Orson Welles Gordon Hitchens - Essay

Gordon Hitchens

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Of course, even bad Welles is absorbing cinema; but how can one so praise a filmmaker without sounding condescending? The point is that [in Mr. Arkadin] Welles has a film that holds one's interest continually and yet is disappointing and embarrassing. This film is all technique and bravura and theatricality, but is utterly lacking in significance. It is a kind of decadence, with over-decorated sets, over-busy camera, over-characterized characters from Welles' grab-bag of international types. Because this is a "personal" film, so called, we expect a chaste and trembling virgin, but instead we find the mechanical passion and tired tricks of the over-rouged street-walker.

Welles has written here...

(The entire section is 575 words.)