Some Kind of a Man

by
March 2004, no. 259

Orson Welles: The stories of his life by Peter Conrad

Faber, $49.95 hb, 397 pp

Some Kind of a Man

by
March 2004, no. 259

By chance the other day, watching British director Herbert Wilcox’s toe-curling ‘Scottish’ whimsy, Trouble in the Glen (1954), one of Orson Welles’s worst films (one of anybody’s worst films), I was struck anew by the fact that even when Welles could not save a film, he was always sure to be remembered in it. Here he plays a Scottish laird, long absent in South America, who returns to take up the castle he has inherited and, failing to bring a castful of theatrically canny Scots to heel, admits his errors and ends by presiding – benignly, but still presiding – in a kilt, yet. A romantic liaison and an appalling little girl taking her first post-illness steps may be intended to warm our soured hearts, but it is the massive figure avoiding the worst punishments for hubris that grabs what is left of our attention.

Brian McFarlane reviews 'Orson Welles: The stories of his life' by Peter Conrad

Orson Welles: The stories of his life

by Peter Conrad

Faber, $49.95 hb, 397 pp

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