Orson Welles Stephen Farber - Essay

Stephen Farber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although The Magnificent Ambersons was not the last film Welles made in America, he never again took on such large, quintessentially American themes as he did in his first two films. The Magnificent Ambersons deals with the price of technological "progress"—the contamination of the city and the influence of the automobile on modern American life, an extraordinary subject for a 1942 movie….

The attempt is impressive, but the film has never struck me as an entirely satisfactory study of the emergent nightmare city of the twentieth century. The dying aristocratic world of the Ambersons is drawn with great affection and complexity, but the urban industrial world that will take...

(The entire section is 1025 words.)