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The Resource Young Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane, Patrick McGilligan

Young Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane, Patrick McGilligan

Label
Young Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane
Title
Young Orson
Title remainder
the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane
Statement of responsibility
Patrick McGilligan
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the history of American popular culture, there is no more dramatic story--no swifter or loftier ascent to the pinnacle of success and no more tragic downfall--than that of Orson Welles. In this magisterial biography, Patrick McGilligan brings young Orson into focus as never before. He chronicles Welles's early life growing up in Wisconsin and Illinois as the son of an alcoholic industrialist and a radical suffragist and classical musician, and the magical early years of his career, including his marriage and affairs, his influential friendships, and his artistic collaborations
Writing style
Review
  • Orson Welles, America’s storied show-biz boy wonder, appears to the manor born in this engrossing biography. Film historian McGilligan (Nicholas Ray ) follows Welles from his Illinois boarding-school productions (which even then drew press interest) to his professional debut at age 16 in Dublin, playing roles twice his age. New York directing coups followed, including his all-black Macbeth and Fascist-themed Julius Caesar . His radio play of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds induced panic. His movie Citizen Kane , hailed by many critics as the greatest film ever, was made when he was just 25. This is a book about families, with rich profiles of Welles’s affluent, indulgent parents; a series of father figures who mentored him, promoted him, and lent him money; and his close-knit acting ensemble at the Mercury Theater, where he played the paternal, tyrannical head of the household. It’s also a fine evocation of Welles’s innate charisma, concocted from a grand physical presence, godlike voice, Falstaffian magnetism, and uncanny precocious insight into character and dramatic effect. Exhaustively researched but well-paced and stuffed with beguiling detail, this is a vivid, sympathetic portrait of Welles’s youthful promise and achievement, before the misfires and compromises of his later years. B&w photos. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed October 5, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 40, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ As 2015 marks the centenary of the birth of Orson Welles, a number of recent books have covered this legendary filmmaker. The latest is a massive tome devoted to perhaps the least chronicled aspect of his career: his rise. Welles, post-Citizen Kane , has been studied by countless scholars, but McGilligan, biographer of Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, provides a much-needed view of his subject's early days in school, theater, and radio. The author conducted extensive research to extract the truth of Welles's origins from the myths and legends spun by the man himself. Actor and writer Simon Callow tackled this same period in 1996's Road to Xanadu , the first in his four-part biography of Welles. Yet as excellent as that work remains, McGilligan's possesses a more inviting style, imparting just as much insight as Callow's book but without feeling as academic. VERDICT Welles's native brilliance and his ascent from producing plays as a boy at the Todd School to his conquest of New York theater and radio as an adult has seldom been documented with more clarity. [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]— Peter Thornell, Hingham P.L., MA --Peter Thornell (Reviewed September 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 15, p79)
  • A boy wonder's life—overlong but also filling.Few directors in film history have generated more biographies than Orson Welles (1915-1985), and anyone tackling the job anew better have a fresh angle or something new to report. Veteran film scribe McGilligan (Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director, 2011, etc.) meets this challenge by focusing exclusively on Welles' early years, but his success is mixed. When he's not leaning heavily on the work of his many predecessors—mainly Barbara Leaming, as well as Peter Bogdanovich, Simon Callow, and Frank Brady—as well as the bitter memoirs of Welles' former friend John Houseman, he's expanding heavily on stories they either succinctly boiled down or scraps they left behind, from Welles' youthful poetry to day-by-day accounts of his international trips to microscopic rehashings of minor scuffles. While the book is needlessly long, McGilligan does illuminate the full scope of a truly charmed youth, and he reminds us that while it may be unfair to say that Welles peaked early, there were definitely a lot of peaks, even before he triumphed as the 25-year-old whiz behind Citizen Kane. The pampered son of an alcoholic businessman and a progressive socialite, he was raised to be a genius, and he didn't disappoint. He was only 20 when he staged a revolutionary all-black Macbeth for the Federal Theater ("The great success of my life," he called it), followed up by a modern-dress Julius Caesar and more theater successes, making the cover of Time even before he cooked up the idea of a live-radio Martian landing. Then it was on to Kane, which the author pieces together in generous detail, with specific attention to the much-debated relationship between Welles and co-scenarist Herman Mankiewicz. McGilligan works overtime trying to justify such a massive book about only a part of Welles' life, but it's also buoyed by a dependably powerful subject at the center.(Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2015)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10452056
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
McGilligan, Patrick
Dewey number
  • 791.4302/33092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • portraits
  • plates
Index
index present
Intended audience
Adult
LC call number
PN1998.3.W45
LC item number
M343 2015
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Welles, Orson
  • Biographies
  • Motion picture actors and actresses
  • Actors
  • Motion picture producers and directors
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane
Label
Young Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane, Patrick McGilligan
Link
https://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy1614/2016297780-b.html
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Formerly CIP.
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Before the beginning -- Rosebuds -- Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow -- Seventy years in a man's life -- After the end
Control code
000056860184
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
x, 820 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780062112484
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016297780
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
YBP12039199
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits
Stock number
12039199
System control number
(OCoLC)931295589
Label
Young Orson : the years of luck and genius on the path to Citizen Kane, Patrick McGilligan
Link
https://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy1614/2016297780-b.html
Publication
Copyright
Note
Formerly CIP.
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
  • still image
  • text
Content type code
  • sti
  • txt
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Contents
Before the beginning -- Rosebuds -- Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow -- Seventy years in a man's life -- After the end
Control code
000056860184
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
x, 820 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780062112484
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016297780
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other control number
YBP12039199
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits
Stock number
12039199
System control number
(OCoLC)931295589

Library Locations

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