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The Magnificent Ambersons Overview:

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by Orson Welles and Fred Fleck and produced by Orson Welles, Jack Moss and George Schaefer.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Booth Tarkington published in 1918.

The Magnificent Ambersons was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1991.

Academy Awards 1942 --- Ceremony Number 15 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Supporting ActressAgnes MooreheadNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino; Interior Decoration: Darrell Silvera, Al FieldsNominated
Best CinematographyStanley CortezNominated
Best PictureMercuryNominated
.

BlogHub Articles:

1001 Classic Movies: The Magnificent Ambersons

By Amanda Garrett on May 26, 2017 From Old Hollywood Films

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) is one of the 1001 classic movies you should see. This Orson-Welles directed drama about a turn-of-the-century Indiana family stars from left: Richard Bennett; Joseph Cotten; Dolores Costello; Don Dillaway; Agnes Moorehead, and Ray Collins. This series will now ap... Read full article


The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

By Carol Martinheira on May 2, 2017 From The Old Hollywood Garden

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) On May 2, 2017May 2, 2017 By CarolIn Uncategorized The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) was one of the many, many movies I saw in the glorious summer of 2007. That was the year I fell in love with classic movies, and that summer I watched a... Read full article


The Magnificent Ambersons

By Amanda Garrett on Dec 5, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing director Orson Welles drama The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), starring (from left) Richard Bennett; Joseph Cotten; Dolores Costello; Don Dillaway; Agnes Moorehead, and Ray Collins. This article is part of The Agnes Moorehead Blogathon hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic... Read full article


The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, Orson Welles)

By Andrew Wickliffe on May 9, 2016 From The Stop Button

Unfortunately, I feel the need to address some of the behind the scenes aspects of The Magnificent Ambersons. Not because I plan on talking about them, but because director Welles’s career is filled with a lack of control. There are always questions–what did editor Robert Wise do on his ... Read full article


The Magnificent Ambersons

By Michael on Jul 23, 2014 From Le Mot du Cinephiliaque

The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved. The Magnificent Ambersons plays like a nice classical music from a classic composer, it is a story about pride, richness, family... Read full article


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Quotes from

George: I said, automobiles are a useless nuisance. Never amount to anything but a nuisance. They had no business to be invented.


[first lines]
Narrator: The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their midland town spread and darken into a city. In that town, in those days, all the women who wore silk or velvet knew all the other women who wore silk or velvet, and everybody knew everybody else's family horse and carriage. The only public conveyance was the streetcar. A lady could whistle to it from an upstairs window, and the car would halt at once and wait for her, while she shut the window, put on her hat and coat, went downstairs, found an umbrella, told the girl what to have for dinner, and came forth from the house. Too slow for us nowadays, because the faster we're carried, the less time we have to spare. During the earlier years of this period, while bangs and bustles were having their way with women, there were seen men of all ages to whom a hat meant only that rigid, tall silk thing known to impudence as a stovepipe. But the long contagion of the derby had arrived. One season the crown of this hat would be a bucket; the next it would be a spoon. Every house still kept its bootjack, but high-top boots gave way to shoes and congress gaiters, and these were played through fashions that shaped them now with toes like box ends, and now with toes like the prows of racing shells. Trousers with a crease were considered plebian; the crease proved that the garment had lain upon a shelf and hence was ready-made. With evening dress, a gentleman wore a tan overcoat, so short that his black coattails hung visible five inches below the overcoat. But after a season or two, he lengthened his overcoat till it touched his heels. And he passed out of his tight trousers into trousers like great bags. In those days, they had time for everything. Time for sleigh rides, and balls, and assemblies, and cotillions, and open house on New Year's, and all-day picnics in the woods, and even that prettiest of all vanished customs: the serenade. Of a summer night, young men would bring an orchestra under a pretty girl's window, and flute, harp, fiddle, cello, cornet, bass viol, would presently release their melodies to the dulcet stars. Against so home-spun a background, the magnificence of the Ambersons was as conspicuous as a brass band at a funeral.


Narrator: Something had happened. A thing which, years ago, had been the eagerest hope of many, many good citizens of the town, and now it had come at last; George Amberson Mainafer had got his comeuppance. He got it three times filled, and running over. But those who had so longed for it were not there to see it, and they never knew it. Those who were still living had forgotten all about it and all about him.


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Facts about

Welles demanded that the inside of the Ambersons mansion be built as if it was a real house, with continuous rooms of four walls and ceilings. This enabled his camera to roam around the house freely and shoot from any angle.
Robert Wise's first directing experience, although uncredited.
After a disastrous preview, it was clear to the suits at RKO that the film was too long, too dense and too sombre. Welles, however, had decamped to Brazil where he was in the midst of working on a film called "It's All True" (which was never completed). Welles had been shipped out there under the auspices of Nelson Rockefeller, one of the chief shareholders in RKO, to make a film boosting US-South American wartime relations. With him out of the way, however, the onus of re-cutting and trimming the film fell on editor Robert Wise.
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National Film Registry

The Magnificent Ambersons

Released 1942
Inducted 1991
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