Synopsis: Coming to Hollywood as a celebrated boy genius featuring a spectacular career arc in New York including his radio hoax War of the Worlds, Orson Welles is stymied on the subject for his first film. After a dinner party at Hearst Castle, during which he has a verbal altercation with William Randolph Hearst, Welles decides to do a movie about Hearst. It takes him some time to convince co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz and the studio, but Welles eventually gets the script and the green light, keeping the subject very hush-hush with the press. The movie is about an aging newspaper publisher who controlled his enemies as ruthlessly as he controlled his friends; and whose mistress was destined for fame. When a rough cut is screened, Hearst gets wind of the movie's theme and begins a campaign to see that it is not only never publicly screened, but destroyed.
Genre: Biography, Drama
Actors: Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich
Production: HBO Video
  Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 27 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.1
Rotten Tomatoes:
93%
R
Year:
1999
86 min
325 Views

A rehearsal room interview with John Houseman, who is in his 30's,

thin-lipped and prim:

HOUSEMAN:

Orson barreled in and took over. Orson's a real

barreler.

Images of Welles directing his famous "Fascist JULIUS CAESAR" and

"Voodoo MACBETH" productions: auditions; rehearsals; perfecting a

sword-fight; rejecting classical costume sketches for JULIUS CAESAR;

supervising set construction; performing Brutus in the Albert Speer-

like Nuremberg rally lighting of JULIUS CAESAR. As we hear:

NEWSREEL VOICE:

Like Hannibal over the Alps, the Boy Genius invaded

the Great White Way. He stunned the sedate elite of

New York theatre with production after production.

From MACBETH with an entirely colored cast to a

Mussolini-inspired JULIUS CAESAR!

More images of New York, Welles, Houseman and radio: Welles directing a

radio play with sweeping energy; supervising the elaborate sound

effects; editing the script; at odds with Houseman. As we hear:

NEWSREEL VOICE:

Though he wowed the critics with his spectaculars

the ticket sales left something to be desired. So,

after founding the Mercury Players with Houseman,

young Mr. Welles quickly set his sights on the

airwaves. He quickly became the sonorous -' voice of

"The Shadow." ''

Newsreel footage of Welles at a standing radio microphone;

WELLES:

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The

Shadow knows. . .

Welles laughs his sinister Shadow laugh and we go to more images of

radio and the dynamic Welles performing and directing as we hear:

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John Logan

John David Logan (born September 24, 1961) is an American playwright, screenwriter, film producer, and television producer. more…

All John Logan scripts | John Logan Scripts

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