The Magnificent Ambersons at 80: Orson Welles’ powerful but cursed drama

The multi-hyphenate’s follow-up to Citizen Kane was a nightmare production and a box office disappointment but remains a fascinating film about AmericaMeet Orson Welles.

Director of Citizen Kane.

Star of Citizen Kane.

Writer, producer and hero behind, Citizen Kane.

Twenty-six years old and fizzing with ideas and energy.

Had I worked for the studio employing him in 1942, I would have tried very hard to keep him on-side.

Rko Radio Pictures did not.The Magnificent Ambersons, released 80 years today, is famously the film Orson Welles made after Citizen Kane.

It’s also regarded as one of the great travesties in film history.

Adapted from Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel from 1918, it charts the fading success and eventual misery of the upper-class midwestern Amberson family during an extended turn-of-the-century period.

After being shown only twice in its original Welles cut, and being received terribly by preview audiences, Rko seized control of the picture,

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