In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar, which includes such stalwart Mercury Theatre players as Joseph Cotten and George Coulouris. Despite others with official roles as producer John Houseman, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver. These requests include everything, even those of a sexual nature. Welles does not believe in conventions and will do whatever he wants, which includes not having a fixed opening date, although the unofficial opening date is in ... Written by
The production of "Julius Caesar" that the film depicts ran for 157 performances during its run at the Mercury Theatre and later at the larger National Theatre (where it was transferred), by far the longest run of the play in Broadway history. See more »
Richard accompanies Orson to 485 Madison Ave (CBS) for a "recording session" for a radio show ("The First Nighter" program). At this time (1937) and until the late 40s network programs were broadcast live, never recorded. Most programs were produced live twice, once for the East Coast and three hours later from the West Cost. See more »
By the year of 1592, Shakespeare was already an actor, and a playwright. Records of how his stage career began have not survived. We do know that in 1594 he joined a theater troupe. Called... anyone remember? Not everyone at once now. The Lord Chamberlain's Men.
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Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer". See more »
Just when you thought Linklater's body of work couldn't get any more erratic...
Me and Orson Welles is a wonderful story of a young boy (Efron)whose only acting experience is in high school musicals (ha! See what they did there) who manages to get a small part in Orson Welles' (Adam McKay) 1937 production of Julius Caesar. The film follows the volatile relationship between Orson and his company. He is a madman, a selfish, arrogant user and an absolute genius. He knows how the politics of show-business and he knows people, and how to play them. However, for all his antics, he is powerfully charismatic and it seems generally accepted that he is a genius.
Christian McKay's performance here as Orson Welles is wonderfully broad as he goes through every one of Orson Welles persona's with equal relish. He is snappy and arrogant but at the same time warm enough to earn some affection so when he lets a character down, you feel just as played yourself. The rest of the cast were great too. Zac Efron does his best here to leap from Disney heartthrob to leading man, and I personally thought he was solid and likable, with just enough of a sparkle in his eye and just enough skill to keep it there.
Overall this film has a charming story, which ends on such a high note I didn't know whether to smile or cry. It also boasts a very strong cast and most importantly a sweet disposition that stayed with me for a good half hour after the credits rolled.
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