movie film review | chris tookey

Magnificent Ambersons

© RKO Radio Pictures Inc. - all rights reserved
  Magnificent Ambersons   Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
9.50 /10
Joseph Cotten (pictured left), Dolores Costello (pictured right), Agnes Moorehead
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Directed by: Orson Welles
Written by: Orson Welles, from Booth Tarkington's novel

Released: 1942
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: US
Length: 88


A proud family suffers several blows to its reputation.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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Wellesís drama exposing snobbery and selfishness in small-town America was generally, though not universally, panned on release, since when it has come to be considered a masterpiece. (A Sight & Sound poll of 1972 voted The Magnificent Ambersons into eighth position in its list of Best Films of All Time.) Welles's evocation of a gas-lit era is superb, as is the performance of Agnes Moorehead and Stanley Cortez's Oscar-nominated cinematography. But I find myself unmoved by it, and canít help wondering why Welles lavished such care upon remaking such a dull, small-scale story (it had previously been filmed in 1925, under the title Pampered Youth ). The ending is notably weak, having been tacked on by the studio while Welles was away in South America.

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