Orson Welles's First Film Found In Italy
Long-lost films keep turning up in garages, barns, and storage rooms all over the world, reviving significant parts of Hollywood history. The latest one is Too Much Johnson, a silent short directed by Orson Welles in 1938, two years before he began filming his 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. The film, which was never screened theatrically, had originally been produced by Welles to be included in a stage production of William Gillette's comedy Too Much Johnson but for some never-explained reason was shelved. (The play flopped.) Welles' biographer Simon Callow described the discovery of a work print in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy as a very significant piece of the jigsaw of Welles's art. ... It was filming these sequences that first made him fall in love with film, he said in a statement published by the Los Angeles Times. Here he began to discover the possibilities not only of shooting, but editing. The film is due to have its long-overdue first screening in the U.S. at the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY on Oct. 16.