What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?

Orson Welles is nothing short of an icon from Hollywood’s Golden Age. An innovator and highly regarded director and actor, Welles left a huge impression upon film and radio. While much has been written about Welles’s storied career, What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career by Joseph McBride offers a fascinating portrayal of this giant of classic cinema.

McBride, who knew Welles himself as an actor in The Other Side of the Wind (2018), examines Welles’s life and career in addition to putting his time in the United States as well as his later years into context. This edition serves as an update to a preceding version, including an additional chapter that examines The Other Side of the Wind–which was finally completed in 2018. Additionally, this edition discussed his rediscovered film Too Much Johnson (1938).

Along with these intriguing updates, McBride’s work reinterprets Welles’s life and works in a more complete manner, as well as offering insights into the end of his Hollywood career in addition to his blacklisting and period of exile.

What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? is a must-read for fans of Welles, classic film, and film history.


What Ever Happened to Orson Welles?: A Portrait of an Independent Career is available for purchase via the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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