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Who was Welles? A fat guy with a deep voice who drank a lot of sherry? An unreliable film-maker who always went over time and over budget? One of the most innovative storytellers of the century? He was all of this and more. Welles shocked Broadway with his all-black voodoo version of Macbeth, challenged the US government with his production of The Cradle Will Rock, terrified America with his spoof radio broadcast of The War Of The Worlds, and then at the tender age of 26, directed what many consider the greatest American film ever made: Citizen Kane. The popular myth is that it was all downhill from there, that Welles became a fallen genius yet, despite overwhelming odds, he went on to make great film noirs like The Lady From Shanghai and Touch Of Evil. He translated Shakespeare’s work into films with heart and soul – Othello, Chimes At Midnight and Macbeth. And he refused to take the bite out of modern literature, giving voice to bitterness, regret and desperation in The Magnificent Ambersons and The Trial. Far from being down and out, Welles became one of the first cutting-edge independent film-makers. What’s in this book? As well as the introductory essay Labyrinth Without A Centre, each of Welles’ films is analysed and there is a handy multi-media reference guide. Martin Fitzgerald has written Pocket Essentials on Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen.

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