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With: Orson Welles, Miguel Ferrer (narrator)
Written by: Richard Wilson, Myron Meisel, Bill Krohn, Orson Welles
Directed by: Richard Wilson, Myron Meisel, Bill Krohn, Orson Welles
MPAA Rating: G
Language: English
Running Time: 85
Date: 10/15/1993

It's All True (1993)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Alls Welles That Ends Well

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

As part of the "Good Neighbor Policy" of WWII, Orson Welles was appointed an "ambassador" to Brazil in 1942 and was commissioned to shoot a three-part film that captured the spirit of the country. Unfortunately, a regime change at RKO shut the film down, and simultaneously sabotaged the editing of The Magnificent Ambersons, which had been receiving mixed audience test scores. This fascinating 1993 documentary unearths and reconstructs much of the footage that Welles shot, including black-and-white and Technicolor footage of Carnivale as well as the tale of the four fishermen who sailed 1600 miles on a raft seeking fair treatment from the government. Most of the footage was shot without sound, and so filmmakers Richard Wilson, Myron Meisel and Bill Krohn whip up new music and sound effects to fill in the blanks; the mixture of old and new can be a bit jarring, but it still works. The filmmakers also journey to South America for modern interviews with any surviving cast members and/or their children. Welles himself tells the story in archival footage. If only a documentary like this one existed for every unfinished Welles film. (Full title: It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles.)

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