Despite completing very few films for RKO, the fourth episode of "Hollywood the Golden Years: The RKO Story" is devoted to Orson Welles' contributions to the studio. His first, and most famous film was "Citizen Kane" and its success is discussed at length. I laughed when one of the interviewees called the production "innovation and inspired amateurism" and the documentary explains how his naivete actually HELPED make a unique piece of art.
Following this, the film quickly discussed "The Magnificent Ambersons" and its many problems with production...such as Welles quickly rushing off to South America before the film was 100% complete. This naturally enraged studio execs...but his complete waste of time and money in Brazil was the last straw and RKO was done with the young film genius. In essence, he was a self-sabotaging man who had a long habit of never completing film projects...though this show only focuses on his RKO films...and he had quite a few incomplete films after this as well.
I liked the episode as it did a decent job of explaining Welles without being too critical (I would have been more critical), but you also have to ask just how important all this is to RKO. I would say apart from "Citizen Kane", he actually meant very little to the history of the studio and wonder if perhaps the documentary might have been better focusing on the rest of the studio's products of the same era.
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