Screen Legends: Orson Welles

05/06/2006
  |  Buy to Own: 05/06/2006
  |  445 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Four films starring cinema legend Orson Welles. Widely seen as the greatest film of all time, 'Citizen Kane' (1941) was Welles' first film as writer, director and actor. In 1940, newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane (Welles) dies after uttering the word 'Rosebud'. An anonymous reporter (William Alland) is assigned the task of uncovering the meaning of Kane's dying word, and in the course of his enquiries he receives varying accounts of his life from former colleagues Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten) and Bernstein (Everett Sloan), and ex-wife Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore). 'A Man For All Seasons' (1966) is based on the life and death of Sir Thomas More. More (Paul Scofield) has to wrestle with his conscience when he is appointed High Chancellor to King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw). The King wishes More's support in his decision to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, in favour of Anne Boleyn. When More refuses and resigns from his office, he falls foul of a plot by Thomas Cromwell (Leo McKern) to remove him permanently. Welles stars as Henry VIII's advisor Cardinal Wolsey. 'Waterloo' (1970) is an epic account of the momentous battle, fought after Napoleon (Rod Steiger) returns from exile and forces King Louis XVIII (Welles) to flee. Only the Duke of Wellington's (Christopher Plummer) army can stop him. Finally, in 'The Lady From Shanghai' (1948), Welles directs, produces, writes and stars in this maritime film noir. When unemployed Irishman Michael O'Hara (Welles) saves Elsa Bannister (Rita Hayworth) from some thugs, she obtains him a position on her invalid lawyer husband Arthur's (Everett Sloane) yacht, as a deckhand. It soon becomes clear that Elsa now has designs on O'Hara, and also wants her husband out of the way. O'Hara, although resisting Elsa's advances, finds himself becoming embroiled in a web of intrigue and murder. The famous hall of mirrors sequence is considered to be one of the greatest scenes in film history.