Othello (1951 film)
Othello is a 1951 tragedy film directed and produced by Orson Welles, who adapted the Shakespearean play and played the title role. Recipient of the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival, the film was distributed by United Artists when it was released in the United States in 1955. Othello was filmed on location over a three-year period in Morocco, Venice and Rome and at the Scalera Studios in Rome. In addition to Orson Welles, the cast consisted of Micheál MacLiammóir as Iago, Robert Coote as Roderigo, Suzanne Cloutier as Desdemona, Michael Laurence as Cassio, Fay Compton as Emilia and Doris Dowling as Bianca. Three versions of the film have seen theatrical release — two supervised by Welles, a 1992 restoration supervised by his daughter, Beatrice Welles. Welles trimmed the source material, around three hours when performed, down to a little over 90 minutes for the film. One of Welles' more complicated shoots, Othello was filmed erratically over three years.
Shooting began in 1949, but was forced to shut down when the film's original Italian producer announced on one of the first days of shooting that he was bankrupt. Instead of abandoning filming altogether, Welles as director began pouring his own money into the project; when he ran out of money as well, he needed to stop filming for months at a time to raise money by taking part in other productions. Because of lack of funds, production was stopped at least three times; the film found some imaginative solutions to a range of logistical problems. One of the fight scenes starts in Morocco. Welles used the money from his acting roles, such as in The Third Man, to help finance the film, but this involved pausing filming for several months while he went off to raise money; this lengthy shoot is detailed in Micheál MacLiammóir's book Put Money in Thy Purse. When Welles acted in the 1950 film The Black Rose, he insisted that the coat his character, wore be lined with mink though it would not be visible.
Despite the expense, the producers agreed to his request. At the end of filming, the coat disappeared, but could subsequently be seen in Othello with the fur lining exposed. Welles was extremely satisfied with the film's musical score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Lavagnino again provided the musical scores of Welles' two subsequent Shakespearean films, Chimes at Midnight and The Merchant of Venice. Orson Welles as Othello Micheál MacLiammóir as Iago Robert Coote as Roderigo Suzanne Cloutier as Desdemona Hilton Edwards as Brabantio Nicholas Bruce as Lodovico Michael Laurence as Michael Cassio Fay Compton as Emilia Doris Dowling as Bianca A dubbed version of Othello premiered in Rome, Italy on 29 November 1951. Welles' original English-language version premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 10 May 1952, went on general release in Europe. Unlike that of the subsequent American cut, the soundtrack was without flaws, apart from some dubbing, out of sync, it features different edits of many scenes from the other two versions, with alternate camera angles used.
A print remains stored in the Paris Cinematheque. Welles supervised a different version of Othello for the American market, a 93-minutes cut released on 12 September 1955 in New York City; this had a number of minor editing and several major soundtrack changes, including Welles' replacement of his spoken-word titles with written credits and the addition of a narration by Welles. Suzanne Cloutier's entire performance was dubbed by Gudrun Ure, who had played Desdemona opposite Welles in a 1951 theatre production of Othello, staged to raise funds to complete the film. Paul Squitieri, in a 1993 PhD study of the film in its various forms, argues that the U. S. version represents a "compromise", with some of the changes forced on Welles, that the original European cut represents the truest version. A Criterion LaserDisc of this version came out in 1994, but was withdrawn from sale after legal action by Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles. Welles featured Othello clips in his 1978 "making of" movie, Filming Othello, but in fact these had all been reedited by him for the documentary, so do not appear in the original film in the same form.
The clips were all accompanied by a voice-over from Welles, so that no part of the original soundtrack was heard in Filming Othello. Released in Europe to acclaim in 1952, Othello won the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film at the Cannes Film Festival under the Moroccan flag. Welles could not find the film a distributor in the United States for over three years, after its U. S. release it was ignored. The film was re-released to theaters in a 1992 restoration that screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival and was shown to acclaim in the United States; the film has a 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 reviews with an average rating of 7.9/10. The website's critical consensus states, "This ragged take on Othello may take liberties with the source material, but Orson Welles's genius never fails to impress." In 1992, Beatrice Welles-Smith, daughter of Orson Welles, supervised the restoration of the film, which saw over $1 million spent on improving
Orson Welles theatre credits
This is a comprehensive listing of the theatre work of Orson Welles. There isn't one person, I suppose, in a million, who knows that I was in the theatre
James Maury Henson was an American puppeteer, cartoonist, director and screenwriter, who achieved worldwide notice as the creator of The Muppets and Fraggle Rock. Born in Greenville, Mississippi, he was raised in Leland and Hyattsville, Maryland. Henson began developing puppets while attending high school, he created Sam and Friends while he was a freshman at the University of Maryland, College Park, a five-minute sketch-comedy puppet show that appeared on television. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in home economics, after which he produced coffee advertisements and developed some experimental films, he founded Inc. in 1958, which became The Jim Henson Company. Henson joined the children's educational television program Sesame Street where he helped to develop characters for the series, he appeared on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. He produced The Muppet Show in 1976, after scrapping plans for a Broadway show, he gained attention for his creations Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog and Ernie and he was involved with Sesame Street for over 20 years.
During the years of his life, he founded the Jim Henson Foundation and Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He won the Emmy Award twice for his involvement in The Jim Henson Hour. Henson died in May 1990 at age 53 from toxic shock syndrome, an unexpected event, lamented in the media and entertainment industry. In the weeks following his death, he was celebrated with a wave of tributes, he was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 and was selected to be one of the Disney Legends in 2011. James Maury Henson was born in Greenville, Mississippi, on September 24, 1936, the younger of two children of Paul Ransom Henson, an agronomist for the United States Department of Agriculture and his wife Betty Marcella, he was raised as a Christian Scientist and spent his early childhood in Leland, before moving with his family to University Park, Maryland in the late 1940s, near Washington, DC. He remembered the arrival of the family's first television as "the biggest event of his adolescence," having been influenced by radio ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the early television puppets of Burr Tillstrom on Kukla and Ollie and Bil and Cora Baird.
He remained a Christian Scientist at least into his twenties, when he would teach Sunday School, but he wrote to a Christian Science church in 1975 to inform them that he was no longer a practising member. Henson began working for WTOP-TV in 1954 while attending Northwestern High School, creating puppets for a Saturday-morning children's show called The Junior Morning Show, he enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park as a studio arts major upon graduation, thinking that he might become a commercial artist. A puppetry class offered in the applied arts department introduced him to the craft and textiles courses in the College of Home economics, he graduated in 1960, earning a bachelor of science degree in home economics; as a freshman, he had been asked to create Sam and Friends, a five-minute puppet show for WRC-TV. The characters on Sam and Friends were forerunners of the Muppets, the show included a prototype of Henson's most famous character Kermit the Frog. Henson remained at WRC from 1954 to 1961.
In the show, Henson began experimenting with techniques that changed the way in which puppetry was used on television, including using the frame defined by the camera shot to allow the puppet performer to work from off-camera. He believed that television puppets needed to have "life and sensitivity" and began making characters from flexible, fabric-covered foam rubber, allowing them to express a wider array of emotions at a time when many puppets were made of carved wood. A marionette's arms are manipulated by strings, but Henson used rods to move his Muppets' arms, allowing greater control of expression. Additionally, he wanted the Muppet characters to "speak" more creatively than was possible for previous puppets, which had random mouth movements, so he used precise mouth movements to match the dialogue; when Henson began work on Sam and Friends, he asked fellow University of Maryland senior Jane Nebel to assist him. The show was a financial success, but after graduating from college, he began to have doubts about going into a career performing with puppets.
He spent several months in Europe, where he was inspired by European puppet performers who looked on their work as an art form. Jane and he began dating after his return to the United States. Despite the success of Sam and Friends, Henson spent much of the next two decades working in commercials, talk shows, children's projects before being able to realize his dream of the Muppets as "entertainment for everybody"; the popularity of his work on Sam and Friends in the late 1950s led to a series of guest appearances on network talk and variety shows. Henson himself appeared as a guest on many shows, including The Steve Allen Show, The Jack Paar Program, The Ed Sullivan Show; this first national television broadcast increased exposure, which led to hundreds of commercial appearances by Henson characters throughout the'60s. Among the most popular of Henson's commercials was a series for the local Wilkins Coffee company in Washington, DC, in which his Muppets were able to get away with a greater level of slapstick violence than might have been acceptable with human actors and would find its way into many
The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters known for their absurdist and self-referential style of variety-sketch comedy. Created by Jim and Jane Henson in 1955, they are the namesake for the Disney media franchise that encompasses television, music and other media associated with the characters; the Muppets originated in the short-form television series Sam and Friends, which aired from 1955 to 1961. Following appearances on late night talk shows and in advertising during the 1960s, the Muppets began appearing on Sesame Street in 1969; the Muppets attained celebrity status and international recognition through The Muppet Show, which garnered four Primetime Emmy Award wins and twenty-one nominations during its five-year run. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Muppets diversified into theatrical feature films, including The Muppet Movie; the Walt Disney Company began involvement with the Muppets in the late 1980s, during which Henson entered negotiations to sell The Jim Henson Company.
The Muppets continued their media presence in the 1990s with television series The Jim Henson Hour and Muppets Tonight, both of which were similar in format to The Muppet Show, three films: The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets from Space. Disney acquired the Muppets in February 2004, allowing the characters to gain broader public exposure than in previous years. Under Disney, subsequent projects included two films: The Muppets Most Wanted. Throughout their six-decade career, the Muppets have been regarded as a staple of the entertainment industry and popular culture in the United States, receiving recognition from various cultural institutions and organizations, including the American Film Institute, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Library of Congress, the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the Muppets were created by puppeteer Jim Henson in the 1950s. Conceived for an adult audience, Henson claimed, recanted, that he coined the term "Muppet" as a portmanteau of the words "marionette" and "puppet".
In 1955, the Muppets were introduced in Sam and Friends, a short-form television series produced for WRC-TV in Washington D. C. Developed by Henson and his future wife Jane Nebel, the series was the first form of puppet media not to incorporate a physical proscenium arch typical of such works, relying instead on the natural framing of the television set through which it was viewed. During the 1960s, the characters—in particular and Rowlf the Dog—appeared in skits on several late-night talk shows and on television commercials, including The Ed Sullivan Show. Rowlf became the first Muppet character to appear on network television when he began appearing with Jimmy Dean on The Jimmy Dean Show. In 1966, Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett began developing a children's educational television program and approached Henson to design a cast of Muppet characters during this stage. Produced by the Children's Television Workshop, the program debuted as Sesame Street in 1969. Henson and his creative team became involved with Sesame Street during the years that followed.
Sesame Street garnered a positive response, the Muppets' involvement in the series was touted to be a vital component of its increasing popularity, providing an "effective and pleasurable viewing" method of presentation for its educational curriculum. In the early 1970s, the Muppets continued their presence in television appearing in The Land of Gorch segments during the first season of Saturday Night Live; as his involvement with Sesame Street continued, Henson mused about the possibility of creating a network television series featuring the Muppets. Two pilot specials, The Muppets Valentine Show and The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, aired on ABC in 1974 and 1975, respectively. After ABC passed on the pilots and no other major American network expressed interest in backing the project, British producer Lew Grade approached Henson and agreed to co-produce the series for Associated Television. Debuting in 1976, The Muppet Show introduced new characters such as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal alongside existing characters such as Kermit and Rowlf.
Aired in first-run syndication in the United States, The Muppet Show became popular due to its sketch-variety format, unique form of humor, prolific roster of guest stars. The series received twenty-one Primetime Emmy Award nominations during its run and won four, including Outstanding Variety Series in 1978; the success of The Muppet Show allowed Henson Associates to diversify into theatrical films centered on the Muppets, the first of which, The Muppet Movie, was released in 1979. Following The Muppet Movie were The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan, released in 1981 and 1984, respectively. Collectively, the three films received four Academy Award nominations. In 1983, Henson debuted Fraggle Rock, which aired on HBO in the United States until 1987. In the late 1980s, Henson entered discussions with Michael Eisner and The Walt Disney Company, in which the latter would acquire Jim Henson Productions and, in turn, the Muppets. Disney expressed interest in purchasing the company for $150 million.
In addition, Eisner expressed a desire to include the Sesam
F for Fake
F for Fake is a 1973 docudrama film co-written, directed by, starring Orson Welles who worked on the film alongside François Reichenbach, Oja Kodar, Gary Graver. Released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger. Loosely a documentary, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a film essay. Far from serving as a traditional documentary on Elmyr de Hory, the film incorporates Welles's companion Oja Kodar, notorious "hoax-biographer" Clifford Irving, Orson Welles as himself. In addition to the 88-minute film, in 1976 Welles shot and edited a self-contained 9-minute short film as a "trailer" entirely composed of original material not found in the main film itself. Orson Welles was hired to edit a documentary by François Reichenbach about the art forger Elmyr de Hory; the film grew over time to encompass de Hory, as well as de Hory's biographer Clifford Irving, revealed to be a forger himself. Welles used these circumstances to produce a meditation on the nature of fakery.
Several storylines are presented in the film, including those of de Hory, Welles, Howard Hughes and Kodar. About de Hory, we learn that he was a struggling artist who turned to forgery out of desperation, only to see the greater share of the profits from his deceptions go to doubly unscrupulous art dealers; as partial compensation for that injustice, he is maintained in a villa in Ibiza by one of his dealers. What is only hinted at in Welles's documentary is that de Hory had served a two-month sentence in a Spanish prison for homosexuality and consorting with criminals. Irving's original part in F for Fake was as de Hory's biographer, but his part grew unexpectedly at some point during production. There has not always been agreement among commentators over just how that production unfolded, but the now-accepted story is that the director François Reichenbach shot a documentary about de Hory and Irving before giving his footage to Welles, who shot additional footage with Reichenbach as his cinematographer.
In the time between the shooting of Reichenbach's documentary and the finishing of Welles', it became known that Irving had perpetrated a hoax of his own, namely a fabricated "authorized biography" of Howard Hughes. This discovery prompted the shooting of still more footage, which got woven into F for Fake. Interweaving the narratives more, there are several pieces of footage in the film showing Welles at a party with De Hory, and, at one point, De Hory signs a painting with a forgery of Welles' signature; some of Hughes' career is outlined in the form of a parody of the "News on the March" sequence in Citizen Kane. Welles draws parallels between the De Hory and Irving hoaxes and his own brush with early notoriety by including a recreation of part of his 1938 War of the Worlds radio drama, which had simulated a newscast about a Martian invasion and sparked panic among some listeners; the story about Kodar, her grandfather, Picasso and some forger paintings that the grandfather made is presented at the end of the film before Welles reminds the viewer that he only promised to tell the truth for an hour and that "for the last 17 minutes, I've been lying my head off."
In the commentary to the Criterion Collection DVD release of F for Fake, Kodar claims the idea for this segment as her own. She claims credit for the movie's opening sequence, which consists of shots of a miniskirt-clad Kodar walking down streets while rubbernecking male admirers stop and stare; this sequence is described by Kodar. The film opens with Welles performing magic tricks for some children. Welles quotes Robert-Houdin to the effect. Welles promises. Kodar is shown strolling around a street in a miniskirt while being ogled by the men on the street. Welles reveals the footage is taken from another experiment about girl-watching, where Kodar deliberately drew attention to herself and the men were unaware they were being filmed. Welles says her story will continue in the film, narrates the story of Elmyr de Hory, an art forger who sold many fake paintings to museums and collectors all over the world. Elmyr is shown throwing a dinner party at his home in Ibiza and being feted by European society, although he dances around the question of whether he is guilty or not.
One of those filmed is Clifford Irving, who had published a biography of Elmyr called Fake, in a notorious scandal was revealed to have been the forger of Howard Hughes's diary. Welles discusses the irony of Irving commenting on Elmyr's forgery while having committed a version of it himself. Irving and Elmyr tell about the art dealers who were fooled by the forgeries, Welles considers the question whether this means art dealers and appraisers are fake also. Welles presents more of Irving's story of having had secret contact with Hughes, the odd stories of Hughes's behavior that may or may not have been true, he wonders if believing such stories makes a person credulous or not, questions the true wisdom of so-called experts, who verifi
Gary Foss Graver was an American film director, screenwriter, cinematographer. He was a prolific filmmaker, working in various roles on over 300 films, but is best known as Orson Welles' final cinematographer, working over a period of six years on Welles' long-unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind. Graver began his career in the late 1960s as a cinematographer and editor of various B-movies, including several films by Roger Corman, before providing additional camerawork on John Cassavetes's A Woman Under the Influence, he continued to serve as the cinematographer of numerous horror films from the late 1970s and through the 1980s, including The Toolbox Murders, Trick or Treats, which he wrote and directed. Under the pseudonym of Robert McCallum Graver was a prolific director of adult films, working as a cinematographer and director on 135 features. Graver was born July 1938 in Portland, Oregon, to Raleigh and Frances Graver, his father was a native Oregonian. Graver was raised in Portland.
As a teenager, he produced and starred in his own radio show, built a movie theatre in his parents' basement where he showed his own 16 mm films. He acted in stage productions for the Portland Civic Theatre. At age twenty, Graver moved to Hollywood to become an actor, studied acting with Lee J. Cobb, he was drafted into the U. S. military in the early 1960s and was assigned to the Navy Combat Camera Group, where he was trained as a professional cameraman while touring in Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan. After returning to civilian life, Graver began his career in Los Angeles working on documentaries for a year before starting to work on larger budget features. Graver wrote and directed his first film, The Embracers, in 1966, he would subsequently serve as the cinematographer and editor on the B-films The Mighty Gorga, The Fabulous Bastard from Chicago, Satan's Sadists. In 1970, Graver made an unannounced inquiry to Orson Welles, saying he wanted to work with the director. Welles told Graver that only one other person had called him to say they wanted to work with him—Gregg Toland who, had worked with Welles on Citizen Kane.
"From that day forward, Orson Welles was the central figure in Gary Graver's life: more important than his wife, his children, his bank account, his health. For the rest of Orson's life Graver belonged to the great director." Soon after and Graver started work on the unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind, in addition to other projects Welles had in the works including F is for Fake and Filming Othello. Graver's work for Welles was unpaid, during the shooting of one scene in The Other Side of the Wind, Welles used as a prop his 1941 Oscar that he won as the co-writer of Citizen Kane; when shooting was finished, he handed the statuette to Graver saying, "Here, keep this." Graver understood this to be a gift in lieu of payment for his work. Graver held onto the award for several years until he ran into financial trouble in the 1990s, in 1994 he sold it for $50,000; the purchaser, a company called Bay Holdings attempted to sell it at auction through Sotheby's in London. When Welles' daughter, Beatrice Welles learned of the intended sale, she sued both Graver and the holding company to stop the sale.
She took possession of the statuette before selling it herself. Besides his work with Welles, Graver worked for other Hollywood directors including Roger Corman and Fred Olen Ray; the bulk of his output was B-movies since, as he put it, "I knew how to make a movie without much money." While working on The Other Side of the Wind between 1970 and 1976, Graver worked as a cinematographer and editor in various other B-horror films such as Blood Mania, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Invasion of the Bee Girls, he contributed additional camerawork on John Cassavetes's A Woman Under the Influence. In 1977, he served as cinematographer for Ron Howard's Grand Theft Auto, followed by the cult horror film The Toolbox Murders. In 1982, Graver wrote, directed and produced the slasher film Trick or Treats, after which he served as cinematographer on the slasher film Mortuary, the comedy Chattanooga Choo Choo, he directed the thriller film Moon in Scorpio starring Britt Ekland in 1987, followed by a cinematography credit on Twisted Nightmare.
The following year, Graver provided additional cinematography on Steven Spielberg's Always, working on the film's Montana unit. Throughout his career in mainstream cinema, Graver worked as a writer and director of pornographic films credited as Robert McCallum. Graver's work in the adult film industry resulted in more than 135 films including Unthinkable, which won the AVN Award for Best All-Sex Video in 1985. Graver was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame for his contributions to the adult film industry. Graver died on November 16, 2006 at his home in Rancho Mirage, California after a lengthy battle with cancer, his widow, former actress Jillian Kesner died the following year of complications of a staph infection, which she contracted after having been diagnosed with leukemia. She was 58 years old. Graver had two sons from previous marriages. Graver's memoir, Making Movies with Orson Welles, co-written by Andrew J. Rausch, was published posthumously by Scarecrow Press in 2008. Graver, Gary. Making Movies With Orson Welles.
Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-810-88229-4. Official homepage Gary Graver on IMDb Gary Graver Profile Gary Graver at AllMovie Gary Graver at Wellesnet Unhappy with the way he fel
The Stranger (1946 film)
The Stranger is a 1946 American film starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Orson Welles, it is Welles's third completed feature film as director and his first film noir, about a war crimes investigator tracking a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to a Connecticut town. It is the first Hollywood film to present documentary footage of the Holocaust; the original story by Victor Trivas was nominated for an Academy Award. The film entered the public domain. Mr. Wilson of the United Nations War Crimes Commission is hunting for Nazi fugitive Franz Kindler, a war criminal who has erased all evidence which might identify him, with no clue left to his identity except "a hobby that amounts to a mania—clocks." Wilson releases Kindler's former associate Meinike. Wilson follows Meinike to the United States, to the town of Harper, but loses him before he meets with Kindler. Kindler has assumed a new identity and is known locally as "Charles Rankin," and has become a prep school teacher, he is about to marry Mary Longstreet, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Adam Longstreet, is involved in repairing the town's 400-year-old Habrecht-style clock mechanism with religious automata that crowns the belfry of a church in the town square.
When Kindler and Meinike do meet, repentant, begs Kindler to confess his crimes. Instead, Kindler strangles Meinike. Wilson deduces that Rankin is Kindler, but not having witnessed the meeting with Meinike, he has no proof. Only Mary knows. To get her to admit this, Wilson must convince her that her husband is a criminal—before Rankin decides to eliminate the threat to him by killing her. Kindler's pose begins to unravel when the family dog, discovers Meinike's body. To further protect his secret, Kindler poisons Red. Meanwhile, Kindler's wife begins to suspect him, she is torn between her desire to learn the truth concerning her husband as a possible murderous monster and the idea of helping him create his new life. Mr. Wilson shows her graphic footage of Nazi concentration camps and explains how Kindler developed the idea of genocide. Not until Mary discovers Kindler's plot to kill her does she accept the truth, she dares her husband to kill her. Kindler tries. Pursued by them, he flees into the church belfry where he is impaled by the clock mechanism he labored to repair, falls to his death.
Edward G. Robinson as Mr. Wilson Loretta Young as Mary Longstreet Rankin Orson Welles as Franz Kindler known as Professor Charles Rankin Philip Merivale as Judge Adam Longstreet Richard Long as Noah Longstreet Konstantin Shayne as Konrad Meinike Byron Keith as Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence Billy House as Mr. Potter Martha Wentworth as Sara Isabel O'Madigan as Mrs. Lawrence Pietro Sosso as Mr. Peabody Erskine Sanford as Party Guest Theodore Gottlieb as Farbright Contemporary news items about the production add uncredited and unconfirmed cast members Neal Dodd, Nancy Evans, Fred Godoy, Joseph Granby, Ruth Lee, Lillian Molieri, Gabriel Peralta, Gerald Pierce, Robert Raison, Rebel Randall, Johnny Sands, Josephine Victor. Produced by Sam Spiegel, The Stranger was the last International Pictures Production distributed by RKO Pictures. Filming took place from late September to November 21, 1945, at Samuel Goldwyn Studios and Universal Studios; the film's musical score is by Bronisław Kaper. Spiegel planned to hire John Huston to direct The Stranger.
When Huston entered the military, Welles was given the chance to direct the film and prove himself able to make a film on schedule and under budget—something he was so eager to do that he accepted a disadvantageous contract. In September 1945 Welles and his wife Rita Hayworth signed a guarantee that Welles would owe International Pictures any of his earnings, from any source, above $50,000 a year if he did not meet his contractual obligations, he agreed to defer to the studio in any creative dispute. The Stranger was Welles's first job as a film director in four years. Editor Ernest J. Nims was given the power to cut any material he considered extraneous from the script before shooting began. "He was the great supercutter," Welles said, "who believed that nothing should be in a movie that did not advance the story. And since most of the good stuff in my movies doesn't advance the story at all, you can imagine what a nemesis he was to me."For directing and acting in The Stranger, Welles was to receive $2,000 a week plus $50,000 when the film was completed, a chance to sign a four-picture deal with International Pictures, making films of his own choosing.
Welles was given some degree of creative control. He worked on the general rewrite of the script, wrote all of the scenes in the drugstore, wrote scenes at the beginning of the picture that were shot but subsequently cut by Spiegel and executive producer William Goetz. Welles had endeavored to develop a nightmarish tone. There is uncertainty about how much of this material was shot and how much was removed; some scenes elaborated on Meinike's flight through Latin America, shadowed by an agent named Marvales and his wife, a woman in distinctive gold earrings, murdered by savage dogs kept by the Nazis-in-exile. A brief vestige of the sequence remains in the final release version. In a 1982 interview, Nims said 32 pages of the script were eliminated at his suggestion, including the first 16 pages. An early scene showing a meeting of Mary and Rankin was removed, she finds him in the woods, looking at the incongruous 16th century Gothic clock in the town square, tells him it was "brought by sailing ship