Friday, April 11, 2014

Blind Item #1 - Old Hollywood Blind

For the first half of his career, this actor/director and jack of all trades was A-list, until his ego and personal demons got the better of him, putting him on the B-list until his classic films got reevaluated and his reputation somewhat restored before  his passing. He told the executor of his will that he wanted his ashes scattered in a limestone well on the property of his Spanish manor and seal up the well to prevent vandalism. What he privately told his closest friends is that he wanted to be buried in his Midwest hometown beside his mother. The latter motion was done under a veil of secrecy and there he rests in peace. And the well? The actor privately had the uncut film prints of his most famous works lowered into the well with orders not to open the well.. ever.

49 comments:

sandybrook said...

Orson Welles

rajahcat said...

wow-that's actually interesting

TalksTooMuch said...

Orson Welles?

TalksTooMuch said...

Sorry, sandy, for jinxing you. I never get these.

Cleodacat said...

Not quite understanding the worthiness of this blind: so he got buried and his uncut film probably rotted away....now if it was the body of a secret lover sealed in the well, it would be a whole nother story.

Bacon Ranch said...

Cecil B. Demille?

sandybrook said...

Thats ok TTM Im pretty sure you got this one tho.

Renoblondee said...

Well that's stupid about the well thing! Why not just burn them or something. Lol

FSP said...

sPoOkY

Paint Chips said...

Orson Welles - That really sucks, but he was kind of bitter about how his career went.

He was actually kind of hot when he was young, but must have been a nightmare to live with.

Cleodacat said...

Yep, a quick search says his ashes were buried in a well on a retired bullfighter's property in Spain.

MontanaMarriott said...

Funny but didn't Orson have a daughter with Rita Hayworth, Rebecca I believe? No mention of children here, wonder why?

Groggy said...

Rosebud ...
Definitely Orson Welles.

Ray Nicolet said...

Kind of OT but I was reading a Clifford the big red dog book (to a child, not for fun) and in it Clifford has a sled he named Rosebud. I laughed.

FSP said...

@Ray - nothing wrong with reading it for fun.

MISCH said...

Orson Wells was the name that popped while reading the blind.

MYFAVORITEBARBIE said...

Agree...

Leekalicious said...

Good going, you two!!

Steampunk Jazz said...

Poor. Orson Welles, does anyone else remember that he was Robin Masters? In Magnum P.I.?
Re: the well, not all wells contain water, it could have gone dry prior to the films being placed inside... Wouldn't that be cool if they could be recovered? I would Love to see them with Welles in charge of the editing... :-)

sandybrook said...

thx Leeky

Frosty said...

Orson Welles ftw

Nutty_Flavor said...

Rebecca Welles hated fame and lived in obscurity in rural Washington. She died in 2004 at age 60.

Sillygurl said...

I kept waiting for that too. My brain autocorrected as I read it like "next to his lover" and did a double take when it said mother.

Catsup said...

Drink no wine before its time...

Nutty_Flavor said...

Fun Orson Welles facts from some random internet page:

Orson Welles, and past presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, were all descendants of John Alden, a passenger on the Mayflower.

Orson Welles turned down the chance to be the voice of Darth Vader.

He was also considered for the part of Mr. Roarke, on Fantasy Island.

Flora Goforth said...

@Bacon Ranch

DeMille is buried in Hollywood Forever cemetery.

Flora Goforth said...

Welles

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=welles&GSfn=orson&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=3587&df=all&

DeMille

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=demille&GSfn=cecil&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=274&df=all&

Kameon Quillen said...

Paint Chips I agree! When he was younger there was something attractive about him. Talented man, sad about his demons.

__-__=__ said...

I don't think all those uncut films are G rated.

David Howes said...

Just before his sudden passing, Orson Welles was being considered for the position of Dean of the UCLA Film School.

Angela said...

This is Orson Welles, but the story is definitely bullshit of the highest order.
There's no "uncut" print of Citizen Kane. It was the only film he had final cut on.
The Magnificent Ambersons was partly reshot and reedited by RKO without Welles' involvement, while he was busy shooting a documentary for the war effort in South America that was never completed.
Othello exists in a complete European version. Due to daughter Beatrice's sheer incompetency, this cut has been superseded by a questionable restoration of the flawed US edit.
The rough cut of Touch of Evil doesn't exist anymore, and it's dubious that Universal would have given Welles a copy of it. The current director's cut uses a later preview version, that featured material shot by Welles and reshoots decided by the studio, then tries to apply as much of the suggestions left by Welles in a memo as they could.

In his later years, Welles was unable to complete various projects, such as Don Quixote, The Merchant of Venice, The Deep (remade as Dead Calm two decades later) and The Other Side of the Wind. But no uncut version from these movies actually exists. Don Quixote was never completed, most of the reels for The Merchant of Venice were stolen (most likely by the shady producer of the project), The Deep was an excuse for Welles, his girlfriend and Jeanne Moreau to go on a paid cruise in the Mediterranean, but he was never focused enough (or received enough cash) to edit the footage or finish a few major scenes. And, as Welles had all the dialog dubbed later in the studio, the film couldn't be completed because the male star, Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate) died a few years after.

Finally, there's the well documented story about the battle for the rights to The Other Side of the Wind, which involves Beatrice Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, a surfer turned wannabe movie producers, Iran, France, various sycophants and Welles' final companion. Reels and tape recordings are split between several owners, and nobody wants to relinquish the stuff, and give up control on the final cut.

The truth is that Welles suffered, in addition to alcoholism, from various obsessions, including the fear that any new work (he could still be quite creative and focused when sober) wouldn't rival Citizen Kane. That made him very self-destructive. He was attracted a lot to shady businessmen and producers, not on purpose, but probably because he had a secret wish to get a bad deal and have an excuse for the footage remaining unreleased.

So, the story about uncut versions of his films existing somewhere is just an urban legend (like the story about unpublished manuscripts by some reclusive writer being buried near some well in their property). Historians have worked on this, and found no trace of complete versions being in circulation. Which is why I can't imagine a guy like Welles, who had to give his Oscar as a payment and who was notoriously broke, without any home, having to crash at friends and fans to stay in California, would have been able to keep copies of his films intact for years and decades, just to bury them after he died.
It's most likely a story he invented and told a few guys, and it's true that it makes for a more poetic ending than the real thing.

Dallas Alice said...

LOVE these old Hollywood blinds!! And a big thank you to whomever brought up the book Hollywood Babylon a couple of weeks ago. I had completely forgotten about it, finally bought a copy and love it.

T. W. said...

Hollywood Babylon had a television program as well.

lazyday603 said...

There was a Hollywood Babylon TV show? HBO or Showtime could really go to town with an idea like that. You wouldn't want to have to clean it up for broadcast TV.

fancyscreenname said...

There was a show on E! many years ago about old Hollywood scandals hosted by AJ Benza. Can't remember the title though.

Tara said...

if ANYBODY WANTS TO GO VISIT: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=44258898

Tara said...

That link is to his mother's grave in Kenosha.

Sherry said...

Wow Angela. Thanks for your post. That was really helpful! Love it when gossip is countered with fact. And I truly mean this with no sarcasm. It was a great post.

RowdyRodimus said...

@Fancy Hollywood Mysteries and Scandals, wasn't it?

Alita said...

Nice post, Angela!

fancyscreenname said...

AH!
@rowdy
I Could not remember the title. But, yes, that is it...

Erik said...

Hollywood Babylon is a great read.

fancyscreenname said...

Just want to chime in with the others ENTY these old Hollywood blinds are awesome. Keep 'em coming.

Russell said...

Good post by Angela, although everything I've read says that Welles did have final cut on The Trial as well.

Flora Goforth said...

@ fancy and rowdy

Allison Martino (her father was Al Martino) was a producer on that show and has a bunch of them on her Youtube channel

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0KE5mAiDs-tTtMLdtsMVHq3UddWULu6h

Mary Anne said...

Yep, Wells was Robin Masters on Magnum, P.I., which the producers somehow forgot when Magnum was dying and Higgins became Robin Masters. I would love to see Vincent diOrfino play Wells again.

fancyscreenname said...

Thanks Flora.

di butler said...

Old Orson probably had lots of interesting secrets.

There's a lot of HB clips on YouTube

Vera L- said...

We will sell no wine before it's time.