Categorized | Video

Lost Short Film by Orson Welles Resurfaces

Orson Welles Too Much JohnsonThree years before he made his seminal debut Citizen Kane (1941), director Orson Welles began making a series of three short films with Joseph Cotten, Arlene Francis, and Ruth Ford to promote his 1938 production of Too Much Johnson at the Mercury Theatre. Welles never completed the first film and abandoned the project while the stage production failed to catch on with audiences.

But rumors of the slapstick comedy’s existence persisted and ultimately reached legendary status when the lone existing print allegedly burned along with Welles’ Madrid home in 1970. More than 40 years later, however, a 35mm nitrate work print of the footage was found in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy, and salvaged by film exhibitor Cinemazero.

Meanwhile, film preservationists Eastman House and the National Film Preservation Foundation went to work restoring the film. Now 75 years later, the footage will make its premiere at the silent film festival, Le Giornate del Muto, in Porendone, before traveling across the Atlantic to make its American debut on October 16th in Rochester, NY.

Joseph Cotten and Arlene Francis in ‘Too Much Johnson’ (1938)/NFPF

Source: About.com
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