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April 1999, Week 5


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
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Wed, 28 Apr 1999 08:50:39 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (62 lines)
In response to Welles-related inquiries:

1. This is just speculation, but I wonder if the mysterious NO EXIT
film reference might actually be to a stage or television production.
It strikes me as unlikely, given Welles' tastes for less hermetic
stageworks, but not impossible.  If there was such a thing, I would
expect some reference to it when and if Simon Callow ever gets to the
next volume of his Welles biography, but I don't know when or if that
book will be available.

2. As to the other inquiry:

> I wonder if anybody can help me find a particular version of Welles's
> Arkadin_. Jonathan Rosenbaum talks about three English-language versions
> of the film. One is the European version, which is called _Confidential
> Report_, another is the most readily-available American version, which was
> edfited by an idiot. Rosenbaum claims there's another version, the one
> that was released in America in the early sixties by Corinth films, that
> comes closest to Welles's conception. It allegedly begins, like
> _Confidential report_ and unlike the slahed-up American version, at Zouk's
> flat. Anybody have anybody idea where I can get a copy of this third
> version?

CONFIDENTIAL REPORT was the British/European title.  According to the
filmographies in the revised editions of James Naremore's THE MAGIC
WORLD OF ORSON WELLES and Joseph McBride's ORSON WELLES, there were *2*
versions filmed: one in English and one in Spanish (which also had a
different editor and actors).  Both list the official running time at
100 minutes, which is also the running time of the version listed in a
1984 Corinth catalogue I still have on hand.  The video version listed
on is described as being 99 minutes long, which may or may
not be significant.  Naremore makes reference to a filmography by (?)
Moret in ECRAN, but I can't seem to find the specific reference.

The filmography in Bogdanovich's THIS IS ORSON WELLES has what seems to
be the most definitive statement I can find with the books on hand (pp
514-515). He refers to 4 (!) versions: 1) the Corinth version, which he
claims is closest to Welles' intentions and now "widely available" on
video (perhaps the same as the one for sale on, the
badly-edited video/tv version, the original European release version
(CONFIDENTIAL REPORT), and the Spanish-language version.   There seem
to be two scenes missing from all available versions.  For more, he
directs readers to his article in the Jan.-Feb. 1992 FILM COMMENT.
Strangely, his own filmography times the film at 95 minutes, which I
have to assume is using the bad cut.

Don Larsson

Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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