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Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane A remarkable, eye opening biography McGilligan s Orson is a Welles for a new generation, a portrait in tune with Patti Smith s Just Kids A S Hamrah, BookforumNo American artist or entertainer has enjoyed a dramatic rise than Orson Welles At the age of sixteen, he charmed his way into a precocious acting debut in Dublin s Gate Theatre By nineteen, he had published a book on Shakespeare and toured the United States At twenty, he directed a landmark all black production of Macbeth in Harlem, and the following year masterminded the legendary WPA production of Marc Blitzstein s agitprop musical The Cradle Will Rock After founding the Mercury Theatre, he mounted a radio production of The War of the Worlds that made headlines internationally Then, at twenty four, Welles signed a Hollywood contract granting him unprecedented freedom as a writer, director, producer, and star paving the way for the creation of Citizen Kane, considered by many to be the greatest film in historyDrawing on years of deep research, acclaimed biographer Patrick McGilligan conjures the young man s Wisconsin background with Dickensian richness and detail his childhood as the second son of a troubled industrialist father and a musically gifted, politically active mother his youthful immersion in theater, opera, and magic in nearby Chicago his teenage sojourns through rural Ireland, Spain, and the Far East and his emergence as a maverick theater artist Sifting fact from legend, McGilligan unearths long buried writings from Welles s school years delves into his relationships with mentors Dr Maurice Bernstein, Roger Hill, and Thornton Wilder explores his partnerships with producer John Houseman and actor Joseph Cotten reveals the truth of his marriage to actress Virginia Nicolson and rud affairs with actresses Dolores Del Rio and Geraldine Fitzgerald including a suspect paternity claim and traces the story of his troubled brother, Dick Welles, whose mysterious decline ran counter to Orson s swift ascent And, through it all, we watch in awe as this whirlwind of talent hailed hopefully from boyhood as a genius collects the raw material that he and his co writer, the cantankerous Herman J Mankiewicz, would mold into the story of Charles Foster KaneFilled with insight and revelation including the surprising true origin and meaning of Rosebud Young Orson is an eye opening look at the arrival of a talent both monumental and misunderstood


10 thoughts on “Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane

  1. Bettie Bettie says:

    BOTWhttp www.bbc.co.uk programmes b06tqsbz Orson Welles, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment, gets his due in a new biography of his early years including his first forays in theatre an


  2. Gary Gary says:

    I thank my 8th grade English teacher for awakening my avid interest in THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and Orson Welles Radio play WAR OF THE WORLDS We listened to the play in class, then she cha


  3. Richard Stueber Richard Stueber says:

    This book is contains part of a the career of the great George Orson Welles, born May 6, 1915, a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, but the family moved to Chicago in 1918 The first 66 pages tell about hi


  4. Nicola Pierce Nicola Pierce says:

    This was a glorious journey through the first twenty five years of Orson Welles life though I was surprised and delighted to discover that the last chapter was an account of his last day About a third


  5. Laura Laura says:

    From BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Orson Welles, the defining wunderkind of modern entertainment, gets his due in a new biography of his early years including his first forays in theatre and radio befo


  6. Michael Samerdyke Michael Samerdyke says:

    A splendid book on Orson Welles.It starts a little slowly, with a lot of material about his parents, but what makes this book valuable is that it looks at Welles early career with a sympathetic eye Unli


  7. Dan Lalande Dan Lalande says:

    Voluminous account of the meteoric rise of mega talent Orson Welles and the bumptious imprint of his outsized persona on Broadway and Hollywood Here, Welles, like Citizen Kane, is many people, some famil


  8. kerrycat kerrycat says:

    Decidedly and unashamedly pro Welles, this is just stunning one of those long books that don t feel dragged out at all Very entertaining, to the point, and honest as to Welles faults as McGilligan navigat


  9. Bill Tyroler Bill Tyroler says:

    Orson Welles all his appetites were outsized food, alcohol, female companionship, work, play, disputes, loyalty Larger than life, indeed Pat McGilligan pays homage to Welles with a fittingly massive biogra


  10. Alexander Van Leadam Alexander Van Leadam says:

    It s hard not to be interested in the young Orson, especially for one who enjoyed the unequal appearances of the old Orson The book does a good job of describing his progress, although his character remains


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