There is literally so much that can be said about Orson Welles that it could and has filled books simply based on his upbringing, his hardships, and his decision to make his way towards show business. The man and the myth behind him that fueled his mystique at times were both something that seemed larger than life and gave him a rather powerful aura that many people found alluring and others found somewhat hard to fully comprehend. He had a career that was more than a little impressive and despite what anyone might say he was something of a genius since he had a way of creating something out of nothing that was capable of inspiring others in a manner that was as inescapable as it was beneficial. In many ways Orson Welles was a great man, though there were a few in which some folks would gladly beg to differ.
Here are a few of his best movies.
5. The Transformers: The Movie
Without the need to get confrontational this role was something that many might think of as an afterthought, but in truth it was something great for those that knew about Welles and those that didn’t. In the Transformers universe, Unicron is about as close to being a god as one can get as he’s a planet-sized Transformer that is known for consuming worlds and simply drifting through the galaxy on a whim. Welles created a voice for this character that was nothing short of impressive since the pure evil that you could sense radiating out of this robotic creature was something that seemed downright inevitable and inescapable all at once.
4. The Stranger
Films about war criminals are usually tense and quite thrilling since the idea of a person getting away with heinous crimes during war time and then disappearing before they can be dealt with are usually pulse-pounding movies that are easy to get into. Franz Kindler, posing as Charles Rankin, is one of the worst since he was one of the men that came up with the idea of genocide during WWII and was then able to make himself disappear when the war was over. While he does have someone on his trail and he does kill off the only person that would be able to identify him, his wife is turned against him eventually and he has to run.
3. Touch of Evil
Captain Quinlan was some kind of man, that’s a statement that’s pretty true and to be honest it’s about the only thing the character seems to deserve since Quinlan becomes pretty much the opposite of what you would think such a character should be like. It’s easy to credit Welles though since he can play an absolutely despicable character quite well and make a person believe in his performance. The whole movie is one giant cover-up after another until Quinlan makes a mistake that clues Vargas to his guilt and sets the two of them to colliding finally. The movie is one of his better pieces to be certain.
2. The Other Side of the Wind
This is a movie directed by Welles just in case you were wondering where he’s at in it. The movie is about a director that is basically at his wits end, trying to make something of the last fading piece of his career that might set him apart from the crowd and cement his legacy. But the public and the press have hounded him repeatedly about so many different things that he’s been falling apart bit by bit until finally there’s nothing left but to ride off into the unknown and hope for the best. Unfortunately the director dies in a car crash not long after he drives off for the final time, leaving a rather sordid end to the whole movie.
1. Citizen Kane
The rise and fall of a man that came from nothing and gained everything only to lose it eventually is a story that has become an epic in the minds of many that have watched it and tried to deduce just what it was all about. In many ways it’s simple and straightforward since there’s nothing else to say but that Kane would have been far happier being raised at home and not in some stranger’s care for so long. But thanks to his boarding he began to lash out at the person that had taken him, though this wasn’t what ended him. He was as unhappy in love as he was in his life, though he was successful to a point in most things. But when his wife Susan finally left him after years of emotional abuse it was the final straw and he couldn’t take it any longer. The single word “Rosebud” seems to be the longing for a simpler life that he would have preferred.
Orson Welles was a talent beyond most anything that’s been seen, a genius in his own time.