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.

SYNOPSIS

Both one of the supreme works of the American cinema and one of its most notorious "ruined" films, Welles's follow-up to Citizen Kane (1941) keeps him behind the camera, though his presence is felt in every frame. Tarkington's novel about a turn-of-the-century family's conflicts is transformed by Welles into a eulogy for a slower, simpler, and decent past, and this is a more personal film for Welles than his stunning debut the year before. Now missing close to 30 minutes and containing a saccharine "happy ending" shot by another crew while Welles was filming in South America, this version of Ambersons is the only one that survives. The Welles regulars are all here (Cotten, Moorehead, Collins), aided by Cortez's astounding cinematography and Herrmann's fitting score. The laserdisc contains interviews and original storyboards.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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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
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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.


Roger Bronson: [to George] The law's a jealous mistress and a stern mistress.


Narrator: George Amberson-Minafer walked home through the strange streets of what seemed to be a strange city. For the town was growing... changing... it was heaving up in the middle, incredibly; it was spreading incredibly. And as it heaved and spread, it befouled itself and darkened its skies. This was the last walk home he was ever to take up National Avenue, to Amberson Edition, and the big old house at the foot of Amberson Boulevard. Tommorow they were to move out. Tomorrow everything would be gone.


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Facts about

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.
The scenes with the automobile ride with the snow were filmed in an abandoned icehouse instead of the RKO stage reserved for such shots. However, it took much longer than anticipated because the equipment kept having problems that were brought on by the cold (film jamming because of frozen condensation, lenses fogging up, etc.). Because of this everyone involved, except for Orson Welles, contracted a terrible head cold.
Orson Welles suspected that author Booth Tarkington based the lead character George on Welles himself for a variety of reasons: Tarkington was a friend of the Welles family, Welles had a reputation for being a spoiled, difficult child and Welles's full name was George Orson Welles, so he was called George or Georgie while growing up.
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National Film Registry

The Magnificent Ambersons

Released 1942
Inducted 1991
(Sound)




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