|Orson Welles directing Too Much Johnson in lower Manhattan around 1938.|
Huh? Orson Welles? The guy whose "first film" Citizen Kane made movie history in 1941?
It was reported today that an early effort by Welles, Too Much Johnson, has been recovered in Italy and is currently being restored. The 40 minutes of footage shot in 1938 was to be shown as part of a live theatrical performance, an early mixed-media event. The show closed out of town, the editing of the film was never quite completed, and what was thought to be the only copy was lost in a fire. But here's the intriguing part, at least for this blog. According to the NY Times...
Each act of the play... was to begin with a film segment. The first (and most nearly completed in the rediscovered print) was a chase across Lower Manhattan shot in the style of a silent comedy, complete with Keystone Kop-like pursuers, a suffragist parade to barrel through and Cotten tottering on the edge of a skyscraper like Harold Lloyd in “Safety Last.”
We'll have to wait until October for the first screening, but you can read the whole article here.