Joe Dante on Orson Welles MR. ARKADIN trailer
"A stranger staggers to his death... But his secret does not die with him!"
So begins the elusive trailer for
Orson Welles MR. ARKADIN
Thanks to Joe Dante and his exciting new online site, TRAILERS FROM HELL, it can be viewed here:
Joe Dante began his career in the sixties as a writer for Castle of Frankenstein magazine, whose publisher emeritus was Charles Foster Kane, so there can be little doubt of his great admiration for the work of Orson Welles. Mr. Dante will be turning 60 this week (on November 28), and it's safe to say he's been a film fan for at least the last 50 years.
However, Dante actually began his filmmaking career in the trailer dept. of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, and as a trailer editor, he amassed a huge collection of previews from many classic and not so classic films. He recently began the fabulous online site, TRAILERS FROM HELL, possibly the first site of it's kind devoted exclusively to movie trailers.
Dante and his many filmmaker friends, including John Landis, Rick Baker, Larry Cohen and Sam Hamm, have provided optional commentary on the trailers from his extensive collection, and there are now over 50 trailers online which you can view.
The trailer for Welles' MR. ARKADIN, which IS NOT on the Criterion DVD, but which Joe would have been happy to have made available to Criterion (if only they had made the effort to ask), is online at:
Of course, as most Welles fans know, there are many different versions of MR. ARKADIN that were prepared and released throughout the world, and now we have a new question to ponder. Who exactly prepared the MR. ARKADIN trailer?
Was it Warner Bros. who had the rights for the film in England and most of Europe? If so, why would they use the MR. ARKADIN title, instead of the title they chose, CONFIDENTIAL REPORT? In any case, it apears that in America, Warners did not have the rights to the film, where it was not released until Dan Talbot's New Yorker Films picked it up in 1962.
It seems unlikely that Warners prepared this trailer, since if they did it would presumably feature their preferred title, CONFIDENTIAL REPORT. So from whence did this trailer come? Ah, another Welles mystery, just waiting to be untangled.
Joe Dante also noted that the trailer for MR. ARKADIN that you will see at TRAILERS FROM HELL, is unfortunately missing the last few seconds, when a title card for MR. ARKADIN should be displayed.
Dante launched TRAILERS FROM HELL with a couple of parties in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and told me at the San Francisco bash in October that apparently Orson Welles nephew, or more accurately a nephew of Palo Mori, is now hard at work on the final editing of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND in Los Angeles for Showtime. It seems this work is being carried out in the offices right down the hall from where Joe shoots his TRAILERS FROM HELL commentaries, and that most of the footage from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND has now been sent back to Los Angeles from the vault in Paris where it has been in storage for the last 30 years. Joe asked Welles's nephew about the progress on the project, but was told next to nothing, as there seems to be a complete blackout at this time on any information on the film, presumably in case the film is deemed by Showtime executives as "unshowable."