Macbeth

Welles’ passion project was made at the scrappy Republic Pictures on discarded lots previously used for Roy Rogers Westerns. At the time of its production it was only the fourth Hollywood adaptation of a Shakespeare work. Despite its low-budget origins, Macbeth retains a striking visual style consistent with Welles’ earlier films in addition to a psychological intensity found in few films of the period. Welles stars at Macbeth, an ambitious Scottish general intent on acquiring power by any means necessary, whose moral corruption is spurred on by Jeanette Nolan’s conniving Lady Macbeth. Welles dives into the role, his immense dramatic powers channeled through a thick Scottish brogue.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Orson Welles

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The Immortal Story

Welles’ first color film—significant considering the development of scores of color processes since the 1920s—tells the story of Clay (Welles), a wealthy but aging Macao merchant, who, upon hearing a story in which a young sailor is paid to impregnate an elderly man’s wife, decides to recreate the legend for himself. The problem: he’s unmarried.

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F for Fake

F for Fake, a pseudo-documentary revolving around the shadowy world of art forgery, sees Welles at his most globe-trotting and literally magical. Beginning as a kind of portrait of notorious forger Elmyr De Hory, the film quickly spirals away from any linear narrative, instead becoming a loose tapestry of forgers and fakers, not least of

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Chimes at Midnight AKA Fallstaff

His third “finished” Shakespeare adaptation, Chimes at Midnight, sees Welles dulling his edges a bit in offering up a highly poetic vision of Falstaff, a recurring character in the Bard’s works. Falstaff, the rotund sidekick of the devious Prince Hal (Keith Baxter), plays audience proxy as the Prince ascends to the throne following the defeat

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The Trial

Welles translates one of Franz Kafka’s best-known literary works into a disorienting black-and-white cinematic world of crime and punishment. After relatively anonymous bank officer Josef K. (Anthony Perkins) is spontaneously arrested and charged with an unnamed crime, he struggles in vain to discover exactly what it is he has done. While Kafka’s novel is famed

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Confidential Report AKA Mr. Aradkin

Bearing key similarities to The Third Man, Welles’ noir concerns small-time smuggler Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden), who overhears a dying man whisper the name “Gregory Arkadin.” Armed with this clue and in search of blackmail money, Van Stratten works his way into the inner circle of well-to-do amnesiac Arkadin. Arkadin hires Van Stratten to