Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life by Peter Conrad - review by Sheridan Morley

Sheridan Morley

Some Kind Of A Man

Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life


Faber & Faber 384pp £20 order from our bookshop

How MANY BOOKS do we really need on Orson Welles? On my shelves alone there are three filmographic studies plus six and a halfbiographies, the halfbecause we are still awaiting Volume Two of the Simon Callow epic, getting on for five years after the publication of Volume One. And still they come, thudding off the presses with all the weight and bulk and sonority of the old magician himself, who would surely have been delighted to know that he would be so heavily chronicled almost twenty years after his death hm a heart attack at the age of seventy.

But why do we seem to care excessively .about Welles? How many books are there on Sydney Greenstreet, an infinitely more sinister and heavyweight screen villain, or how manv on directors like Carol I Reed, whh helped Welles to be Harry Lime and went on to far fewer failures than

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