Orson Welles Penelope Houston - Essay

Penelope Houston

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Orson Welles casts such a gigantic shadow that it becomes difficult to realise that in fact only six films (five if one chooses to discount the equivocal Journey into Fear) stand between the dazzling pyrotechnics of Citizen Kane and the choked and spluttering deadwood bonfire that is Confidential Report…. Fuelled with reminiscences of Kane—the fascination with the mystery and the apparatus of power, the involved flashback structure—and stoked up with bits from [Carol Reed's] The Third Man, from the spectacular seediness of the world of Harry Lime, this is a grandiose and ornate melodramatic construction. But beneath the baroque extravagance of its style, and the characteristic...

(The entire section is 436 words.)