Movies - TV
Orson Welles’ Directed Films Ranked Worst To Best
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
15. Don Quixote
Orson Welles was full of brilliant ideas such as adapting Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” to the modern day. Although Welles filmed test footage for “Don Quixote” as early as 1955, and second-unit photography as late as 1972, the film wasn't released until 1992 after Welles' death, and its patchwork edits make it all but unwatchable.
14. Mr. Arkadin
Although almost half a dozen edits of “Mr. Arkadin” were released during Welles’ lifetime, only the 2006 edit comes close to capturing his intent. The film follows a self-made man’s attempts to conceal the nefarious origins of his fortune for fear of losing the love of his daughter, and thanks to Welles’ protégé, Peter Bogdanovich, the final edit almost does the film justice.
13. The Other Side of the Wind
Another posthumously released film, “The Other Side of the Wind” would rank among Welles’ best if he had been able to release the final cut himself. The film offers striking isolated scenes and a satirical, self-aware film-within-a-film narrative, but its final edit comes across as an old-dog director attempting to emulate the tricks of the “New Wave."
12. Journey into Fear
Welles contributed to the script and casting of "Journey into Fear," and was originally set to direct but due to his schedule, let Norman Foster assume directing duties. The film is a Hitchcock-esque World War II-era espionage caper that’s more clever than meaningful, with questionable tropes, misleading sequences, and clichéd costumes.
11. The Immortal Story
Based on a 1958 short story by Danish writer Karen Blixen, Welles planned for “The Immortal Story” to be released as a two-part anthology film, but as often happened with Welles’ productions, things fell apart. The film centers on a merchant living alone in 19th-century Macao, who limited by the debilitating conditions of his age tries to bring sailors' stories to life.