THE IMMORTAL STORY
1968, Janus Films, 60 min, France, Dir: Orson Welles

Director Orson Welles’ first color film - and final narrative feature completed in his lifetime - is based on a short story by one of his favorite writers, Isak Dinesen. Welles plays an aging merchant in 19th-century Macao who recruits a man (Norman Eshley) and a woman (Jeanne Moreau) to re-enact a tale about a sailor paid to impregnate a rich man’s wife. Shot for French television (largely around Welles’ home in Madrid), this infrequently screened gem co-stars Fernando Rey and features music by Erik Satie.


F FOR FAKE
1974, Janus Films, 85 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

Orson Welles appears as "himself" (but which self? Master director? Magician? Media manipulator?) in this delightful essay on the nature of illusion, focusing on all types of fakery and fakers, including notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and fraudulent Howard Hughes biographer Clifford Irving. With Oja Kodar and Peter Bogdanovich.


THE STRANGER
1946, Park Circus/MGM, 95 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

Director Orson Welles’ suspenseful study of an escaped Nazi war criminal (played by Welles himself) living in a small Connecticut town, who is pursued by a federal agent (Edward G. Robinson) to a no-holds-barred climax. Loretta Young gives one of her finest screen performances as Welles’ unsuspecting wife. Ironically, this was Welles’ most successful film at the box office.


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