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Jon Stewart's Filmmaking Debut Rosewater Acquired by Open Road for Fall 2014 Distribution

Jon Stewart's Filmmaking Debut Rosewater Acquired by Open Road for Fall 2014 Distribution


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In case you've been living under a rock you probably already know that The Daily Show's Jon Stewart finally made his directorial and screenwriting debut with Rosewater, a feature film based on the New York Times best-selling memoir Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity and Survival by BBC journalist Maziar Bahari. The good news is that Tom Ortenberg, the CEO of Open Road Films, announced today that Open Road acquired the film's U.S. distribution.

“This is an exciting, prestigious project and we could not be happier to partner with Jon Stewart, [producers] Scott Rudin, Gigi Pritzker and the rest of the OddLot [Entertainment] team,” says Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Open Road Films. “We look forward to a successful release of this compelling film.”

According to the official synopsis, "Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Maziar Bahari [played by Gael García Bernal], a 42-year-old broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship living in London. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, who was the prime challenger to controversial incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Moussavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed on election day, Bahari endured great personal risk by submitting camera footage of the unfolding street riots to the BBC. Bahari was soon arrested by Revolutionary Guard police, led by a man identifying himself only as 'Rosewater,' who proceeded to torture and interrogate the journalist over the next 118 days."

Photo Courtesy of Maziar Bahari/Facebook

In late 2009 Bahari's wife started an international campaign from London to get her husband released, with Western media outlets picking the story up — including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Bahari was eventually released by Iranian authorities with a $300,000 bail, making him promise to be a spy for the government.

If his key part in transforming The Daily Show into the political (and satirical) powerhouse it is today is any indication of how Stewart will approach the big screen, Rosewater seems like the perfect segue into filmmaking. He not only reported on the events nightly as they were happening, he also had Bahari as a guest on the show after his release to talk about his experience.

Open Road is planning on releasing the film in Fall 2014 and will be showing it to select buyers during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director, actor, screenwriter, and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre, and film. He is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. [3]

  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • (married 1955–1985)

While in his 20s, Welles directed high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937, he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

In 1938, his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air gave Welles the platform to find international fame as the director and narrator of a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused some listeners to believe that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was in fact occurring. Although reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, [4] they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, and which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles released twelve other features, the most acclaimed of which include The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), The Trial (1962), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1973). [5] [6] His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as "the ultimate auteur". [7] : 6

Welles was an outsider to the studio system and struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios in Hollywood and later in life with a variety of independent financiers across Europe, where he spent most of his career. Many of his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. Some, like Touch of Evil, have been painstakingly re-edited from his notes. With a development spanning almost 50 years, Welles's final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018.

Welles had three marriages, including one with Rita Hayworth, and three children. Known for his baritone voice, [8] Welles performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film. He was a lifelong magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics. [9] [10] In 2018 he was included in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time by The Daily Telegraph. [11]


Watch the video: How Rosewater became Jon Stewarts directorial debut