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It's All True (1993)

A documentary about Orson Welles's unfinished three-part film about South America.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Manuel 'Jacare' Olimpio Meira Manuel 'Jacare' Olimpio Meira ... Himself
Jeronimo André De Souza Jeronimo André De Souza ... Himself
Raimundo 'Tata' Correia Lima Raimundo 'Tata' Correia Lima ... Himself
Manuel 'Preto' Pereira da Silva Manuel 'Preto' Pereira da Silva ... Himself (as Manuel 'Preto' Pereira Da Silva)
Jose Sobrinho Jose Sobrinho ... Himself
Francisca Moreira da Silva 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 Edmar Morel ... Himself - Interviewee
Grande Otelo Grande Otelo ... Himself
Orson Welles ... Himself - Interview (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary about Orson Welles's unfinished three-part film about South America.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | USA

Language:

Portuguese | English

Release Date:

October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dreamers See more »

Filming Locations:

Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Welles died in 1985 without seeing the surviving footage from "It's All True." See more »

Connections

Featured in Tudo É Brasil (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Resurrected Lost Work
7 May 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

It is by sheer luck sometimes that an artist's work survives. For centuries the works of the Greek dramatist Menander did not exist except for occasional quotes (including "whom the Gods love die young"). But since 1905 one complete play, one nearly complete play, and five huge fragments exist to be studied by drama students. They were found on various papyri that managed to survive in the dry climate of Egypt.

With Orson Welles there are several films which are seriously missing scenes he shot that were cut. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS is the best known (cut and a new ending attached), but there is also THE STRANGER, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, CONFIDENTIAL REPORT, MACBETH, and IT'S ALL TRUE to ponder. Welles had a way of making enemies due to his ego, but he was a brilliant film maker, and to see the damage these pygmies did to his work makes one angry. The fate of Konrad Meinike in THE STRANGER was to be the culmination of half an hour of activity in the film showing his escape from prison in Europe and his traveling to Latin America to locate the man he worked with - who would kill him. The famous crazy house sequence in THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI is only a small segment now of what Welles shot (that segment is still great, but the missing footage probably was superb). Restoration on CONFIDENTIAL REPORT makes it coherent now, and MACBETH now has it's original length and soundtrack. TOUCH OF EVIL too has been somewhat repaired based on the memos Welles left of his intentions for the film.

IT'S ALL TRUE, unlike the other films, was never completed enough in any form to be shown to the public. Welles went to Latin America, having finished shooting AMBERSONS, and was to do a "good neighbor policy" documentary for the Roosevelt administration under the auspices of Nelson Rockefeller. He had to also cut AMBERSONS, and his finished cut version was butchered by his enemies at RKO who had it's end re-shot. Political differences with the Brazilian strongman, Getulio Vargas, helped doom IT'S ALL TRUE, and caused the footage to be left on a shelf to rot rather than to be released.

Over the years film historians noted it's existence, until finally in 1990 or so some began preserving and editing the best surviving footage. Unfortunately much of the sections on "MY FRIEND BONITO" and of "The STORY OF SAMBA" was lost, but enough lasts to show Welles' eye for film was working brilliantly. Fortunately the last section, "FOUR MEN ON A RAFT" survived, and could be put into coherent form. It told the story of four poor fishermen from the north - east corner of the country with grievances, who sailed a raft (with one or two stops) all the way to Rio, in order to see President Vargas. They managed to do it. But Vargas did not really help these fisherman (one of whom was killed apparently when Welles was filming the sequence). The sequence is not only moving, but also extremely beautiful to look at. One gets the impression that Welles' Latin American documentary would have been a gorgeous one.

The version of IT'S ALL TRUE is the closest we will ever have to what Welles meant to show. I recommend watching it, with the commentary sequences showing Welles at work, and his explaining the way things went wrong. Enjoy what is left. It is worth seeing.


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