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Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios (Cappella Books)

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Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios (Cappella Books) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Revealing the facts rather than the myths behind Orson Welles's Hollywood career, this groundbreaking history fills in the gaps behind the drama of one of the most well-known American filmmakers. Exploring why Welles's films, as released, never matched his youthful masterpiece Citizen Kane, this historical investigation delves into the enemies that hounded him, his unwaning faith in his audience, and the brilliance of his films — before they were butchered by the studios. Based on shooting scripts, schedules, internal memos, interviews, articles, lectures, and personal correspondence, this work creates a concrete picture of his struggles and successes. This heartbreaking tale brings to life the intelligent, perceptive, and passionate man who, for all his failings as a person, was utterly uncompromising in his art.

Review:

"Using shooting scripts, shooting schedules, internal studio memos, private correspondence to and from Welles, and the director's interviews and public lectures, Heylin re-evaluates the circumstances under which Welles produced the six movies he made for Hollywood studios, from 1941's Citizen Kane through 1958's Touch of Evil. The depth of Heylin's research on Welles's consistent workaholic approach to his art, especially his examination of a 58-page memo Welles wrote to Universal after it dismantled Touch of Evil, aids Heylin in arguing against the claim put forth in other Welles bios that his work declined after Citizen Kane due to his own egotism and excess. Heylin's is the most well-researched and evenhanded refutation of this line of thought published to date, and shows in detail how Welles 'was undone by real people, with real motives' — most notably Columbia studio head Harry Cohn, who cut The Lady from Shanghai from 155 to 86 minutes. Heylin (Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry; Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited; etc.) persuasively argues that Welles did indeed make masterpieces after Citizen Kane, but that audiences never got to see them because of continual intervention from Hollywood studio bosses who 'had no idea what [Welles] was doing, and why he was taking so long to do it.' 12 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A fascinating encapsulation of one great example of the perdurable struggle between art and commerce." Booklist

Review:

"While Heylin's prose is only workmanlike, with an occasional lapse in grammar, we aren't looking for Lionel Trilling here. We're looking at the most meticulous champion Orson Welles has ever had." Budd Schulberg, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"The author is so passionate about what he considers the injustices done to Welles that he allows himself numerous asides in which to vent his spleen. The result is just another in a long string of books on the great director — no doubt there will be more." Library Journal

Review:

"A definite page-turner...[that] should be on the shelf of any fan of Welles or American cinema." Razor Magazine

Book News Annotation:

The largely unfulfilled promise of Orson Welles's cinematic career was not a result of his "inner demons," argues this work, but the inevitable result of a Hollywood system that could not abide by Welles's approach to filmmaking. Basing his work on shooting scripts, interviews with key players, Welles's correspondence, internal memos, and other materials, the author reconstructs the process by which Welles's films within the studio system were often transformed into works at odds with the original visions had by Welles. Distributed in the US by the Independent Publishers Group.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

The largely unfulfilled promise of Orson Welles's cinematic career was not a result of his "inner demons," argues this work, but the inevitable result of a Hollywood system that could not abide by Welles's approach to filmmaking. Basing his work on shooting scripts, interviews with key players, Welles's correspondence, internal memos, and other materials, the author reconstructs the process by which Welles's films within the studio system were often transformed into works at odds with the original visions had by Welles. Distributed in the US by the Independent Publishers Group. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The heartbreaking details and personal history of one of the most well-known American filmmakers.

About the Author

Clinton Heylin is the author of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited, Bob Dylan: The Recording Sessions, Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry, Can You Feel the Silence: Van Morrison, The Da Capo Book of Rock & Roll Writing, and No More Sad Refrains: The Life and Times of Sandy Denny.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781556525476
Subtitle:
Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press
Author:
Heylin, Clinton
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Movie Directors
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - Actors & Actresses
Subject:
Actors
Subject:
Motion picture producers and directors
Subject:
Entertainment & Performing Arts - General
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
Actors -- United States.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
Cappella Books
Publication Date:
February 2005
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.4 in 1.59 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Literary History » General
History and Social Science » Literary History » Literary Interviews

Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios (Cappella Books)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 416 pages Chicago Review Press - English 9781556525476 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Using shooting scripts, shooting schedules, internal studio memos, private correspondence to and from Welles, and the director's interviews and public lectures, Heylin re-evaluates the circumstances under which Welles produced the six movies he made for Hollywood studios, from 1941's Citizen Kane through 1958's Touch of Evil. The depth of Heylin's research on Welles's consistent workaholic approach to his art, especially his examination of a 58-page memo Welles wrote to Universal after it dismantled Touch of Evil, aids Heylin in arguing against the claim put forth in other Welles bios that his work declined after Citizen Kane due to his own egotism and excess. Heylin's is the most well-researched and evenhanded refutation of this line of thought published to date, and shows in detail how Welles 'was undone by real people, with real motives' — most notably Columbia studio head Harry Cohn, who cut The Lady from Shanghai from 155 to 86 minutes. Heylin (Bootleg: The Secret History of the Other Recording Industry; Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades Revisited; etc.) persuasively argues that Welles did indeed make masterpieces after Citizen Kane, but that audiences never got to see them because of continual intervention from Hollywood studio bosses who 'had no idea what [Welles] was doing, and why he was taking so long to do it.' 12 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A fascinating encapsulation of one great example of the perdurable struggle between art and commerce."
"Review" by , "While Heylin's prose is only workmanlike, with an occasional lapse in grammar, we aren't looking for Lionel Trilling here. We're looking at the most meticulous champion Orson Welles has ever had." Budd Schulberg
"Review" by , "The author is so passionate about what he considers the injustices done to Welles that he allows himself numerous asides in which to vent his spleen. The result is just another in a long string of books on the great director — no doubt there will be more."
"Review" by , "A definite page-turner...[that] should be on the shelf of any fan of Welles or American cinema."
"Synopsis" by , The heartbreaking details and personal history of one of the most well-known American filmmakers.
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