Manny P. here…
Orson Welles’ last production may finally be nearing a release after decades as one of cinema’s most storied unfinished creations. A Los Angeles-based production company, Royal Road Entertainment, has agreed to buy the rights to Welles’ largely unseen The Other Side of the Wind. Producers are planning to unveil the film in time for the centennial anniversary of Welles’ birth on May 6th, and to promote its distribution at American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA, next month.
The semi-autobiographical story is about a movie director, played by John Huston, feuding with Hollywood over an ambitious film. Welles supplied his own Oscar statuette, won for Citizen Kane, for his main character to brandish on film. The supporting cast also included Lilli Palmer, Susan Strasberg, and Dennis Hopper. Huston had a small acting career, notably co-starring in Chinatown.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND with ORSON WELLES (far right)
The origins of the script date back to a tense encounter in 1937 between Ernest Hemingway and a young Welles. The main character’s life has echoes in Hemingway’s: his father’s suicide, the day of his death, and his love of Spain. Orson began shooting the movie in 1971 and spent the rest of his life editing it, before dying in 1985.
Endless legal battles among the rights holders, including Welles’s daughter, kept the 1,083 reels of negatives inside a warehouse in a gritty suburb of Paris despite numerous efforts to complete the motion picture. Director Peter Bogdanovich, who appears in the film, will help finish editing the rough footage, which includes a 45-minute edited print. It’s part of a pledge he once made to Welles in the 1970s.
Bulletins as they break…
Until next time> “never forget”