Pre-'Citizen Kane' Orson Welles Film To Premiere in October

August 7, 2013


A though-lost silent film Orson Welles wrote and directed when he was just 20 years old has reportedly been located and is being cleaned up for an October screening in Italy's Le Giornate del Cinema Muto silent film festival. Shot in 1938, before Welles became an immovable fixture at the top of AFI's Greatest Movies list, the hour-long screwball comedy was an early experiment in multimedia cross-overs, meant to be shown during a play to provide a backstory in the days before we did that with prequels. It never ended up being shown then and the play was quickly closed, so this recently-discovered, newly-restored work print will mark the film's official, 75-year-belated premiere. Titled Too Much Johnson, the film could hold some of Welles' earliest experiments in deep focus. Especially if, as I suspect, it ends up just being shots of a bunch of dicks.

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