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Lousy documentary....

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Big disappointment here, too. Seeing him so buddy-buddy with Clifford Irving and - whathisname the art forger - I was asking myself why? Maybe he was taking out some of his aggressions on the "experts" whom he felt wrong him. I dunno. Except for some of the scenes with Oja or whatever the Picasso model's name was, a waste.

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I always thought Orson Welles wasted his considerable talents. I don't dislike him, but he was arrogant and undisciplined.


I remember reading that the stuidio cut and re-edited "The Magnificent Ambersons' without his knowledge or permission. I thought this was just another example of a studio interfering with the work of a director.


I tend now to think that the studio may have had good reason, and were merely trying to rein in some of Welles' considerable excesses.


The 'Movie Business' is after all a 'Business', and subject to market forces. The fact that something 'Artistic' is occaisionally produced is just a coincidence.


I imagine that most 'Artistic' directors are considered a pain in the **** by financially oriented studio executives. I don't know what Welles' reputation was within the industry.



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Since you're on Welles, I saw Merv Griffin on Larry King the other night and he showed a clip of Welles' last interview that was on his show. Griffin said Welles died three hours after the show. He sounded ok. He didn't look great but I don't think anyone would have thought he was at death's door.

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Hi Chris,


I remember when Orson Welles died and they said he was living on borrowed time because of his weight and very bad eating habits.

Carmen Miranda died in similar circumstances in the 50's. She had finished Jimmy Durante's show and went home and died.


I wonder if it has something to do with the metabolism getting a hit of endorphins from being in a performance mode with an audience and then the big let-down of being alone off stage and it's all just too much for the heart??



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This is probably the most macabre post I'll even enter here, but from Moliere to John Ritter, there's a long history of people struck down in the midst of a performance:


Alexander Woolcott- heart attack during a radio show

Tyrone Power- heart attack while filming Solomon and Sheba

Harry Parke [who was featured this morning on TCM in Strike Me Pink!]- better known as "Parkyakarkas", died at the Friar's Roast for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Leonard Warren- Great opera basso, had a massive stroke while performing in Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the Met.

Paul Mantz- Hollywood stunt man killed during the filming of The Flight Of The Phoenix.

Nelson Eddy- Massive stroke while performing in Miami.

David Burns- Heart attack during a pre-Broadway performance of 70 Girls 70 in Philadelphia.

Irene Ryan- Stroke during a Broadway performance of Pippin. She actually died some weeks later.

Sid James- Heart attack during a performance of The Mating Game.

Cyril Ritchard- Heart attack during a performance of Side By Side.

Karl Wallenda- One of the "Flying Wallendas", died while suspended 123 feet above San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Arnold Soboloff- Heart attack during a performance of Peter Pan.

Vic Morrow- Killed on the movie set of Twilight Zone.

Jon-Erik Hexum- Handsome actor accidentally shot himself on the set of the television show Cover-Up.

Jane Dornacker- Treasured San Francisco comedienne went to NY to become a traffic reporter where she died in radio station's helicopter (crash).

Edith Webster- After singing "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" at a performance of The Drunkard she actually suffered a heart attack during her scripted death scene.

Dick Shawn- Struck his head during a performance at UC San Diego. Audience assumed it part of the show and let him lay there for minutes before coming to his aide.

Redd Foxx- After years of performing fake heart attacks on television's Sanford and Son, he suffered a real attack on the set of The Royal Family.

Brandon Lee- Another accidental gun death, this time on the set of The Crow.

Tiny Tim- Heart attack while singing "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" in Minneapolis.

Antony Wheeler- Forgot to fasten his safety harness for the hanging of Judas scene in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Giuseppe Sinopoli- Heart attack while conducting Verdi's Aida in Berlin. What is it about Verdi?

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Hi Larry:


JackBurley apparently agrees with you. Griffin even told a story about how he followed Welles out of a restaurant after a modest dinner only to find his limo stopped at some other restaurant to pick up a rather large order of some kind to be taken home.



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Hi Everyone,


This is a rather rude but amusing story for you all:


When I was in Paris, in 1976, a girlfriend & I were stolling passed Marlene Dietrich's apartment building hoping to get a glimpse of her, when a rather fat dachund waddled by and across the street over to her building.

My friend has a very catty tongue and she said to me, "I wonder if that's Orson Welles paying Marlene a visit?"........





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Now, now, let's not dogpile on Orson.


I just read that most of "F" was not shot or directed by Welles, but by a french documentarian named Francois Reichenbach, who made a film about Elmyr De Hory. After his documentary had had its run on TV, he let Welles use it, as well as other unused footage. That explains for me the home movie-like lighting, anyway.

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Let's not forget Cary Grant, who died onstage doing one of his "Evening with Cary Grant" talks after he retired from acting.


Paul Mantz- Hollywood stunt man killed during the filming of The Flight Of The Phoenix.


The sad part about this is Mantz was doing a "protection shot," so that they'd have an extra take of the plane's takeoff in case the first take proved unsatisfactory when viewed in dailies the next day.


The shot used in the film was the first one Mantz completed successfully, that was already in the can.

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I happened upon this documentary in surfing and turned it off almost immediately. Blech.


However, I find myself smiling at the title of this thread, only because of an I Love Lucy episode with Hans Conreid (remember him, remember Uncle Tonoose?).


Hans was brought in to teach diction to Ricky and Lucy before the birth of their baby, and Hans said to Lucy: there are two words you should never use, one of them is swell and the other is lousy. Lucy's reply: okay, what are they?


Rim shot, cue the vaudevillian.


Thanks for the memory, Fred. And I agree, the Welles documentary was lousy, and it could only have been made swell if he burned the film on the way to the theater.

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"However, I find myself smiling at the title of this thread, only because of an I Love Lucy episode with Hans Conreid (remember him, remember Uncle Tonoose?)."


That's funny, I think of that episode as well whenever I hear those 2 words.

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  • 3 months later...

In the episode, it actually does carry on a bit further. After the exchange that stoneyburke mentioned, Hans says something like "never say 'ok' either," or something to that effect, and Lucy says, "I would say 'ok', that's a swell way to get off to a lousy start." I can't remember it verbatim, but it's very funny. That whole episode is hysterical. Especially when he has them do the "dary-down-pip-pip" or whatever the hell it was song. Fred was priceless in this scene.

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