N Y Times Book Review of “Hello Americans”
The New York Times Sunday Book Review weighs in on Simon Callow's "Hello Americans" with an interesting piece by Gary Giddins.� Mr. Giddins makes some excellent points, and we can also be�quite thankful The Times didn't ask Charles Higgham or David Thomson to review the book.� In fact, The Times review serves as quite a refreshing anidote to the toxic piece written in last Sunday's� L A Times by Richard Schickel.� �
SURVIVING "CITIZEN KANE"�
By GARY GIDDINS��
What is it about Orson Welles that drives his chroniclers around the bend? Each emerges from the great man�s messy life and messier legacy convinced that he or she has found the explanatory Rosebud. The mystery they feel obliged to explain is not how Welles survived as an independent filmmaker, creating remarkable films that were not mutilated by producers; but rather, why the erstwhile genius of radio, theater and movies, friend to presidents and champion of civil rights ended up as an obese TV pitchman for cheap wine. Welles�s biographers mingle like the sharks in �The Lady From Shanghai,� devouring one another.�The reputation of his onetime colleague John Houseman has receded from that of a mighty producer, professional elitist and financial investment shill to that of an unreliable memoirist with an ax planted in Welles�s skull. Pauline Kael�s �Raising Kane� cashiered any respect she might have earned as a scholar, not because she got so many facts wrong but because she refused to correct or acknowledge them. In his psychological broadside �Rosebud,� David Thomson expressed the wish that Welles�s �Don Quixote� not be released because, given its �tattered� legend, �actual screenings would be so deflating.� The British critic Clinton Heylin has written a defense of Welles, �Despite the System,� that is so violently ill mannered as to render his good research indigestible.
Complete review here:� Surviving Citizen Kane �