Best known as the director of Citizen Kane and for the radio broadcast of H.G. Wells 's "War of the Worlds," Orson Welles was a polymath who excelled as an actor, writer, director, and producer on radio, film, and television. In fact, his reach went so far as television commercials, and by the end of his life, he was a household name for his Paul Masson wine commercials ("we will sell no wine before its time.") Welles was the director of (in addition to Citizen Kane ) The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady From Shanghai , Touch of Evil, and Chimes At Midnight. In addition to playing major roles in some of these films, he also starred in the classic The Third Man and has more than a hundred screen acting credits to his name. Orson Welles began his career on stage, directing plays under the Federal Theatre Project and then with his company Mercury Theatre. He took the Mercury Theatre to the Air , becoming a radio celeb with broadcasts of productions of va
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While Orson Welles never acted in or produced any version of George Orwell’s Novel 1984 , he is associated with the work because of the similarity in named. Some people think Orville Wright invented really good popcorn, or that Bill Cosby sang “White Christmas.” This is the same phenomenon. However, there’s no reason not to know what Welles was doing in 1984. It was the year in which he voiced the lead chipmunk in a film called Enchanted Journey . He also played a supportive role (Klingsor) in Where is Parsifal ? a film that holds the distinction of bringing together Tony Curtis and Erik Estrada. For Orson Welles, 1984 was not the highlight of his career, but I’d guess that for Welles, Orwell’s 1984 was a great read.
A hoax that will be remembered for all time, Welles’ broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Wells ’ “War of the Worlds” on Oct. 30, 1938, stands as a vivid reminder of the power of the media and of the general public’s vulnerability when it is gripped by fear. In Fall of 1938, Europe was at war. Hitler had just stormed into Czechoslovakia and had earlier taken the Sudetenland. He was a force the likes of which the world, including the American public had never seen. Welles was interested in exploring the evils of fascism, which he was doing with his current project for Mercury Theatre, Danton’s Death. Clearly, the idea of powers large enough to wreak an apocalypse was on his mind as Halloween approached and he was pressed to choose programming for his “Mercury Theatre on the Air” radio series. While re-tellings of the episode suggest that Welles merely read “The War of the Worlds” by the science fiction author, his colleagues in fact did adapt it into an original script. Howa