THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS
1942, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

Director Orson Welles' poetic, tragic adaptation of Booth Tarkington's novel, centering on the fall of one wealthy family, with Stanley Cortez's dynamic camerawork providing a panorama of turn-of-the-century America and the decay of the old aristocracy.


CITIZEN KANE
1941, Warner Bros., 119 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

Orson Welles was only 25 when he directed this masterpiece, and it remains one of the most phenomenal motion pictures ever made. Welles also stars as Charles Foster Kane, a ruthless man who built a newspaper publishing empire and a character supposedly modeled after the real-life William Randolph Hearst. Trailblazing in so many respects, from Gregg Toland’s complex camera and lighting to Bernard Herrmann’s score to one of the finest ensemble casts (including Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane and Agnes Moorehead) ever assembled. With an Academy Award-winning script by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz.


SHADOW OF A DOUBT
1943, Universal, 108 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

What starts out as a charming portrait of idyllic small-town life gradually darkens into one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most devastating thrillers. Teenager Teresa Wright’s romantic illusions about her beloved Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) gradually are shattered by the suspicion that he may be the diabolical Merry Widow serial killer. Add to the mix a rewardingly rich tapestry of eccentric characters (Henry Travers, Hume Cronyn and Patricia Collinge are standouts in the cast), and you have one of Hitchcock’s most brilliantly constructed films.


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