Mr. Arkadin (The Comprehensive Version)

Synopsis: Orson Welles’s Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report) tells the story of an elusive billionaire who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a Cold War European landscape. The film’s history is also marked by this vertigo. There are at least eight Mr. Arkadins: three radio plays, a novel, several long-lost cuts, and the controversial European release known as Confidential Report. Criterion gathered all of these elements to create this landmark box set – which also includes outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, and a new comprehensive version of the film – at last unraveling one of cinema’s great mysteries.

Mr. Arkadin (The Comprehensive Version) 7.5

I don’t know the history of this film, aside from the fact that it was much maligned and that Orson Welles was devastated by what happened to his film. This accounts for the fact that the DVD version is culled from various sources of varying quality, the bad overdubs, …etc.

I will need to read up on this one to get perspective, but, as it stands, it’s an intriguing concept that’s only executed relatively well. It’s hardly a masterwork. But it’s nonetheless film history, especially in light of all the troubles Welles had making his films.

What do you think?

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