films seen
average score
USA - 70 years old
R.I.P. (1915 - 1985)
more info


F for Fake

Vérités et Mensonges
1973 / 89m - France
F for Fake poster

There is something obnoxious about artists discussing art, F for Fake is no exception. What almost saves this documentary is the rather pleasant presentation. In the end, it can't hide the fact that Welles is handling the same themes that always tend to pop up in films like these, but it did make it a bit easier to sit through.

Read all

Welles set out to make a documentary about Elmyr de Hory, a famous forger of artworks. He got so wrapped up in the concept of truth and lies that he expanded the docu. He takes the viewer on a path where truth and forgery begin to converge, forcing the audience to doubt everything they are seeing.

I just didn't care too much for the message, also because other films have done a much better job since. The flashy editing and more experimental presentation did keep me interested, I'm sure that if Welles had gone with a more basic presentation I would've absolutely hated the film. Now, it was passable, but far from great.

The Stranger

1946 / 95m - USA
Thriller, Crime
The Stranger poster

A pretty simple noir that fails to impress. The plot is rather basic, Welles is a terrible actor and the soundtrack doesn't do the film any favors. The cinematography is a little highlight though, Welles works well with contrast, but it's not at a level that could actually save the film. At least it was short.

The Other Side of the Wind

2018 / 122m - USA
Comedy, Drama
The Other Side of the Wind poster

Welles' final film, finally completed. I'm not a big Orson Welles fan, this pompous, self-important film about film didn't do much to change my mind about him. The editing is poor, the dialogue is grating and the running time is impossible to defend. He should've taken it to the grave with him.

Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight)

Campanadas a Medianoche
1965 / 115m - Spain
Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight) poster

Orson Welles does Henry IV, bringing his own play to the big screen. It's a pretty straightforward historical drama, with Welles playing what looks like a drunk Santa Claus. Somehow I find it impossible to take him seriously as an actor (or a director for that matter), but he had a decent eye for cinematography at least.

Read all

King Henry IV is trying to unite his country, but he's worried that his successor isn't taking his job seriously. Hal prefers to hang around with hoodlums, led by Falstaff, a lousy knight. To Henry's surprise, Hal finally caves under his father's pressure and starts to feel the urge to prove himself to his father.

The black-and-white cinematography is decent and harbors some pretty shots, though they are few and far between. I didn't care much for the plot, the performances were terrible and the two-hour runtime turned this into a sluggish film. Fans of Shakespeare and Welles might get something out of it, I didn't.

Mr. Arkadin

1955 / 93m - France
Thriller, Crime
Mr. Arkadin poster

Orson Welles was a better director than he was an actor, sadly he just loved to cast himself as the lead role of his films, actively cheapening the entire experience. Mr. Arkadin is a pretty tepid noir film, struggling to stand out, but Welles' terrible performance just made it that much worse.

Read all

An eccentric banker can't remember much of his life before 1927. He hires a young American reporter and tasks him with the investigation of his mysterious past. The reporter starts his work but soon notices that the people he interrogates end up dead soon after he visits them.

Like most noirs, there's a lot of conversation to wade through, and most of it isn't all that interesting. The performances are poor and feel forced, the pacing is relatively slow and this certainly isn't Welles' most attractive-looking film. There wasn't a lot here I cared for, which seems to be the case for most classic noirs I've watched these past months.

The Lady from Shanghai

1947 / 87m - USA
Thriller, Crime
The Lady from Shanghai poster

A simple noir, which got a little extra popularity push because Welles directed it I assume. It's the only reason I can think of why this one stood out to people, as the film itself is very basic and neatly sticks to genre conventions. Unless you're a big noir fan, there's not all that much here.

Read all

Michael partakes in a boat trip, organized by the wealthy Mr. Bannister. Michael's ulterior motive is getting closer to Mr. Bannister's wife Elsa, who on her part seems to be enjoying Michael's presence too. What Michael doesn't realize is that he's the one who is played for a sucker when Elsa involves him in a tricky murder plot.

Performances are rather weak and overstated, the story is bland and predictable. The black and white cinematography is somewhat decent, but Welles did a lot better in the past. He simply rolls through the simplistic narrative here, which is not something I particularly care for. Very forgettable.

The Magnificent Ambersons

1942 / 88m - USA
Drama, Romance
The Magnificent Ambersons poster

Citizen Kane

1941 / 119m - USA
Drama, Mystery
Citizen Kane poster

Touch of Evil

1958 / 95m - USA
Thriller, Crime
Touch of Evil poster