6.9/10
776
13 user 35 critic

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (2014)

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A look at the life and work of the great theatre, radio and film artist.

Director:

Chuck Workman
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Hollywood director emerges from semi-exile with plans to complete work on an innovative motion picture.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: John Huston, Oja Kodar, Peter Bogdanovich
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the final fifteen years of the life of legendary director Orson Welles he pins his Hollywood comeback hopes on a film, The Other Side of the Wind, in itself a film about an aging film director trying to finish his last great movie.

Director: Morgan Neville
Stars: Alan Cumming, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar
F for Fake (1973)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary about fraud and fakery.

Directors: Orson Welles, Gary Graver, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Orson Welles, Oja Kodar, François Reichenbach
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Essay film shot for TV including Orson Welles reflections on Othello close to the Moviola, a chat with Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir and fragments of a conversation with the audience in Boston after a screening of the film.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Hilton Edwards
It's All True (1993)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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

Directors: Bill Krohn, Myron Meisel, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Manuel 'Jacare' Olimpio Meira, Jeronimo André De Souza, Raimundo 'Tata' Correia Lima
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The career of Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff as a roistering companion to young Prince Hal, circa 1400 to 1413.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Margaret Rutherford
The Immortal Story (TV Movie 1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Portuguese town of Macao, a wealthy trader named Charles Clay hires two people to recreate a story of a sailor who is paid to impregnate a man's wife.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Himself (archive footage)
Simon Callow ... Himself
Christopher Welles Christopher Welles ... Herself (as Christopher Welles Feder)
Joanne Hill Styles Joanne Hill Styles ... Herself
Norman Lloyd ... Himself
Micheál MacLiammóir ... Himself (archive footage)
Ruth Ford ... Herself (archive footage)
Julie Taymor ... Herself
Paolo Cherchi Usai Paolo Cherchi Usai ... Himself
Norman Corwin ... Himself (archive footage)
Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself
James Naremore James Naremore ... Himself
William Alland William Alland ... Himself (archive footage)
Reggie Armour Reggie Armour ... Himself (archive footage)
Steven Spielberg ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles looks at the remarkable genius of Orson Welles on the eve of his centenary - the enigma of his career as a Hollywood star, a Hollywood director (for some a Hollywood failure), and a crucially important independent filmmaker. Orson Welles's life was magical: a musical prodigy at age 10, a director of Shakespeare at 14, a painter at 16, a star of stage and radio at 20, romances with some of the most beautiful women in the world, including Rita Hayworth. His work was similarly extraordinary, most notably Citizen Kane, (considered by many to be the most important movie ever made), created by Welles when he was only 25. In the years following Citizen Kane, Welles's career continued to change as he made film after film (some never finished, many dismissed) and acted in other projects often to earn money in order to keep making his own films. Magician features scenes from almost every existing Welles film, from Hearts of Age, (which he ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language, some suggestive images/nudity and smoking | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 2015 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Il mago - L'incredibile vita di Orson Welles See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$813,505 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,130, 12 December 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,528, 19 December 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Color:

Color (Black & White and Color)
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

When the paternity of Welles's alleged son is mentioned, one of the photographs which is shown and purported to be of Welles is actually a photograph of Vincent D'Onofrio, who played Welles in Ed Wood. See more »

Connections

Features Journey Into Fear (1943) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fascinating insight into one of the most original artists in history.
8 October 2017 | by alexanderdavies-99382See all my reviews

In spite of what another reviewer thinks, I found "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles" to be an engrossing and fascinating documentary on one of cinema's most original artists. It is the ideal tribute in celebrating 100 years after Orson Welles was born. The interviews offer some insight into the man as well as the director and actor and the contribution from Welles biographer and actor Simon Callow is especially valuable. From the time Orson Welles decided on a career in showbusiness, he was destined to do things his way by being an individualist. Part of this may have been down to his being a Democrat and that his mother was politically very active in helping to establish women's rights. Welles was the kind of artist who would sacrifice his principles for no one, certainly not with his directing career. All this is shown via Welles' infamous clashes with "R.K.O" over his first two movies, "Citizen Kane" and "The Magnificent Ambersons" and how Hollywood deemed the director to be virtually unemployable by the end of the 1940s. I enjoyed the section about Welles' career in radio where he created "The Mercury Theatre" which was dedicated to producing dramas of the highest quality (which they did). The discussion over the production of "War of the Worlds" is probably the career highlight for Welles as far as the medium of radio is concerned. It was a pity that Orson Welles couldn't make his version of the novel "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. Such a film would have been the equal of "Citizen Kane" in terms of sheer cinematic value and influence. The documentary reveals that "R.K.O" insisted to Welles that he reduce the budget for his forthcoming movie "Heart of Darkness" by so much. After the director told the studio that this couldn't be done, the project was shelved indefinitely. I shalln't talk about "Citizen Kane" very much as a lot has been said about the film many a time. For myself, I have come to appreciate and to enjoy the film a good deal. The documentary shows how Orson Welles struggled to secure any financial support for his later films after his reputation throughout Hollywood proceeded him. Welles took on some acting jobs in England, so as to raise money for his film adaptations based on the work of William Shakespeare. There is discussion about Welles' work on the masterpiece, "The Third Man." It is interesting to note that even though Orson Welles is the one people remember the most from that film, his time on screen is not much and he didn't work for long on "The Third Man." I had a chuckle when the documentary revealed how Welles refused to be filmed inside the real sewers in Vienna and that an elaborate reconstruction was built at one of the British film studios - just to please him! Something that wasn't mentioned to the best of my knowledge, was the fact that Orson Welles worked on the radio shows "The Lives of Harry Lime" and "The Black Museum." Both shows are hugely entertaining and should be better known. Peter Bogdanovich talks extensively about his interviews and discussions he had with Welles and this was fascinating. To read all about their discussions, the volume "This is Orson Welles" comes highly recommended. There is interview footage with the man himself and this is essential in gaining an idea as to what made the man tick. I think the documentary offers insight into the man as well the director. Orson Welles was the kind of person who carried with him an aura of mystery and seemed to encourage people to think of him in that way. A thoroughly enjoyable documentary all round. Fans of Orson Welles should like this.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed