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1,812 Ratings

The Magnificent Ambersons

Directed by Orson Welles
United States, 1942
Drama, Romance


The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

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The Magnificent Ambersons Directed by Orson Welles

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1943 | 4 nominations including: Best Picture

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1942 | Winner: Best Actress

National Film Preservation Board

1991 | Winner: National Film Registry

By means of his deliberate pacing, his recurrent narration, his august surfaces, his extraordinary actors with their measured language and rigorous protocol, Welles situates the viewer in a time, a place, and a condition of life, managing the kind of deep immersion that is more often accomplished by the slow accretion of prose than by the staccato dynamism of cinema.
November 27, 2018
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The film’s symbolic index remains merciless, even as its characters struggle to redeem their devastating insight into their system of mutual assured destruction. . . . Is there any director who simultaneously loves and loathes his characters as much as Welles does in Ambersons? He demolishes them like Stanley Kubrick; he adores them like Jean Renoir.
November 27, 2018
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Much would of course be lost in RKO’s edit, but even in its surviving form, the film is a stunning demonstration of Welles’s genius for pinpointing the most expressive moments in the original text, while letting others go by.
November 27, 2018
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