The rain of Oscar nominations for director David Fincher’s “Mank”, the most popular work on the evening of April 25, drew attention to the co-star of the story told in the fake documentary. performance by Gary Oldman as the lead, screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. It is an opposite story (the recorded part and the presumed part) of the birth of the most famous movie in film history: “Citizen Kane”, or “The Fourth Heritage”, which Orson Welles released in 1941. His glory was a beautiful fact, as Fincher hinted at, most of the credit going to the screenwriter, the talented and alcoholic brother of Joseph Mankiewicz The fact that Welles was honored as Hollywood’s new genius, despite the billionaire’s attempt to boycott Randolph Hearst, who found himself in the cruel portrait of Charles Foster Kane.
In “Mank”, the actor who plays Welles (Tom Burke) painted a ferocious portrait of him: a negotiator, determined to give no credit to his inspirational Mankiewicz, he just have to put your name in the opening video and share the glory of the Oscar that will award “Fourth Estate”. The film’s story ends here, but Welles’ sorrowful and legendary story continues a year later with the unfinished masterpiece “The Pride of the Ambersons” and another now re-imagining. of movie enthusiasts. A few days ago, Turner Classic Movies confirmed the pre-production of a documentary with the promising title, “Search for the Lost Print,” revolving around the film. It will be signed by journalist and director Joshua Grossberg (Emmy Award-winning for Katrina survivors), will be filmed in the fall in Brazil and scheduled to open. July 2022 on the 80 / o birthday of “Pride of the Ambersons”. What is it about? Cinema historians know well that when Welles presented the final cut of the film to the RKO producers in 1942, they rejected it for being too long, intellectual and marked with a conclusion. tragic endings did not match the expectations of the audience. Studio’s president, George Shaefer, was fired because he took on the role of director, protagonist Joseph Cotten was forced to find a way to unsuccessfully reconcile with Welles (with whom he is a close friend), editor Robert Wise was asked to cut almost an hour of film (43 minutes), permanently paralyzing the original idea and changing the ending. Despite a bitter legal battle Welles was defeated, but as soon as it was distributed, “Pride of the Ambersons” proved a failure. In the meantime, the director was on his way to Brazil (where he would be filming the documentary “It’s all the truth”) and here he received the document that editor Wise recommended for he does occasionally. That official 43 minutes, permanently removed from production, will be routed to the pulp to obtain the film’s precious silver nitrate, which was very useful during wartime. Joshua Grossberg has long argued, however, that there are witnesses who say they had seen the film in Brazil where – according to him – there could be a complete version as Welles wanted. It may not be at the Cinedia studio in Rio De Janeiro, where Welles works, but with some private collector who may have recovered the documents.
“I am cautiously optimistic – Grossberg said – and in any case it is the last and best chance for a discovery that could change the history of cinema.” In Brazil, “Pride of the Hunters” is known as “Soberba” and this fact will make them lose track. “The bet – Grossberg said – is to track down possible collectors or their heirs. It’s possible that they own those coils and don’t know their value.” So far, little is certain because everything looks more like a search for the Holy Grail than a specific possibility. But it is plausible that the “horrifying obsession” that infects the director (he planned to shoot last year, then stopped by the pandemic) hit Turner’s producers: things went wrong. wrong, they will have on hand in July 2022, a fascinating “simulation” of an impossible dream, accompanied by pictures of the sequence cut, by search testimony. from “Treasure Island”.