Orson Welles is one of the greatest filmmakers and actors who ever lived, an icon in Hollywood and (especially later in life) a “massive” presence with myth and legend following him everywhere. Today marks what would’ve been his 100th birthday. Welles died at the age of 70 in October of 1985.
To honor the great actor and director’s life, Indiewire put together a roundup of some of his more surprising quotes and comments. The Wall Street Journal compiled a list of 10 of his essential films. And Variety reported that a screening of Touch of Evil is being shown at the historic Crest Theater as part of his birthday celebration. That film, directed by Welles, is known for an impressive opening long take of a car with a bomb driving along the Mexican/American border crossing.
But most notable as part of his birthday celebration is the anticipation for one of his long lost films. We reported back at the end of October that one of Welles’s films, The Other Side of the Wind, had been found and would be re-edited and completed by one of Welles’s closest friends Peter Bogdanovich. Welles spent the last 15 years of his life shooting the picture, in which John Huston plays an aging film director being challenged by a new, up-and-coming director, played by Bogdanovich. The Other Side of the Wind was originally planned on being completed and shopped around for distribution starting today, so stay tuned for more updates on that film.
What’s more, The Third Man, Carol Reed’s 1949 noir classic starring Welles as Harry Lime, has been re-restored in 4K and will make its World Premiere all over again in this year’s Cannes classics section, Variety reported Tuesday. That film originally went on to win the Palme D’Or, and if you’ve never gotten a chance to see it on the big screen, on June 26 it will begin screening at New York’s Film Forum.
We also just recently recognized the greatness of The Third Man by naming its ending sewer chase scene the number 3 best Foot Chase of All Time, as part of our series on the 100 Greatest Movie Action Scenes.
There’s so much that could be said about Welles, but let’s just give him a hearty round of applause.