My Favorite Orson Welles Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Chimes at Midnight (1965)

2.   F for Fake (1973)

3.   Othello (1951)

4.   The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

5.   The Trial (1962)

6.   The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

7.   Touch of Evil (1958)

8.   Citizen Kane (1941)

9.   The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

10. Mr. Arkadin (1955)

11. Filming Othello (1978)
(Documentary)
(Television)

12. The Immortal Story (1968)
(Television) 

13. Macbeth (1948)

14. The Stranger (1946)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   The Fountain of Youth (1956)
(I watched it on youtube)
(Television)

2.   Around the World with Orson Welles (1955)
2a. Episode: “Pays Basque I (The Basque Country)”
2b. Episode: “Pays Basque II (La Pelote basque)”
2c. Episode: “Revisiting Vienna” (a.k.a. “The Third Man Returns to Vienna”)
2d. Episode: “St. -Germain-des-Pres”
2e. Episode: “Chelsea Pensioners”
2f. Episode: “Madrid Bullfight”
(Television)

Note: In case any of you readers are interested, Netflix is going to premier Orson Welles last film The Other Side of the Wind (1972-1976) in November (November 2, 2018). The film can best be described as both completed and uncompleted (read here for more info). Here is the link to the trailer in case any of you readers are interested below 🙂

10 thoughts on “My Favorite Orson Welles Films

  1. I haven’t seen much of Orson Welles although I did pick up The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray release of Touch of Evil last year, and it’s fast become one of my favourites. It is a shame we’ll never get to see Welles original vision, but the new cut is as near as damn it.

  2. I am a huge fan of Welles, especially his acting. I am happy to see your number one choice is the same as mine. He was magnificent as Falstaff, and Touch of Evil would be number two on my list. Although he didn’t direct the film, number three would be his outstanding (albeit too brief) performance in The Third Man.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Touch of Evil is my favorite, John. Then Lady from Shanghai. Then, believe it or not, The Stranger. I’m very intrigued by The Stranger’s premise. Escaped Nazi war criminals living among us has always captivated me. I love The Marathon Man, The Boys From Brazil,The Odessa File and The Music Box. Those are my top three. Of course I’m a fan of Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons as well. These are the Orson Welles directed films that I’m familiar with.

  4. At least Touch of Evil did not suffer the same fate that befell The Magnificent Ambersons in which the studio cut 40 something minutes (I believe) and placed a tacked on happy ending that Welles despised. The resulting running time was 88 minutes. Even in it’s fragmented form though, it is still a masterpiece. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

    P.S. F for Fake was shown on Moviedrome back in the day 🙂

  5. I was so excited when the Criterion Collection released Chimes at Midnight on Blu-Ray/DVD back in 2016 and after seeing Welles performance, all I can say is that nobody else could have played Falstaff better than him. Also, what did you think of the Battle of Shrewsbury sequence. According to a few sources, it has been said to have served as a visual influence on the battle sequences of Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan. Needless to say, Chimes at Midnight still blows them way out of the water in terms of all-around cinematic poetry. I wish I had actually said this, but somebody else beat me to it; somebody once said or implied on a message board that Welles direction on this film is basically a visual effect. I can understand that because despite being shot on a shoestring budget with not so good sound equipment, Welles managed to more than overcome that by making us feel that we are seeing a big budgeted film on screen when it reality, it is anything but. He really knew how to overcome limitations and it is a shame that Hollywood and others treated him so poorly at the time. Interestingly enough, Welles has often cited Chimes at Midnight as his personal favorite of all his films. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. When compared to all of those other films that are similar yet at the same time different, The Stranger still ranks for me as the best of the bunch. True, The Stranger may have served as just a studio assignment for such a cinematic genius like Welles, but at least he gave it a visually subtle atmospheric touch. Speaking of The Magnificent Ambersons, the Criterion Collection is releasing that either in November or December of this year, but sadly, it does not include any of the scenes that RKO cut from the film. I am pretty sure you are familiar with the story behind that film. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and keep those comments coming 🙂

  7. I thought the battle scene was very accurate, and spellbinding to watch on screen. I have also read that Welles always cited that film as his personal favourite.

  8. Looks like I got some catching up to do. Your top three I haven’t seen.
    The Trial, Touch Of Evil and Citizen Kane will have to fight it out at the top for me but also love The Lady From Shanghai and The Stranger. Nice one buddy.

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