The Magnificent Ambersons

Director Orson Welles‘ 1942 movie The Magnificent Ambersons was taken away from him by RKO after it earned negative test scores, with the studio scrapping nearly an hour of his footage, reshooting additional scenes, and cooking up a completely different ending than Welles originally intended. The resulting Frankensteined version is still widely regarded as a great film (it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars), but for many film fans, Welles’ original work print – which was largely destroyed, but had one copy sent to the filmmaker in Brazil while he was working on another project – remains one of those all-time great Hollywood mysteries.

For the past 25 years, filmmaker Joshua Grossberg has documented his quest to find that missing workprint, and now Turner Classic Movies has agreed to sponsor Grossberg’s upcoming trip to South America to try one last attempt at locating this cinematic needle in a haystack. The resulting documentary, whether he finds Welles’ workprint or not, will air on TCM in 2022.  Read More »