"We know a remote farm in Lincolnshire where Mrs. Buckley lives. Every July, peas grow there..."George Orson Welles (1915-1985) was an actor, writer, director, producer, artist, young genius, sometime Stage Magician, and patron saint of Large Hams.A great showman prodigy, praised as a natural genius in his youth, Welles started his career on the stage because of his confidence and chutzpah, creating ground-breaking new productions of Shakespeare that revitalised the plays and challenged the rules of what could be done in adaptation. From there, he went on to do the Mercury Theater on the Air with a regular troupe. The highlight of his career in radio was his 1938 broadcast of The War Of The Worlds, which was so convincing that people actually believed aliens had landed in New Jersey. (This story, albeit true, is often highly exaggerated. There were no riots.)From there, he made his first movie for RKO Pictures, Citizen Kane. He got complete artistic control; he directed it, produced it, wrote at least some of it, and played the lead. Citizen Kane was a groundbreaking film, generally considered one of, if not the best of all time, OF ALL TIME! - so much so that it's created Hype Aversion. It's very enjoyable despite that.Unfortunately, the film tanked at the box office, as Charles Foster Kane was thought to be Inspired By William Randolph Hearst, who was still alive and better at maintaining his power than Kane was. When a large percentage of the papers are against your film, it needs heavy promotion from the studio to succeed. Since Hearst was still alive, it didn't get it. It was Vindicated by History about two decades too late.Welles went on to try to film The Magnificent Ambersons; he intended it to be an epic. This had a considerably higher budget than Citizen Kane, and great ambition. Unfortunately, he took too long, his Auteur License was revoked and Executive Meddling came into play; about half the footage was cut out of the film and probably Lost Forever. The remainder of the film suggests what sort of greatness the complete work would've had, but didn't have the probable full measure.Welles made several films after those two, including F For Fake, Touch Of Evil, and The Trial. Although nothing he did was as well known as Citizen Kane, many of his movies were excellent and still remain worth seeing.He played Harry Lime, in The Third Man, and he wrote the most memorable lines of the character.After burning almost every bridge in Hollywood, he was reduced to doing mostly voiceover work...most infamously for a frozen peas commercial. His tagline in commercials for the Paul Masson winery, "We will sell no wine... before its time," became a meme in The Seventies. A bit of a Grammar Nazi.He was rather overweight in his later years, leading to many jokes relating to the fact that his final role would be that of a planet. What's funny is that his last role really was a planet. He died five days after finishing recording the voice of Unicron for the 1986 Transformers The Movie.note Maurice La Marche can do a spot-on impression of him. Has also been played by actors Vincent D'Onofrio in Ed Wood (with the voice dubbed over by LaMarche) and Christian McKay in the Richard Linklater film Me and Orson Welles.
His career provides examples of:
"Don't you think you really want to say "July" over the snow? Isn't that the fun of it?"