Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, October 23, 2006

Crumb Crisp Crusts and other Delights

Orson Welles was a roaring crackpot. Yet, because he was a roaring crackpot he was an artistic genius. His Mercury Theater radio production of War of the Worlds is legendary. I was introduced to Citizen Kane in my last year of college when I had to take a blow-off, easy A film class to fill up my elective requirements. We had a flamboyant lady film teacher gush about how wonderful this movie was. I just rolled my eyes at her emotional display, but when the movie came on, I was transfixed how Welles' film making was decades ahead of its time.

However, because he was cantankerous, as well as a roaring crackpot, many folks in Hollywood despised Welles. He was deemed just too difficult to work with. So, near the end of his career, he was reduced to doing television commercials in order to pay the bills. I imagine many folks my age (mid-30s) can remember his wine commercials where he promised to "sell no wine before its time." He was also the host of a classic HBO Nostradamus documentary, The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. He made me think the guy was a prophet.

Anyhow, despite Welles' uneven temperament, he had a killer voice, so he was called upon to do a lot of narration and voice over work for radio. There is a classic clip that I heard years ago, but just happened across it on the Internet (ah, the glorious web) in which Welles berates a radio producer for his commercials selling peas, fish sticks and hamburgers. It is brilliant, even as you listen to his rants. There are great quotes: "Out of the depths of your ignorance...", "I wouldn't direct any living actor in Shakespeare like this," and "Oh, this is a really wearing one, its unpleasant to read." I would have been delighted to have been bawled out by him.

I always chuckle when I hear it, so I thought I would pass the MP3 I found along to you all.

Beware, he says a cuss word.

Also, check out the Pink and Brain parody from YouTube.



Blogger REV ME HORN said...

Hi Fred
"Citizen Kane" is one of my fav Movies. So was his Voice. He had "the" way to 'turn a word'. In the mid-70's Hollywood wanted to $$$cash in on Hal Lindsay book "The Late Great Planet Earth".It was obvious that HL did'nt have any control over the movie because there was no Gospel presentation in it at all(made me think of going to the Doctors and having him tell you all of your health problems and then telling you goodbye without giving you hope for the cure). Only that something bad was going to happen to 'Planet Earth'. HL moved around and spoke a little bit, but the main Narrator: Orson Welles!!!!Must have been one of those projects to pay the bills. The film was a bomb. But Oh, Orson' voice. Enjoyed the Cartoon. Michael

1:15 PM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger Daniel said...

I watched the cartoon first, then listened to the clip - I am not sure which would have been funnier - but I tell you, I got a huge kick out of OW's reading having gone through it that way...

3:42 PM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I've heard the Orson Welles one before--quite humourous.

6:18 PM, October 23, 2006  
Blogger Peter D. Nelson said...

So Fred what are we going to do tonight?

8:25 PM, October 23, 2006  

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