Orson Welles' legendary last film: Will it finally come to the screen?

Welles' movie 'The Other Side of the Wind' was never finished and has been difficult to obtain because of the rights involved. Now it may finally be completed.

Jacques Langevin/AP
Actor and movie director Orson Welles appears during a press conference in Paris in 1982.

Legendary director Orson Welles’ final film may finally be screened. 

Welles, who directed the film “Citizen Kane,” frequently called the greatest movie of all time, worked on the movie “The Other Side of the Wind” as his last project. New York Times writer Doreen Carvajal noted that “cinema buffs consider it the most famous movie never released.” 

Now the production company Royal Road Entertainment said it will be obtaining the rights to the film and plans to have it ready to screen by May 6, which would be Welles’ hundredth birthday. Royal Road Entertainment also wants to try to figure out distribution next month at California’s American Film Market.

“Wind” stars John Huston (who starred in the film “Chinatown,” among others, and helmed many classic films himself, including the 1948 movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and the 1951 film “The African Queen”) as a movie director who is trying to finish a movie despite opposition from people in Hollywood. Actors Dennis Hopper, Susan Strasberg, Peter Bogdanovich, and Lilli Palmer co-starred, among others. According to Variety, Welles based the director character on writer Ernest Hemingway.

“Wind” line producer Frank Marshall told the NYT that he and Bogdanovich will work on the movie.

“We will set up a cutting room and Peter Bogdanovich and I will assemble the film,” he said. “We have notes from Orson Welles. We have scenes that weren’t quite finished, and we need to add music. We will get it done. The good news is that it won’t take so long because of all of the technology today.” 

Writer Josh Karp, author of the forthcoming book “Orson Welles’ Last Movie,” told the NYT that the movie being finished and becoming available is “like finding the Land of Oz or some lost tomb.”

 “This film is art imitating life and life imitating art,” Karp said. “It’s become so mythical because of what happened with all the failures to finish it and the players involved.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Orson Welles' legendary last film: Will it finally come to the screen?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today