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Mr. Arkadin (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 2 October 1962 (USA)
An American adventurer investigates the past of the mysterious tycoon Gregory Arkadin, placing himself in grave danger.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Orson Welles (story), Orson Welles (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Gregory Arkadin
Michael Redgrave ... Burgomil Trebitsch
Patricia Medina ... Mily
Akim Tamiroff ... Jakob Zouk
Mischa Auer ... The Professor
Paola Mori ... Raina Arkadin
Katina Paxinou ... Sophie
Grégoire Aslan ... Bracco
Peter van Eyck ... Thaddeus
Suzanne Flon ... Baroness Nagel
Robert Arden ... Guy Van Stratten
Jack Watling ... Marquis of Rutleigh
Frédéric O'Brady Frédéric O'Brady ... Oscar (as O'Brady)
Tamara Shayne Tamara Shayne ... Woman in Apartment (as Tamara Shane)
Terence Longdon ... Secretary (as Terence Langdon)
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Storyline

From the lips of a dying man at a dimly-lit Italian dock, Guy Van Stratten, the disreputable American fortune hunter, receives invaluable information about the powerful financial titan, Gregory Arkadin. In high hopes that something good might come of it, Guy finally approaches the multi-million tycoon intent on exploiting him, only to be mysteriously hired by Mr Arkadin, to reconstruct his murky past history prior to 1927 instead. But, as the methodical detective scours the globe to put together the dangerously knotty puzzle, people end up dead, gradually closing in on Van Stratten who begins to shed light on this murderously difficult assignment. Are those cases linked together? In the end, has the reclusive magnate something to hide? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Discovering the past can be murder... See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Spain | Switzerland

Language:

English | German | French | Polish

Release Date:

2 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dossier secret See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (TCM print) | (2006 Restored Version)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Ultraviolet High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maurice Bessy ghost-wrote the "Mr. Arkadin" novel that was released shortly after the movie premiered. Though Orson Welles is credited as the author, he didn't write a single word of it. See more »

Goofs

When he meets Guy van Stratten, Jakob Zouk's beard is much heavier in close-ups. See more »

Quotes

The Professor: Did you ever stop to think why cops are always famous for being dumb? Simple. Because they don't have to be anything else. Crooks aren't the worst people, they're just the stupidest. The fleas of the world.
Guy Van Stratten: And murder?
The Professor: My friend, after twenty thousand years, murder is still a business that's mainly in the hands of the amateurs.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are five versions of the film, Mr. Arkadin. -There is the public domain version, the one most common in America. After the opening credits, it begins with Van Stratten's narration on the docks. It is told in linear time. -There is the European version, called Confidential Report. It has footage of papier maché bats in the credits, and has some footage not seen in the public domain version. It is told in flashbacks. -There is the version currently in possession of Corinth Films. According to Welles friend Peter Bogdanovich, this version and its first four scenes correspond directly to Orson Welles' intentions. It is told in flashbacks. -There is a Spanish language version that corresponds directly to the Corinth version. However, the roles played by Katina Paxinou and Suzanne Flon are now played by Spanish actresses (Irene López Heredia and Amparo Rivelles). -As of 2005, there is a version being prepared by the Munich Filmmuseum that not only contains footage found in different versions of the film, but also corresponds as closely as possible to the complete intentions of Orson Welles. See more »


Soundtracks

Saeta
Performed by Antoñita Moreno.
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User Reviews

Welles struggling against the odds
6 September 2005 | by tostinatiSee all my reviews

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.


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