Jeanne Moreau appeared in four films that Orson Welles directed:
Chimes At Midnight
The Immortal Story
Which is why I wonder why there has been no documentary about Miss Moreau, focused on her work with Welles.
They also both appeared as actors in Tony Richardson's The Sailor From Gibraltar, during a break in the filming of The Deep.
I would think some enterprising French Cineastes would have done multiple projects on this rich vein by now, but as far as I know there has been no film about Welles work in France, or with Miss Moreau, who is still with us, and could easily provide us with a wonderful documentary on Welles, just talking about her experiences in working with him on the five films they made together. In addition, she narrated the French version of It's All True.
Moreau was also usually happy to appear in a Welles film whenever he called on her, although after some "tension" on the set of The Deep between Oja Kodar and Moreau, she apparently turned down Welles request that she appear in The Other Side of the Wind.
Here are some of Miss Moreau's own comments about working with Orson Welles. Their first film together was The Trial, and from Miss Moreau's account, it appears they were both slightly drunk when they discovered one of the key settings that was used in The Trial
Q: When did you know you wanted to direct movies?
JEANNE MOREAU: The desire grew inside of me gradually. I always loved filmmaking, not just my part but also all the other parts. The first person I spoke with about it was Orson Welles. And I must say that to allow myself to speak up, I got a little drunk. We were in the Hotel Meurice in Paris, and the windows of his apartment overlooked the Gare d' Orsay, with its big clock. He was getting ready to film Kafka's The Trial, and he was looking for locations. We were discussing possibilities; he was drunk, too, and he said, "My, look at the full moon, so near." And there I was, drunk, and I said, "No, it's not the moon. It's the big clock of Orsay Station." So he said, "Let's go over there and see what the place looks like." And that's how he found one of his locations. And then I said, "Listen. Orson, you know what? I want to be a director. I want to write a script and I want to play in it! "He said, "Do it, girl. Do it!" And walking back to the hotel, he said, "Well, listen, I'm a little drunk, but you know, seriously, I think you ought to do it. Wait a little more, until it becomes painful. And when it's painful, you'll know that you have to go forward." And that's what happened. Voila. In fact, I've discovered that once your desire is so strong, you overcome the fear. The fear has to do with the ego. When you overcome that fear, it's easier to convince people, because you are convinced yourself.
I've been asked many, many times about being a woman director—wasn't it very, very difficult to find the money, to deal with men and a man's world? It was difficult to deal with when it was difficult for me to deal with it. Whoever you are, men or women, as long as your passion is there, you get what you want.
Now, compare Moreau's comments to what Welles said about making The Trial. Strangely enough, he leaves Jeanne Moreau out of his recollections completely, but it is almost exactly the same story as she relates.
ORSON WELLES: We shot for two weeks in Paris with the plan of going immediately to Yugoslavia where our sets would be ready. On Saturday evening at 6 o'clock, the news came that the sets not only weren't ready, but the construction on them hadn't even begun! Now, there were no sets, nor were there any studios available to build sets in Paris. It was Saturday and on Monday we we're to be shooting in Zagreb! We had to cancel everything, and apparently to close down the picture. I was living at the Hotel Meurice on the Tuilleries, pacing up and down in my bedroom, looking out of the window. Now I'm not such a fool as to not take the moon very seriously, and I saw the moon from my window, very large, what we call in America a harvest moon. Then, miraculously there were two of them. Two moons, like a sign from heaven! On each of the moons there were numbers and I realized that they were the clock faces of the Gare d'Orsay. I remembered that the Gare d'Orsay was empty, so at 5 in the morning I went downstairs, got in a cab, crossed the city and entered this empty railway station where I discovered the world of Kafka. The offices of the advocate, the law court offices, the corridors-- a kind of Jules Verne modernism that seems to me quite in the taste of Kafka. There it all was, and by 8 in the morning I was able to announce that we could shoot for seven weeks there. If you look at many of the scenes in the movie that were shot there, you will notice that not only is it a very beautiful location, but it is full of sorrow, the kind of sorrow that only accumulates in a railway station where people wait. I know this sounds terribly mystical, but really a railway station is a haunted place. And the story is all about people waiting, waiting, waiting for their papers to be filled. It is full of the hopelessness of the struggle against bureaucracy. Waiting for a paper to be filled is like waiting for a train, and it's also a place of refugees. People were sent to Nazi prisons from there, Algerians were gathered there, so it's a place of great sorrow. Of course, my film has a lot of sorrow too, so the location infused a lot of realism into the film.