Thursday, May 6, 2010


In honor of Orson Welles birthday, here is a list of books I’ve read about him over the years.

I owned Pauline Kael's Citizen Kane Book for years before finally reading it. I remember it as an evisceration of Welles and epistle to writer Herman Mankiewicz.

Then I read Road to Xanadu by Simon Callow and was just completely mesmerized by it. The book is amazing, as was Welles’ early life. Absolutely essential reading.

I loved the book and Welles so much afterward that I started seeking out more about him.

This is Orson Welles is a compilation of interviews Welles did with director Peter Bogdonavich. Amusing and anecdotal, like sitting in a room with Welles for a few hours.

Moby Dick – Rehearsed is a play written by Welles, an adaptation of the novel which I bet made for a riveting evening of theatre.

The Big Brass Ring is a screenplay by Welles that got made by others after his death.

Orson Welles by Joseph McBride is one of the other main bios of Welles and I don't recall a lot of details about it, but know I enjoyed it.

The Theatre of Orson Welles by Richard France was more of an academic book, one I got through interlibrary loan. Callow's book made me really wish I could have seen Welles' live productions with the Mercury Theatre and this helped flesh out more of that. 

I got Callow’s second volume, Hello Americans, shortly after it was released but I’m just now getting a chance to read it. Can’t wait.

Well, there you go. I told you it would be pretty much a list.

1 comment:

Karen from Mentor said...

"Well, there you go. I told you it would be pretty much a list"

yeah, but if you read it picturing you singing and dancing while typing, the list is just THAT much more entertaining.

Well singing and dancing or wearing your martian head...either one...but the martian head makes it way harder to type.