''The Magnificent Ambersons'' is a [[TheForties 1942]] U.S. PeriodDrama, the second feature film produced and directed by OrsonWelles. Welles adapted Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1918 novel, about the declining fortunes of a proud Midwestern family and the social changes brought by the automobile age. The film stars [[CitizenKane Joseph]] [[TheThirdMan Cotton]], Dolores Costello, [[AllAboutEve Anne Baxter]], Tim Holt, [[CitizenKane Agnes Moorehead]], and Ray Collins, with [[TheNarrator Welles providing the narration]].
[[ScrewedByTheNetwork Welles lost control of the editing of the film to RKO]], and the final version released to audiences differed significantly from his rough cut of the film. More than an hour of footage was cut by the studio, which also shot and substituted a happier ending. Although Welles's extensive notes for how he wished the film to be cut have survived, the excised footage was destroyed. Composer BernardHerrmann insisted his credit be removed when, like the film itself, his score was heavily edited by the studio.
Even in the released version, ''The Magnificent Ambersons'' is often regarded as among the best U.S. films ever made, a distinction it shares with Welles's first film, CitizenKane. The film was nominated for four AcademyAwards including Best Picture, and it was added to the NationalFilmRegistry of the Library of Congress in 1991.
!!This film provides examples of:
* BreakTheHaughty: George, oh so very much.
* DownerEnding: [[spoiler: By the end of the film Isabelle is dead never having married her true love Eugene, Lucy has decided never to marry because she loves George but can't imagine being with him, the Ambersons are broke, Fanny has gone crazy, and George has been badly injured in an automobile accident. The original ending, directed by Welles, was even more of a downer, with Fanny in a boarding house, having completely loset her love and spirit and a final meeting with Eugene only reminding her what had been lost.]]
** The film actually ends on a BittersweetEnding, [[spoiler: After the accident, George and Lucy reunite and Eugene and Fanny talk to each other seemingly starting a late-life romance. This was the ExecutiveMeddling ending and also the ending of the original book.]]
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: Many people's reactions to the "horseless carriage", though George remains convinced of this long after everyone else starts to come round to the idea.
* GayNineties / TheEdwardianEra: The film bridges these two eras, and incorporates features of both.
* LostForever: A good chunk of this movie was edited and thrown away by producers while Welles was abroad.
* ManChild: George.
* MommyIssues: George.
* OedipusComplex: Isabel and George ALL. DAY. LONG.
* RomancingTheWidow: Eugene.
* SpoiledBrat: George.
* VideoCredits: Not only video credits, but narrated video credits, with Welles reading off the names of each actor and who they played in the movie.