Orson Welles: Volume 2: Hello Americans
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Simon Callow’s celebrated first volume of Orson Welles’s life concluded with the brash young director unveiling what would prove to be his—and arguably American cinema’s—greatest achievement: Citizen Kane. But instead of embarking on an illustrious career in Hollywood, as Callow vividly details in Hello Americans, Welles became increasingly unable to function within the structure of the moviemaking industry.
Hello Americans offers readers a critical look at the years after Citizen Kane up to Macbeth (1947), from his difficult and self-defeating temperament to some of the monstrous personalities with whom he was involved. Callow fully illustrates each film of the period—The Magnificent Ambersons, Journey into Fear, The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai—as well as Welles’s off-screen activities—his dedicated but ill-fated attempts to be a radio comedian and stage magician; his fervent desire to revive spectacular theater single- handedly; his newspaper columns; and his political interests, which he pursued passionately. The result is an expertly researched and elegantly written portrait that will remain the final word on this larger than life genius for generations to come.