Best Orson Welles

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Which is your favorite Orson Welles film?
57.14%
12 votes
Citizen Kane
4.76%
1 votes
The Magnificent Ambersons
0%
0 votes
The Stranger
4.76%
1 votes
The Lady from Shanghai
0%
0 votes
Macbeth
0%
0 votes
Othello
0%
0 votes
Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report
14.29%
3 votes
Touch of Evil
4.76%
1 votes
The Trial
4.76%
1 votes
Chimes at Midnight
9.52%
2 votes
F for Fake
0%
0 votes
The Other Side of the Wind
21 votes. You may not vote on this poll






Orson Welles is one of the most famous and lastingly influential filmmakers ever. His legend has outsized his body of work. In an era where his contemporaries made dozens of films Welles left behind only a handful. Always the maverick searching for financing beyond the Hollywood Studios resulted in a small if mighty filmography of finished projects. Citizen Kane is reflexively named one of the greatest films of all time...but do you MoFos agree? In the poll above choose what you believe to be his best or your favorite or both.

Citizen Kane
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Stranger
The Lady from Shanghai
Macbeth
Othello
Mr. Arkadin/Confidential Report
Touch of Evil
The Trial
Chimes at Midnight
F for Fake
The Other Side of the Wind
__________________
"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



I think Holden's intent was to measure the popularity of Welles' directorial efforts exclusively. A similar poll for his acting efforts might be interesting, but I insist those wine commercials be on it.

EDIT: sniped!



I'm feeling The Trial today. Watched it a few months back and it's still floating around in my head. I'm sure there are better choices but I'll pick that one.



Since I haven't seen all of his films, I don't think if it would fair for me to vote on this poll, but for what it's worth, Touch of Evil is my favorite of what I've seen so far.



Since I haven't seen all of his films, I don't think if it would fair for me to vote on this poll, but for what it's worth, Touch of Evil is my favorite of what I've seen so far.
Vote however you want, but I don't think it has to be definitive. If you have seen some Orson Welles movies and have a favorite I say vote for it. We will not tattoo it to you. You reserve the right to change your mind at any time. It's only an informal poll.



Vote however you want, but I don't think it has to be definitive. If you have seen some Orson Welles movies and have a favorite I say vote for it. We will not tattoo it to you. You reserve the right to change your mind at any time. It's only an informal poll.
Okay, fair.



All I know is The Stranger is the worst

As for what his best it, Citizen Kane has to be the easy answer, but it's still a struggle to rank them.

Maybe something like this?

Citizen Kane (mega love)
Touch of Evil (mega love)
Magnificent Ambersons (love)
F is For Fake (love)
Lady From Shanghai (love)
Mr Arkadin (mostly love)
The Trial (mostly love)
The Other Side of the Wind (kinda love)
MacBeth (good)


The Stranger (meh)

Haven't seen Chimes of Midnight or his Othello, but I'm generally not the biggest fan of Shakespeare adaptations, so these probably wouldn't threaten the ones at the top



The trick is not minding
I liked The Stranger. Better then The Lady from Shanghai in my opinion. Except Shanghai had a better ending, not that it detracts from Strangers ending, but you canít beat that shoot out scene in the hall of mirrors and that final line.
Of his films I have seen that he has directed, which it occurs to me is not enough, itís a dead heat between Kane and Ambersons. Hmmm. Iíve seen more of his performances then I have of his directorial efforts.



Haven't seen Chimes of Midnight or his Othello, but I'm generally not the biggest fan of Shakespeare adaptations, so these probably wouldn't threaten the ones at the top
I misread that as "I'm generally not the biggest fan of Shakespeare" at first and was shocked as all hell.

I'm generally fine with Shakespeare adaptations, but ones which modernize the settings of his plays often leave me cold. I feel this can lead to many awkward moments in those films which would've worked fine had the setting/time period not been changed. I'm still not sure what to make of Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, but his style tends to bug me in general.



I misread that as "I'm generally not the biggest fan of Shakespeare" at first and was shocked as all hell.

I'm generally fine with Shakespeare adaptations, but ones which modernize the settings of his plays often leave me cold. I feel this can lead to many awkward moments in those films which would've worked fine had the setting/time period not been changed. I'm still not sure what to make of Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, but his style tends to bug me in general.

Prepare to still be shocked then. I don't know if it was school that rubbed me the wrong way (FTR it definitely did), but I'm not really a fan of Shakespeare. Not that I don't have an appreciation for how he structures his stories, or (in particular) the complicated characters he populated them with. But I find a lot of the dialogue, outside of the occasional monologue, fairly ponderous to read. I also don't have any particular love for theater, so wading through stage directions and such is not my idea of a good time.


I have liked some adaptations though. Olivier's Hamlet is really good. And so is Kenneth Branagh's. And Polanski's MacBeth is a vicious hoot. So I actually don't mind adaptations at times if an actor really brings his words to life (which I find just sit on the page, when I read them by myself). But the reality is I just rarely seek out Shakespearean adaptations to watch, since I'm always suspicious of how much I'll be in the mood for actors wandering around and moaning their hearts out. Sometimes it turns out great, othertimes I feel like I'm back in school hell being assigned some asinine project to memorize one of his soliloquy's.



I do really want to see Chimes of Midnight, regardless though. If it wasn't for the pandemic I would have definitely got my hands on a copy of the Criterion by now. Alas, I'm stranded on a mountain without a single toboggan to ride myself down to the video rental store on.



I do really want to see Chimes of Midnight, regardless though. If it wasn't for the pandemic I would have definitely got my hands on a copy of the Criterion by now. Alas, I'm stranded on a mountain without a single toboggan to ride myself down to the video rental store on.
Welles was of course a nut for Shakespeare and Chimes at Midnight (sometimes also titled Falstaff) cleverly takes the best bits for one of Billy Shakes' most famous and endearing characters from Henry IV Part I and II as well as Henry V to make one arc with the betrayal of that delightfully rotund drunkard at the center. You could do a whole semester of a film editing class marveling at how Welles staged such a rousing Battle of Agincourt with no money and very few extras. Many of those techniques and shots were swiped whole by Mel Gibson and crew for Braveheart.




minds his own damn business
F For Fake
The Other Side of the Wind


Not really a ranking so much as recognizing these films as in a different category of filmmaking than the "classic" Welles. Fake would still be a favorite, probably, as a playful romp through media-myth conducted by one of the century's great myth-masters. Unique as either a documentary and more subversively avant-garde than Godard at his wankiest. So it was fascinating to see that this filmmaking style was more than just a singular experiment, for what was then seen as a toss-off vanity project that few people saw, and what could have been a bold new approach to narrative filmmaking as manifested in Other Side of the Wind, where the similar motifs of media-manipulation and themes of myth-making are applied to a quasi-autobiographical account of the gulf between fantasy and reality. These films may or may not be Welles' best, and I may have some recency bias in my still being awed at this most recent discovery, and/or the small miracle of its salvation. But they are so distinct from the rest of Welles' catalogue that it feels like remnants of an unrealized renaissance.


But so many of Welles' films now rest on projections of their potential, as he has one of the most savagely butchered filmographies in Hollywood. We're missing nearly a third of Ambersons, while Mr. Arkadin and Touch of Evil can only be approximated to Welles' vision as he wasn't allowed to complete their editing. Many more were underfunded. Othello is gorgeous, but they couldn't afford decent post-prouction audio. Add to that the projects that the otherwise prolific director was unable to get off the ground, the cost of what was effectively a studio blacklist.


If I had to rank the rest....


Lady From Shanghai
Othello
Chimes At Midnight
Touch Of Evil
Citizen Kane
Macbeth
Magnificent Ambersons
The Trial
The Stranger
Mr. Arkadin


And I'm glad no one has yet complained about Immortal Story not being on the list. You can take that French television elsewhere.
__________________



The trick is not minding
Oh geez. Didnít even notice The Immortal Story wasnít there. It should be, even if it had been released to Television first, it did get a belated (iirc) release in theatres.
Not sure why it shouldnít count.



I went Kane, but I feel Touch of Evil is close. A rewatch needed for both too.

It will be cool to see a few of these I haven't seen, the only one I've seen and didn't care for was F for Fake