Welles - Fade to Black (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Orson Welles in post-war Europe
4 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Danny Huston is Orson Welles in "Fade to Black," a 2006 release, directed by Oliver Parker, and featuring Paz Vega, Diego Luna, Christopher Walken, Anna Galiena, and Nathaniel Parker.

In this story, Welles goes to Italy after his divorce from Rita Hayworth to make a film, "Black Magic." He also wants to raise money for his film version of "Othello." While in Italy, one of the actors in the film is murdered, and as he's dying, he whispers the word "Nero" in Orson's ear. Welles intends to find out who killed him. But he finds himself not only involved with shady characters, but embroiled in the politics of the country. As time goes on, he begins to hear different stories about the actor, somewhat contradictory in nature.

This is a nice blend of fact and fiction. Welles did go to Europe around this time, and he made several films, which he often did when he was trying to get money together. His marriage to Rita Hayworth was a complicated one. When his political ambitions led nowhere in the '40s, Rita, so desperate to get out of show business, turned to Aly Khan instead. Welles adored her, but her insecurities made her difficult to live with and was a bad combination with his egotism.

It's doubtful that Welles would have gotten himself mixed up in anything that didn't somehow lead to his own self-aggrandizement, but I could have gone along with it if the script had been better. It tries to cram in too much plot.

Italy after the war was a horrific mess. The production values for "Fade to Black" are wonderful and show the post-war ruination, as well as striking differences between rich and poor. Of course, Cinecitta the film studio is in Rome, and Tombolo, the place where deserters and collaborators escaped, is way up north, though it's not clear if they're speaking of a district or the city. In any event, it's a wooded area seemingly not far from Rome. The word tombolo has more to do with a mound or beach, so the woods would be the name for it.

Danny Huston doesn't look or sound like Welles, except on the film that plays behind his magic act - there we see him in the typical Welles big overcoat and hat, in black and white. He does a good job, though I do believe Welles was a bit showier. As the mother and daughter who knew the murdered actor, Paz Vega and Anna Galiena are gorgeous and look just like mother and daughter. Both have a mysterious aura which adds to the film.

The denouement is no surprise. Still, this is an enjoyable film about one of Hollywood's most electrifying people, a brilliant maverick with a flamboyant personality. Sadly, though he resented the discipline and structure dictated by a Hollywood studio, he needed it. Once he left, he was never the same.


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