Me & Orson Welles

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German title Me & Orson Welles
Original title Me and Orson Welles
Country of production USA , UK
original language English
Publishing year 2008
length 107 minutes
Age rating FSK 0
Director Richard Linklater
script Holly Gent Palmo
Vincent Palmo Jr.
production Ann Carli
Richard Linklater
Marc Samuelson
music Michael J McEvoy
camera Dick Pope
cut Sandra Adair

Ich & Orson Welles (Original title: Me and Orson Welles ) is a film drama from the year 2008. The film directed by Richard Linklater is based on the novel by Robert Kaplow and premiered in 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival .


In 1937, 17-year-old Richard Samuels, who was culturally interested, happened to meet actor and director Orson Welles in New York City in front of the soon-to-be-opened Mercury Theater . Welles spontaneously offers him the role of the lute player Lucius in the play Julius Caesar , which Welles is currently staging there. In the hustle and bustle of the many new people around him, Richard notices that the ambitious and attractive production assistant Sonja Jones is drawn to him.

A few days before the premiere, Welles told Richard that he was concerned that they hadn't been unlucky at the rehearsals and that this could mean that the premiere was going badly and the piece would flop. During rehearsals, Richard accidentally triggers the sprinkler system, and Welles regards this event as the longed-for calamity. After a rehearsal, Welles lets the ensemble play a matchmaking game. Richard uses a trick to allow him to spend the evening with Sonja, after which the two spend the night together. The next night, however, Sonja spends with Welles, which makes Richard jealous. Richard then confronts his director about having affairs even though he is married and his wife is pregnant. Because of this, he is fired from Welles.

During a conversation on a park bench, the two seem to reconcile, whereupon Richard is allowed to play at the premiere. The performance of Julius Caesar in an anti-fascist interpretation is a complete success. At the celebration after the play Richard learns from ensemble member Joseph Cotten that he was only needed for the premiere and has now been finally released and that another actor has already been found for the role. At the end of the film, however, he meets a girl again whom he met at the beginning of the film. He now wants to go into the future with this girl, who is also active in culture.


“The theatrical film impresses above all with the care and vigor with which the creation of the stage play is traced. Against this background, the romantic "coming-of-age" story initially seems comparatively banal, but then unfolds interesting facets through the feedback to the figure of Orson Welles. "

“The story told here, based on Robert Kaplow's bestseller, could very well have played out similarly at the time. But director Richard Linklater was too keen to deliver a coherent view of the time. Apparently he forgot to tell a gripping story about it. So what is shown is indeed interesting (the resurrection of the Welles phenomenon as an all-round genius), but at times babbles in a paralyzing manner so that the viewer can only enjoy the decor and costumes. Too little is shown here of everyday theater between envy, resentment and competition. Strong, however: Christian McKay as Orson Welles. "

In the fall of 2015, Mercury actor Norman Lloyd , played by Leo Bill in the film , praised Christian McKay's portrayal of Orson Welles as "the best rendering of him I've ever seen." Lloyd criticized, however, that the rest of the film was not made accurately. “It has nothing to do with the truth or what happens when you work with Orson and so on. I thought McKay was very good, but the rest of the characters are just ridiculous. They are all made up! I couldn't even recognize myself - and then I thought: It's lucky I couldn't! ”As an example, Lloyd cited that George Coulouris was portrayed in the film as a neurotic man with great stage fright. In fact, he was "unable to stop acting"


Christian McKay was at the British Academy Film Awards 2010 as Best Supporting Actor nomination. He was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Chlotrudis Awards that same year .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Release for Me & Orson Welles . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , August 2010 (PDF; test number: 124 156 K).
  2. Me & Orson Welles. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. Me & Orson Welles ,
  4. Interview with Norman Lloyd at the AV Club , November 5, 2015