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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS....
Curmudgeon, genius - take your choice. Whichever, Orson Welles was a fascinating conversationalist, opinionated on almost every subject - rude, funny, shocking, illuminating. He was never at a loss for words and thank goodness many of them were kept on tape. The tapes contain conversations between Welles and his friend, director Henry Jaglom. Hidden for a number of...
Published 13 months ago by Gail Cooke

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3.0 out of 5 stars VERY, VERY SAD
Assuming the `conversations' in this book are accurate, it paints a very sad picture of a once great man fading into a disillusioned old man unable to discern truth from fiction and unable to come to terms with his own life. He revels in anguish believing that he has never been given his rightful due.

He speaks of people, almost everyone he mentions, in a most...
Published 8 months ago by little lady blue


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS...., 25 July 2013
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Curmudgeon, genius - take your choice. Whichever, Orson Welles was a fascinating conversationalist, opinionated on almost every subject - rude, funny, shocking, illuminating. He was never at a loss for words and thank goodness many of them were kept on tape. The tapes contain conversations between Welles and his friend, director Henry Jaglom. Hidden for a number of years the tapes hold conversations held almost weekly between the two men at the upscale Hollywood restaurant Ma Maison. Not to worry - even though Welles knew his words were being taped he didn't hold back a syllable as he revealed his wit, intelligence, bitterness and anger. He has a word for the famous he hated and those he loved who let him down, and all the while his words sparkle.

Welles speaks of the men he hated (Spencer Tracy because he was Irish; Woody Allen because he used his films as therapy.) He doesn't overlook the women he bedded, dated or his opinion of their acting ability. (He dated Lena Horne and when Hedda Hopper told him to stop Welles told her "to go boil her head." He thought Joan Fontaine a bad actor - "she's got four readings and two expressions, and that's it.")

Once revered for his talent (1941's "Citizen Kane), by 1980 he could not find work. His words are a reminder of how Hollywood idolizes you when your star is in the ascendency, forgets you when you're down. They're also a reminder of just how rare an individual he was, whose talent astounds and whose breadth of knowledge amazes.

Reading these conversations is very much like sitting at table with the man himself. So enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book of its kind., 29 July 2014
Jaglom, with Welles permission taped his lunches with Orson Welles, and in many ways this was the grand old man's finest performance.

This was probably the book that I read last year that I wish just had never had ended as it was like having lunch with Orson Welles so intimate are the conversations. With his career behind him, he's professionally, emotionally and physically suffering and yet to hear him talk about the films he's made, the films he wants to make but can't and a whole collection of anecdotes about those he's worked with - I won't spoil them - but I enjoyed his take on Oliver, his encounter with Burton in the restaurant and his account of the great Charles Laughton are the highlights. Jaglom enthusiasm for his subject tees Welles up perfectly and you have to envy him these conversations. After the last lunch that was recorded before he died and then the subsequent discussion of the aftermath of his death you feel that you've lost a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Have had some dealings with the film industry, and it is a change to read the views of someone who was able to take the lid off its undeserved glamorous image
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3.0 out of 5 stars VERY, VERY SAD, 15 Jan 2014
This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Assuming the `conversations' in this book are accurate, it paints a very sad picture of a once great man fading into a disillusioned old man unable to discern truth from fiction and unable to come to terms with his own life. He revels in anguish believing that he has never been given his rightful due.

He speaks of people, almost everyone he mentions, in a most disparaging and disingenuous manner. Very, very few are accorded a compliment.

These conversations which took place towards the end of his life where he recounts, with great authority, story after story, comes across more like misremembered memories carved out to his own taste. In places his monologues read like lectures.

None of this is in keeping with the number of live interviews I have watched on YouTube where he sounds like the brilliant, witty, accomplished professional I thought him to be. Perhaps Wells had the ability to be one person in public and quite another across a lunch table with one person.

It was surprising to me to learn the difficulty he encountered in later life being unable to find ready financing for any project of his, but then as I arrived at Pg.276 where Wells says of (John) Houseman "A real mystery: why they prefer Houseman, with his petulant, arrogant, unpleasant manner. I don't know what is the matter. It's a very weird and terrible situation. I don't know where to turn." it struck me that perhaps it was Wells himself who had a petulant, arrogant, unpleasant manner. At least that is the feeling I am left with from reading this book.

I think it best to judge Orson Wells by his work rather than his `conversations' in this book - if judge we must!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Fun for Film Lovers, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
This book is wonderful fun, a great read. I suppose some might dismiss it as merely gossip, but it is gossip of a very high order, from two brilliant minds.
Everyone knows who Orson Welles was; not everyone is so well acquainted with Henry Jaglom + his works. Jaglom, in fact, tho not to everyone's taste (indeed, those who detest his work seem to feel as violently about it as do those, like myself, who passionately love Henry Jaglom's films), is one of the most creative, imaginative, and accomplished film makers of our time.
I particularly would direct the attention of those who love film to a quartet of films by Jaglom---all masterpieces to those who love them---from the 80s + 90s, which I like to think of together as "Henry Jaglom's Holiday Quartet" (each film is loosely associated with a particular US holiday): "Always (But Not Forever)" (1985); "Someone To Love" (1987); "New Year's Day" (1989); and "Last Summer in the Hamptons" (1995).
The reason I go on about Jaglom's films, in the context of this book review, is that readers of "My Lunches with Orson" should understand that they are not merely hearing a great film director being interviewed, but that they are overhearing a conversation between two very accomplished creators of cinema. Both ends of the conversation are well worth listening to.
(It might also be worth noting here that Jaglom, to those who have had the slightest contact with him, is immediately recognized as a man of great generosity and heart. In these pages, we can see one aspect of this noble quality: Henry wishes to do all he can to see that his hero, Welles, one of the greatest and most protean geniuses of American cinema, should be enabled to continue, to resume, to complete...his work. In fact, the last appearance of Orson Welles on film---and a beautiful + vigorous farewell it was---is preserved in the celluloid of Henry Jaglom's "Someone To Love".)
((In fact, "My Lunches with Orson" offers readers two worthy objects of their admiration: the Artist being venerated, and the Artist offering the Homage.))
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, 3 Sep 2013
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This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Im an Orson Wells fan. and find anything by him facinating. Hes a great raconter and the scope of his talents is awe inspiring. There may never be his equal in theatre or movies again
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, 17 Aug 2013
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This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
Interesting for its tidbits of gossip otherwise I found it hard going. Nothing new really. YouTube and google have covered it all.
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1 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Record it and They Will Come (But Shoudn't), 22 Aug 2013
This review is from: My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles (Hardcover)
If one is a Wellesophile, then one is going to buy this book. That is the targeted audience. Ergo, a starting point biography is rendered useless and the publisher's motive is to pad the book.

Henry Jaglom, a second-rate director. I prefer a cerebral conversationalist, not a kiss up who leaves his pride at and under the door. These tapes were left in a garage for a reason, staged for the next yard sale. The ever grandfathered out "The Paris Review" calls to the equally irrelevant James Hughes for a bare bones, pseudo-review and so bold faces it, "War of the Words." A title most trite and it goes the absolute distance for unoriginality and is a boorish play on Welles' work.

The portly Orson Welles was a recidivist megalomaniac and I find that breed of man one-note, in need of avoiding (live or dead), inclusive of the four squares of this and any other world. In a drunk tank there are more profound statements yelled via an alcohol induced epiphany. Welles' is where he should be. Conversely, Truman Capote is not where he should be. A common Capote shorty story surpasses the life work of Welles.

The recordings of a conversationalist is no more art than the scribblings of a first-grader or Norman Mailer's fragile ego fueled writings. And so all know and it is paramount to remember, Mailer stabbed his second wife Adele Morales. She currently lives in poverty. Don't forget.

Reading Henry Jaglom's back and forth is like committing intellectual, cultural and logical suicide. Fortunately, I am suicide proof and you are not.

Chris Roberts, Patron Saint to All but Henry Jaglom
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