Orson Welles Charles Higham - Essay

Charles Higham

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Welles's] personality as an artist is on the scale of a Hugo, a Balzac: he is expansive, grand, capricious, sometimes gross in his style; maddeningly prone to dissipate his energies; baroque and Gothic by turns; romantic, journalistic, slapdash, and brilliant. Citizen Kane remains his masterpiece, as the world has said; but many who thought his a tragedy without a third act, a story of a genius burned out, have been proven wrong. In Chimes at Midnight—that tender elegy to the vanished past of England, echoing in its mood the lovely valedictory of The Magnificent Ambersons for the vanished past of America—and more recently in The Immortal Story—a reflection on the tragedy of old...

(The entire section is 2745 words.)