Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The right reading for this is the one I'm giving."


Orson Welles is generally regarded as one the greatest monolithic figures in cinema. From the sheer cinematic brilliance of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, his performances in Kane, The Third Man, and one of my favorites A Touch of Evil.


He was even Unicron in the 1984 Transformers: The Movie, at a time when he himself had grown especially planet-sized.

He's the inspiration for a White Stripes song.

However, Welles (perhaps in no small part for deciding to seemingly target media magnate and all around captain of industry William Randolph Hearst for his masterpiece Citizen Kane, or his general bristly personality and enormous ego,) ended up slowly sliding into less and less prestigious work, symbolically culminating in his voice-over work.

Which, you may or may not be aware, was routinely lambasted by voice actor and Welles impersonator Maurice LaMarche on some of the shows he frequented in the 90s.

Whenever I'm feeling down, I like to listen to these outtakes and get a good laugh in.

And, although Welles' career foundered after an initial burst of brilliance, he is widely remembered despite that for those particular works than his latter decline. Either way, kind of uplifting.




Ryan said...

I thoroughly enjoy this post. God I miss The Critic.

And, furthermore, it's amazing that they were able to make that and classify it under children's entertainment. We were incredibly lucky to grow up in that era of the WB, with Animaniacs and Freakazoid and such. Because it was Spielberg, there was no network oversight. They couldn't get away with that now.

Son of Double Feature said...

Totally agreed. These guys made shows they actually would want to watch themselves (like the Termite Terrace folks at Warner Bros. [Jones, Clampett, Avery, Freling, et al,] did in the 30s and 40s,) and the result is clearly superior to a vast majority of the stuff out there.

And after doing some digging, apparently this is Maurice LaMarche's warm-up for his Welles impression, "We know a remote farm in Linconshire, where Mrs. Buckley lives..."