The Magnificent Ambersons

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Surfaces and Depths

The Magnificent Ambersons

Surfaces and Depths

With The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles created a model of period filmmaking, lightly deploying historical signifiers while focusing on the haunting power of his actors’ faces.

By Luc Sante

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Echoes of Tarkington

The Magnificent Ambersons

Echoes of Tarkington

Unlike his adaptations of Shakespeare and Kafka, Orson Welles’s take on a Pulitzer Prize winner by Booth Tarkington is remarkably faithful to its source.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

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The Voice of Orson Welles

The Magnificent Ambersons

The Voice of Orson Welles

The legendary filmmaker possessed the greatest speaking voice in American cinema, and The Magnificent Ambersons represents the summit of his work as a vocal actor.

By Farran Smith Nehme

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Loving the Ruins; or, Does The Magnificent Ambersons Exist?

The Magnificent Ambersons

Loving the Ruins; or, Does The Magnificent Ambersons Exist?

The holiest of holies for lovers of ruined and neglected cinema, Orson Welles’s 1942 masterpiece haunts us with its voids and absences, which echo its tale of a family’s destruction.

By Jonathan Lethem

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What Is and What Might Have Been

The Magnificent Ambersons

What Is and What Might Have Been

Even as he chronicles the downfall of an American family, Orson Welles brings a sense of buoyancy to this grim saga through his virtuoso storytelling.

By Molly Haskell

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