Monday, May 7, 2012

Mr. Arkadin "by" Orson Welles

A more recent printing of Mr. Arkadin
This is a newer copy of the novelization of Mr. Arkadin—Welles' largely unsuccessful 1955 film—that remains more or less true to its film counterpart. Combined with the aura of Harvey Lime and the supposed missing memoirs of arms dealer Basil Zaharoff, Welles created what has been referred to as a sort of Citizen Kane in reverse. The film, which was never totally finished and features Welles sporting an insane fake beard, flopped after being edited down into a few different versions. In an attempt to recoup some of the film's losses, Welles sold Mr. Arkadin in book form. The reason the word "by" in the title of this post is in quotations is because Welles more than likely didn't write any of it himself—his assistant was charged with that task and then signed Welles' name to it. In certain ways the book is better than the film because it is a good, consistent and fully-realized story; on the other hand Welles didn't really write any of the book though.

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