Review: ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’

In The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles devotes 9,000 feet of film to a spoiled brat who grows up as a spoiled, spiteful young man. This film hasn't a single moment of contrast; it piles on and on a tale of woe, but without once striking at least a true chord of sentimentality. [Novel by Booth Tarkington.]

In The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles devotes 9,000 feet of film to a spoiled brat who grows up as a spoiled, spiteful young man. This film hasn’t a single moment of contrast; it piles on and on a tale of woe, but without once striking at least a true chord of sentimentality. [Novel by Booth Tarkington.]

The central character is Tim Holt, who is portrayed first as the spoiled, curly-haired darling of the town’s richest family, and then for the major portion as a conceited, power-conscious, insufferable youth.

Welles comes up with a few more tricks in the direction of the dialog. He plays heavily on the dramatic impact of a whisper, and on the threatened or actual hysterics of a frustrated woman as played by Agnes Moorehead.

1942: Nominations: Best Picture, Supp. Actress (Agnes Moorehead), B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction

The Magnificent Ambersons

Production

RKO/Mercury. Director Orson Welles; Producer Orson Welles; Screenplay Orson Welles; Camera Stanley Cortez; Editor Robert Wise, [Mark Robson]; Music [Bernard Herrmann, Roy Webb]; Art Director Mark-Lee Kirk

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1942. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Joseph Cotten Dolores Costello Anne Baxter Tim Holt Agnes Moorehead Ray Collins
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading