Orson Welles

The Magnificent Ambersons

The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles’s beautiful, nostalgia-suffused second feature—the subject of one of cinema’s greatest missing-footage tragedies—harks back to turn-of-the-twentieth-century Indianapolis, chronicling the inexorable decline of the fortunes of an affluent family. Adapted from an acclaimed Booth Tarkington novel and featuring restlessly inventive camera work and powerful performances from a cast including Joseph Cotten, Tim Holt, and Agnes Moorehead, the film traces the rifts deepening within the Amberson clan—at the same time as the forces of progress begin to transform the city they once ruled. Though RKO excised over forty minutes of footage, now lost to history, and added an incongruously upbeat ending, The Magnificent Ambersons is an emotionally rich family saga and a masterful elegy for a bygone chapter of American life.

Film Info

  • Orson Welles
  • United States
  • 1942
  • 88 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #952

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries, featuring scholars Robert L. Carringer and James Naremore and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • New interviews with film historians Simon Callow and Joseph McBride
  • New video essay on the film’s cinematographers by scholar François Thomas
  • New video essays by scholars François Thomas and Christopher Husted
  • Director Orson Welles on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970
  • Segment from a 1925 silent adaptation of The Magnificent Ambersons
  • Audio from a 1978 AFI symposium on Welles, and audio interviews with Welles conducted by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • Two Mercury Theatre radio plays: Seventeen (1938), an adaptation of another Booth Tarkington novel by Welles, and The Magnificent Ambersons (1939)
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell and (Blu-ray only) essays by authors and critics Luc Sante, Geoffrey O’Brien, Farran Smith Nehme, and Jonathan Lethem, and excerpts from an unfinished 1982 memoir by Welles

New cover by Eric Skillman


Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Nov 27, 2018

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Two audio commentaries, featuring scholars Robert L. Carringer and James Naremore and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • New interviews with film historians Simon Callow and Joseph McBride
  • New video essay on the film’s cinematographers by scholar François Thomas
  • New video essays by scholars François Thomas and Christopher Husted
  • Director Orson Welles on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970
  • Segment from a 1925 silent adaptation of The Magnificent Ambersons
  • Audio from a 1978 AFI symposium on Welles, and audio interviews with Welles conducted by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich
  • Two Mercury Theatre radio plays: Seventeen (1938), an adaptation of another Booth Tarkington novel by Welles, and The Magnificent Ambersons (1939)
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Molly Haskell and (Blu-ray only) essays by authors and critics Luc Sante, Geoffrey O’Brien, Farran Smith Nehme, and Jonathan Lethem, and excerpts from an unfinished 1982 memoir by Welles

New cover by Eric Skillman


The Magnificent Ambersons
Cast
Joseph Cotten
Eugene Morgan
Dolores Costello
Isabel Amberson Minafer
Anne Baxter
Lucy Morgan
Tim Holt
George Minafer
Agnes Moorehead
Fanny Minafer
Ray Collins
Jack Amberson
Erskine Sanford
Roger Bronson
Richard Bennett
Major Amberson
Orson Welles
Narrator
Credits
Director
Orson Welles
Written by
Orson Welles
From the novel by
Booth Tarkington
Photography by
Stanley Cortez
Set design by
Mark-Lee Kirk
Set dressing by
Al Fields
Edited by
Robert Wise
Assistant director
Fred Fleck
Ladies’ wardrobe by
Edward Stevenson
Special effects by
Vernon L. Walker
Sound recorded by
Bailey Fesler
Sound recorded by
James G. Stewart