Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blind Items Revealed - Old Hollywood

April 11, 2014

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.

Orson Welles

36 comments:

sandybrook said...

Give us one we couldn't figure out by ourselves Enty :(

TalksTooMuch said...

Um, speak for yourself,sandy, we totally tied on this one! Woot! It MUST be a holiday!

ItsCourtneyD said...

I thought there was a huge debate about this one saying there was no way any of it was true. I can't remember. And I don't wanna go back and check lol

Tongue N. Cheek said...

Canadian Independence Day? No... Wait....

NewYorkMoments said...

He was born in my hometown. He only lived there briefly & hated it with a passion. Trashed it his entire life. Egomaniac.

sandybrook said...

Well April 11th was a holiday too -- Friday!!

Seven of Eleven said...

@Courtney, yeah, in the original BI, Angela dropped a lot of scoop, but I'll just post the ending for exposing this for what it is:

So, the story about uncut versions of his films existing somewhere is just an urban legend (like the story about unpublished manuscripts by some reclusive writer being buried near some well in their property).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.

TalksTooMuch said...

Oh no you DIN'T!!

It's times like this I wish I had a Taking Off My Earrings gif

Seven of Eleven said...

I <3 Lafayette!

Tongue N. Cheek said...

Oh dear... I'm having to delete posts almost as fast as I write them. Off to great start!

TalksTooMuch said...

Seven, seriously, you're AMAZING!

Merlin D. Bear said...

Wait just one bleeding second.
So what you're saying is that the long rumored legend is true, that there is an ORIGINAL, uncut copy of "The Magnificent Ambersons" still in existence?
(For those who are wondering what I'm talking about, "Ambersons" was Welles' follow up to "Citizen Kane" - according to movie history, the studio heads thought he was taking too much time and spending too much money, and took the project away from him - and in order to get a film out, ended up butchering the movie in editing.
According to legend, Welles' original film was of the same caliber as "Kane"... but the version released by the studio was a major bomb and tarred Welles' rep irreparably)

sandybrook said...

Lafayette rulz hes the only good thing left on that show.

Bacon Ranch said...

If so, that would be an interesting watch Merlin.
Thing is, I highly doubt it and I even more so doubt that Orson would have had a reel of it.

I found this:

"Controversy surrounded the control and editing of the movie and the final version, with an artificially happy ending added and more than an hour of footage cut by RKO, differed considerably from Welles's own intention. "

http://www.hollywoodsgoldenage.com/movies/ambersons.html

Bacon Ranch said...

Cripes, meant to add this snippet from that site as well about the movie

"Even in its much altered form, the film is often regarded as among the best American films ever made, as is Welles's first film, 'Citizen Kane'. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Agnes Moorehead), Best Black and White Cinematography (Stanley Cortez), and Best Black and White Interior Decoration."

Tina Mallette said...

One would like to think if Welles was actually able to hold onto, grab or steal back those uncut versions of his films they are sitting somewhere in a climate controlled environment being looked after by someone who cares, with knowledge of film restoration etc and that maybe one day, perhaps on a significant anniversary they will be brought out for the world to see.

Angela said...

So, RKO had given Orson Welles something unprecedented when they signed him — something three features films with final cut for a guy who had never directed a film.
Citizen Kane didn't do so great at the box office. It wasn't a flop, the film even won the Oscar for best original screenplay, but it was hurt by all the Hearst-owned newspapers and radio boycotting the film.
The Magnificent Ambersons may have ended up as great as Citizen Kane, but Welles left for South America before post production had been completed, so he could do some kind of documentary to support the war effort there, named "It's All True".
The RKO bosses had already renegotiated the final cut for The Magnificent Ambersons, and, while Welles was in Brazil, they asked editor Robert Wise (future director of West Side Story or The Day The Earth Stood Still) to do retakes and dump 40 minutes from the Welles version.
The finished product had gone over budget and flopped badly, essentially ending Welles' career in Hollywood, apart from Touch of Evil. It's All True was never completed. That's the moment when Orson Welles turned into a "loser", a guy paralyzed by the fear he would never do something as good as his debut film and who sometimes let his current project fail on a subconscious level, so it couldn't be directly compared in unfavorable terms to Kane. If there was an "accident" during production, people wouldn't blame Welles as much for the result.

According to Wikipedia, Welles received in Brazil a print of the rough cut of The Magnificent Ambersons, but the negative is lost and the print hasn't been recovered. Yet, Welles supplied his shooting script to Peter Bogdanovich, so we know precisely what the missing scenes are. And he even tried to get the actors who were still living to reshoot the missing footage. That's not what a man who still has a copy of his personal cut would do.

Welles was a genial story-teller, and he even did "F for Fake", which switches between genuine documentary and total fiction repeatedly, and reveals at the very end that it was basically just a magic trick. So, if he said something, even to somebody he trusted, in particularly during his later years, it doesn't mean it's true. It's just that sometimes the legend sounds better.

Sallyone said...

and this was a blind item because........

Becca Parker said...

So, Orson was actually buried in Kenosha, Wisconsin?

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

Is Henry Jaglom the executor of his will or the close friend?

ItsCourtneyD said...

@seven I knew I wasn't crazy!! Well...I knew I wasn't crazy about having remembering this BI.

Bacon Ranch said...

I wish you posted more Angela because...holy cow.
You certainly know your stuff and have a great presentation.

Sherry said...

Agreed Bacon.

Cee Kay said...

Victoria Day weekend for Canada, if nobody's answered that query. You guys get your Memorial Day next wekeend...is that an "official" holiday, or just gov/banks?

LowKey said...

Memorial Day is one of our "official" holidays, Cee Kay.
Along with Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

ItsCourtneyD said...

Angela...I bow down to you. That was awesome. Truly. Props to you!

NaughtyNurse said...

So does this mean his films have been lifted from the well?

Jennmcn said...

If you ever get the chance to read My Lunches with Orson by Peter Biskind. It is very funny and sad. Quite poignant at times and completely bitchy about those he had conflict with. I highly suggest it, especially if you love old Hollywood.

Sprink said...

The Old Hollywood stuff delights me, though i know most of it, as does the knowledge that Endora had an Oscar nom.

Sorry, I couldn't figure out a way to say that first bit without sounding up my own arse so I just left it there. Ha!

Diane said...

God, I hope this is true!

Erik said...

More Old Hollywood blinds, please.

Aoife said...

I love the Old Hollywood blinds/reveals.

And thank you Angela. Don't be a stranger.

Angela said...

I don't have many reasons to post more often. I'm French, I have been here since 2008-2009 and I haven't actually enjoyed the site since its switch to its 10 blind items a day, which has resulted in many blind items about various real housewives and other celebrities I don't care about.

Plus, it's obvious that whoever the original Enty was, the site has been taken over by various ghostwriters, with maybe one or two posts a day that look like they're from the original source. Other blind items are turning into generic, pointless material from third or fourth hand sources, while the older BIs, true or false, were more focused and could come from a well informed small group who had actually crossed paths with celebrities or people in their entourage.
Blind items, these days, are too often an opportunity to bitch about about people on an obvious hate list (Daniel Craig or Amanda Seyfried next to the Kardashians, Bieber or Lohan).

Of course, I miss the days when Enty could write ten paragraphs about Tarantino, Sean Connery or the dirty little secrets when it comes to producing a movie. And there was actual posts where his law background brought something to the picture, when he proved that some claim was bogus. Maybe, he's too busy in his main job and has been forced to "delegate", but, now, it's more about increasing page views by focusing on easy targets like Bieber, and promoting some kind of brand. When I see that Michael K. is still able to write the same way even after all these years, I'm kinda nostalgic about "old" Enty.

Aoife said...

Angela I wish there was a way to favorite your last comment. I was a long time lurker before I started posting here and I agree the quality of the blinds was about a better class of lowlifes. I don't care about any of the housewives. I don't watch Glee. I don't watch AI.
I even stopped watching the cooking contest shows that I used to enjoy because they just got sillier and sillier.

I also miss FFFridays. Sigh.

The reality is if you monetize your blog you get into a thing about number of hits. I think this partially explains what happened and why real dirt is so rare.

Gayeld said...

+1(000,000)

GoGo said...

Moi aussi Angela!
And OUI to FFFridays!