26 June 2009

Quotes on Welles

Much to my delight, I found a used copy of Peter Bogdanovich's book on Welles, This is Orson Welles, at the book store. Have just started it, but wanted to share some nice quotes from Bogdanovich's intro.


Cocteau on Welles:
"Orson Welles is a giant with the face of a child, a tree filled with birds and shadows, a dog who has broken loose from his chains and gone to sleep on the flower bed. He is an active loafer, a wise madman, a solitude surrounded by humanity."

Bogdanovich on Welles:
"My favorite memories of him? Many: like Orson moving hurriedly through my study in the afternoon on the way to his bedroom, anxious not to miss a second of his favorite TV rerun, The Dick Van Dyke Show. Orson in Paris pacing up and down the street one night, arguing with himself as to who should play the old director, he or John Huston -- wanting to keep the plum role for himself: 'Why should I give that great part away!?' -- but feeling Huston was more right for it. Orson in my car's passenger seat, told to put on his seat belt, flipping it over his shoulder like a scarf. Orson climbing into a New York cab, giving the address and adding, in his most swashbuckling tone: 'And a gold doubloon if you get us there before nightfall!' Orson in a Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow watching John Huston live on TV accepting an honorary Oscar for Welles; Huston waved the statuette saying he would deliver this to Orson in Spain and Welles cried out, 'I'll be waiting for you, John!' and broke up into gales of laughter. When I asked him why he didn't pick up the award himself, he shook his head and smiled slightly: 'Oh, no, I'm not going to give them that.' And, vividly: Orson under the trees at night on a Beverly Hills sidewalk lithely doing a little song-and-tap-dance routine from a musical he had written in school at the age of thirteen. There was a full moon, and Orson's face was beaming at us, looking remarkably like an out-to-please teenager, unburdened by legends, lies, mistakes, trimumphs, or failures, the whole world still out there for him to conquer."

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