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Orson Welles directed and starred in this film version of his own novel. Powerful financier Mr Arkadin (Welles) claims to be suffering from amnesia, and hires smuggler Guy van Stratten (Michael Redgrave) to research his past. Arkadin has an ulterior motive, however: to uncover and eradicate his former enemies, so that his daughter (Paola Mori) remains unaware of the ruthlessness with which he has secured his wealth.
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Top Customer Reviews
Thankfully, with this splendid package, Criterion have made all other versions redundant and have revealed the full beauty, complexity, originality, wild humour and waywardness of Welles's conception. Shot on the run across Europe in 1954, financed on a shoestring budget, and edited in acrimonious circumstances with the producer throwing Welles out of the cutting room with less than a third of the work done, the film tells the tale of Van Stratten, a shady American smuggler, hired by Arkadin, a shady international finance capitalist, to investigate his past which, he claims, he has lost to amnesia. The commission itself, and the motives of the two principals, soon turn out to be far more sinister than they intially appear, gradually revealing a complex web of murder, espionage, white slavery and organised crime which resolves into a power struggle over ownership of the past and possession of the tycoon's beautiful and innocent daughter.Read more ›
Mr Arkadin, aka Confidential Report - or, to give it its rather wonderful German title, Mr Satan in Person - is certainly one of the most problematic of Awesome's films, with a lot of money obviously spent on screen in all the location-hopping, but far too little in post-production (the lip-synching is truly atrocious throughout thanks to constant script changes). It also boasts every conceivable manner of (often wildly incompatible) performance from its interesting cast - Robert Arden gives possibly the loudest performance in a leading role until Al Pacino started making movies, Welles towers and glowers behind one of cinema's worst wig, beard and putty nose ensembles, Patricia Medina is almost endearing in her total lack of ability, Michael Redgrave hams it up outrageously while the likes of Katina Paxinou and Suzanne Flon tone it down and Akim Tamiroff steals every scene going. The first third is awkward in each of the three versions on Criterion's excellent DVD, but it gradually exerts a grip, filled throughout with Welles' trademarks, from the almost omnipresent ceilings in shots to the director conspicuously dubbing bit players (everyone from Gregoire Aslan's dying blackmailer to Mischa Auer's flea circus impresario).
Most of the changes in the `comprehensive version' make sense, even if after seeing the other two versions it is jarring to see the visit to Sophie come after Arkadin's appearance in Mexico (which does explain why Van Stratten didn't tell him that Sophie didn't care).Read more ›
It comes in a fat digipak fold-out style case that fits into an outer slipcase. It's accopanied by a book about the film that also fits into the slipcase.
The extras are impressive. You get;
All three versions of the film: Corinth version, Confidential Report, and the new comprehensive version, are newly restored.
There is a commentary.
An interview with Welles biographer.
Three half-hour episodes of THE LIVES OF HARRY LIME.
Outtakes, rushes and alternate scenes from the film.
This is an excellent Dvd for Orson Welles fans. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Flawed Classic which is typical of Most of Welles output,but given the Great Mans tight Budgets He always produces something Interesting. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mrs. D. Moncrieff
A film typical of 1955, the very heart of the Cold War. Orson Welles though manages to write a book and then make a film that exposes one of these rich men after WW2 who made a... Read morePublished on 20 Dec. 2010 by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
Like "Legalinc" above, I really wanted to like this film. Welles at his best (and even at his not-so-best) is a great film-maker, so when I found this, and never having heard of... Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2010 by J. Rottweiller Swinburne
I hate to say it because I am such a fan of Orson Welles but this movie really stinks!!! I don't feel so bad about saying that, though, since Welles himself described the movie as... Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2010 by A. P. Rickards
The quality of the image is as if it was recorded straight from a television set! It was so bad I just stopped watching and this is really a shame for such a great film.Published on 7 Feb. 2009 by Maria Vouza
This is truly THE worst quality DVD you will ever be unfortunate to come across.
The picture and sound are as a bad as the ancient, unrestored, VHS copy the print of the... Read more