Orson Welles JOSEPH McBRIDE - Essay


(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It is clear that Welles's films are not moralistic in the sense that Howard Hawks's are, for example—as fables of exemplary behaviour; and just as clearly, they are not anarchistic and behaviouristic like Jean Renoir's. In a Welles film there is, for the most part, an extreme dissonance between the characters' actions and emotions and the underlying moral framework.

Welles will be as chivalrous to his characters as Renoir, but he will not allow the characters' actions to determine the form of the film. Instead, he will go so far as to construct a geometrical pattern of counterpoints and visual ironies, in Kane, to bind his hero into a system which makes him seem, from our contemplative...

(The entire section is 1232 words.)