After Citizen Kane

The phrase, "sophomore slump" is common among public figures. When one's debut venture is excellent and celebrated, there's always a danger that anything following it will be a letdown. When one's debut film is Citizen Kane, the stakes are even higher. Orson Welles followed up that infamous firestorm with 1942's The Magnificent Ambersons. Based on the Booth Tarkington novel, … Continue reading After Citizen Kane

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Joseph Cotten and the Mercury Players

Mr. Cotten, I presume. Joseph Cotten was an unusual actor. Sure, he was handsome and funny and could play a variety of roles, but he was also a late bloomer when it came to film. Born in 1905, he didn't make his stage debut until 1930 and his film debut in 1938. The latter is … Continue reading Joseph Cotten and the Mercury Players

Page To Screen: Since You Went Away

There were a lot of films made about the American home front during the Second World War, but few are as sprawling or epic as David O. Selznik's 1944 movie, Since You Went Away. The story of a Midwestern family, the Hiltons, the film is based on a book of the same name by journalist Margaret Buell … Continue reading Page To Screen: Since You Went Away

Extra Baggage

For the rest of his career, David O. Selznik tried and failed to recapture the tremendous success he enjoyed with Gone With the Wind, but even he took a breather and made smaller movies now and then. Not many, but he made them, and probably the most winsomely strange of the bunch was 1945's I'll Be Seeing … Continue reading Extra Baggage