- USA. Directed by Orson Welles. With Joseph Cotten, Ruth Ford, George Duthie, Edgar Barrier. Welles’s first professional undertaking as a filmmaker was this unfinished project, a silent film in three parts meant to be shown with the Mercury Theatre’s 1938 production of William Gillette’s 1894 stage farce. Though Welles seems to have completed the editing of only the first seven minutes before the film component of the production was abandoned, the surviving 66-minute work print—miraculously discovered in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy—offers a world of wonderment to Welles, revealing its director to be well on the way to the stylistic advances that would startle the world in Citizen Kane three years later. Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator of Motion Pictures at George Eastman House, will lead us on a tour of the raw footage, which includes many glimpses of New York City and its environs. The film is from the Cinemazero collection at the Cineteca del Friuli and was preserved by George Eastman House through a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation, with additional funding from the Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Orson Welles Directing Too Much Johnson [home movie]. 1938. USA. Directed by Myron Falk. Accompanying the presentation is this three-minute short, shot by Mercury Theatre funder Myron Falk, showing Welles at work on the production. Preserved by University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA). 3 min. Silent.