By Tiffany Unscripted
Orson Welles will always be known for being the director and narrator who scared the living daylights out of an entire country with his 1938 radio dramatization of H. G. Wells's "The War of the Worlds." The serialized novel, first published in 1897, depicts a Martian invasion on Earth characterized by destruction, chaos, and the annihilation of the human race.
The technologies that the aliens used baffled and terrified listeners. It's interesting to note that heat ray guns and poisonous smoke were the alien's method of attack, and poisonous gas and flamethrowers were two of the weapons utilized by allied troops in World War I. Even though World War I ended 23 years before the broadcast, the horrors and atrocities committed during the conflict were fresh in people's minds.
Controversy always surrounded Orson Welles. He loved to direct, write, and feature himself in his films. Columbia Pictures executive Harry Cohn reportedly told Welles that he would never again hire one man to produce, direct, and act because you could never fire him.
Check out a few of Orson Welles's timeless classics that are available to rent on DVD Netflix.
Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) is dying. A reporter is assigned to decipher his final words. The portrait of Kane comes to life, revealing a world of struggles and triumphs. The reporter discovers his friendship with colleague Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotten) and his mistress, Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore). The reporter was never able to decipher Kane’s final word, but we do in the final scene.
A wealthy man, Gregory Arkadin (Orson Welles), claims to have partial amnesia. Arkadin can't recall any events in his life prior to the late 1920s. Convict Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden) is thrilled to explore Arkadin's past, and his research uncovers a colorful past with questionable behavior. Where are the bodies buried?
Wrongly accused of murder, seaman Michael O'Hara (Orson Welles) must prove his innocence. The film features a famous scene in a maze of funhouse mirrors, where a shoot-out takes places, sending shards of shattered glass flying around. The film production was not without its controversy: delayed shooting, Rita Hayworth becoming ill, and numerous edits being made to the film to trim its original 155 minutes running time.
When you see a title with the word "magnificent," you just know it's going to be a drama. The film follows two generations of wealthy Ambersons who reside in Indianapolis. One Amberson chooses to opt out of marrying for love and marries for status instead. This leads to broken hearts and a life's pursuit of failed attempts at happiness. There's also a radio adaptation, which was made in 1939.
It's horrifying to be accused of a crime, you didn't know you have committed. It's even worse when you learn you will be put to death, but you are never told for what crime. This is the plotline of "The Trial." Anthony Perkins stars as a bureaucrat named Josef. K. He lives an ordinary, unassuming life, but is quickly embroiled in a fight for his life. Orson Welles plays Albert Hastler ‑ The Advocate.