THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
Set during the momentous passage from the 19th to the 20th century, Welles’ legendary second film magnificently observes the gradual decline of an aristocratic American family who are devastated, unable to keep up with the rapid changes brought in by a new era. Tarnished by the studio’s overbearing intervention, as they undertook its editing in spite of the director’s wishes, still the film remains a genuine masterpiece of the global screen, always maintaining a spot on the list of the most important achievements in the history of cinema.
USA | 1942 | B&W | DCP | 88’ | ENGLISH
In the wondrous mist around the creation of 25 year-old Welles in “Citizen Kane”, maybe we forget that at 26 he made in two months in the end of 1941 the “Magnificent Ambersons”. But the achievement is essentially equally important. Never before or never again has there been such a point of view in a period drama. I
n the unforgettable baroque decoration of the Amberson mansion, Welles made an almost rock and roll (before even the existence of the term!) effort in period context. Such is his aesthetic innovation. Dense and with screenwriting clarity, laconic but loving the word, it becomes a critique towards class conflict, it casts a melancholic gaze at the great material futility and has a Wellesianally. out-of-tune ending, that the director never filmed. It still is exquisite. I.D.
DIRECTOR: Orson Welles
SCREENWRITER: Orson Welles
DoP: Stanley Cortez
EDITOR: Robert Wise
PRINCIPAL CAST: Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins