Even if the movie was cut down and almost destroyed by a crazy film-producer with no creative mind this is a fantastic drama with excellent acting and memorable imagery. This Orson Welles movie is another of his many overlooked gems that get overshadowed by "Citizen Kane" by many critics which is disappointing since it is a masterpiece even if the ending was changed by the studio.
Cette saga familiale racontant la passion d'Eugène Morgan pour la belle Isabel Amberson, lui préférant le ténébreux Wilbur Minafer, durait à l'origine plus de 2 heures. Devant la "bouderie" du public, les producteurs le réduisirent à la durée actuelle, au grand dam d'Orson Welles. Après la naissance d'un fils (George) et la mort de Wilbur, le mariage d'Eugène, le "couple" se retrouve lors d'un bal. www.cinefiches.com
Re-rating this a 5 after seeing a gorgeous print at the Metrograph. The Magnificent Ambersons is so notorious as a butchered, incomplete film that we shouldn't forget to appreciate that what remains on screen is still brilliant. One of the most beautiful films about the passing of time, and how the world will move out from under you no matter how stubbornly you try to stay in place.
A haunting and beautiful film and, in a lesser way, a frustrating one. The studio butchering applied to a narration that is already elliptical, concentrating information in dense bits of dialogue makes for a viewing that feels like bumping along the story. Of course, this can agree with the description of a group of characters that become more alienated and melancholic with the passage of time.
Under most cases, I would mark this four stars because of Amberson's reputation as one of the most compromised films in history and that we will never see Welles' original version...but what we have is SO good and SO accomplished...it's easy to overlook any omissions. Is it Citizen Kane. Not in the slightest. Is it still one of the best American films ever made? Without question.
saw it the second time tonight in the theater. Now I really wish that I could see the original version. I'm not completely in love with it, but there's something about it that attracts me. Note to self so I will remember what I thought about it tonight: (other characters) son -> mother + sacrifice = doom. A dark and ironic view of human destiny and relationships.
As much as I crave to see the full-length version of The Magnificent Ambersons, the one we’ve got is perhaps the ultimate testament to Welles’s genius. It makes a defiant, if unintentional, statement: ‘Look, despite it all, I've made a masterpiece.’ The soul of true art can be lessened, but never removed. The Magnificent Ambersons is still in many ways Welles' most impressive film.
An additional viewing has made me appreciate the film on a brand new level, as I decided to ignore that which could have been and embrace the masterpiece in front of me. Even the short ending is kinda forgivable .With Citizen Kane, Welles was a child who was giddy with excitement for the possibilities of cinema, but with this film he learned to use his tools more sparingly and effectively and thus became a master.
I know it's truncated and all the history behind it, but I still judge a film for what it is. Ambersons has a good opening that is filled with incredibly, ridiculous humor. However, the movie descends into a greatest hits of relentless melodrama in which the humor goes to die. Though, I loved this line. "What do you study at university?" "College."