Best Of UbuWeb: Orson Welles - One Man Band

The Orson Welles we remember best is the young genius at the top of his game: the Orson Welles who revolutionized film technique and narrative with Citizen Kane; the Orson Welles who literally had people running for their lives with The War Of The Worlds. One Man Band is a 90-minute documentary telling the story of an Orson Welles we don't remember nearly as well: a frustrated director who spent the last years of his life starting a wide range of exciting and ambitious projects only to watch them fall apart, one after the other.

It's a fascinating film, a behind-the-scenes look at the latter parts of Welles' career, relying heavily on interviews with his widowed partner — actress Oja Kodar — and tantalizing clips of the projects that never came to fruition: his one-man version of Moby Dick; a sea-bound thriller starring Jeanne Moreau; a narrative-twisting character piece with John Huston, Dennis Hopper and Peter Bogdanovich.

You can stream the entire 90 minutes of the film on UbuWeb here.


UbuWeb is one of our most favourite sites on the whole of the Internet, host to multimedia files from the history of the avant-garde. Visit it here. Or see all of our "Best Of UbuWeb" recommendations here.

Posted by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


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