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Me and Orson Welles (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 18 December 2009 (USA)
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In 1937, a teenager is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar", directed by a young Orson Welles.

Director:

Richard Linklater

Writers:

Robert Kaplow (based on the novel by), Holly Gent (screenplay by) (as Holly Gent Palmo) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian McKay ... Orson Welles
Zac Efron ... Richard Samuels
Zoe Kazan ... Gretta Adler
Megan Maczko ... Evelyn Allen
Simon Lee Phillips ... Walter Ash
Patrick Kennedy ... Grover Burgess
Shane James Bordas Shane James Bordas ... Conspirator
Alessandro Giuggioli ... Conspirator
Harry Macqueen ... Conspirator
Rhodri Orders Rhodri Orders ... Conspirator
James Tupper ... Joseph Cotten
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold ... George Duthie
Aidan McArdle ... Martin Gabel
Simon Nehan Simon Nehan ... Joe Holland
Claire Danes ... Sonja Jones
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Storyline

In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar, which includes such stalwart Mercury Theatre players as Joseph Cotten and George Coulouris. Despite others with official roles as producer John Houseman, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver. These requests include everything, even those of a sexual nature. Welles does not believe in conventions and will do whatever he wants, which includes not having a fixed opening date, although the unofficial opening date is in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Director of 'School of Rock' and 'Before Sunset'. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Isle Of Man | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Me & Orson See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,638, 29 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,186,957, 21 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Christian McKay, who plays Orson Welles in this film, is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, an accomplished concert pianist, and an established theatrical all rounder, and had been aware of his resemblance to Welles since his student days. McKay said: "People said that I resembled him a little bit. I only remember Orson as this big, gargantuan iceberg of a man and at drama school, whenever they said 'you look a bit like Harry Lime', I really thought they were having a go at my weight!. So I'd be very anti Orson. I used to think 'I'm not that big....'. Mind you, I must be the only actor who had to lose weight to play Orson Welles!". See more »

Goofs

The dressing robe Sonja tosses Richard changes position on the couch throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Mewling: By the year of 1592, Shakespeare was already an actor, and a playwright. Records of how his stage career began have not survived. We do know that in 1594 he joined a theater troupe. Called... anyone remember? Not everyone at once now. The Lord Chamberlain's Men.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer". See more »

Connections

Featured in This Morning: Episode dated 19 November 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Yearning For Love
Written by Duke Ellington (ASCAP)
Irving Mills & Mitchell Parish
Performed by Duke Ellington
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Published by Sony/ATV Harmony LLC (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement with Sony BMG Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Coming of age in a hurry
6 August 2010 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Me and Orson Welles (2008), directed by Richard Linklater, is a fantasy about a fantastic event--the famed Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar," directed by Orson Welles in 1937.

In the 21st Century, setting Shakespeare's plays in modern dress has become a cliché. More than 70 years ago, however, Welles' production, with its clear references to fascism, was bold and daring. It made theater history, and propelled Welles into the limelight.

Teen heartthrob Zac Efron plays Richard Samuels, who is chosen by Welles for the small role of Lucius in the production. Zoe Kazan plays Gretta Adler, a young woman whom Richard meets in the New York Public Library. Claire Danes is Sonja Jones, Welles' assistant, who is rising in the theater world through a combination of intelligence, beauty, devotion to Welles, and her willingness to get into bed with anyone who can help her career.

Effron is outgoing and attractive, Kazan is shy and attractive, and Danes again shows why she was able to captivate TV audiences in "My So-Called Life," and then move on to immense Hollywood success. (Those who know "My So-Called Life" can recognize some of the interesting techniques that Danes developed then, and has since perfected.)

The highest honors in the film, however, belong to Christian McKay, who portrays Welles, and who stars as Brutus in the production. He has an uncanny resemblance to Welles, and his acting in the movie captures the qualities for which Welles was famous--incredible talent and incredible egotism.

Me and Orson Welles is not a truly great or classic film, but it's not fluff, and it's a perfect choice if you want to see an interesting movie about interesting people. The production values are very high, the sets capture New York City in the 1930's, and the acting is wonderful.

We saw this movie on a hotel flat-screen TV . It would probably work better on a large screen, but the small screen version worked well enough. It's definitely a movie worth finding and seeing.


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