My jaw dropped while reading this review, which appeared online today in the the Vancouver Sun. This a major goof by their DVD/film critic: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Orson+Welles+classics+restored/5968431/story.html
New on DVD: Orson Welles classics restored - The Magnificent Ambersons, Citizen Kane lovingly re-tooledThe Magnificent Ambersons: Four stars out of five
—Long considered the cinematic equivalent of a live lobotomy, the hatchet edit on Magnificent Ambersons
was considered a legendary crime against art. After the studio demanded huge revisions, and director Orson Welles left town for Brazil, the footage ended up in the hands of Robert Wise (The Sound of Music
). Wise was forced to cut several minutes, and, eventually, huge swaths of the original version, without Welles' approval. The resulting film felt half-finished, and because the edited portions were permanently lost, most cineastes figured this sophomore feature from the man who made Citizen Kane would never be whole again. This new cut can't be considered a true restoration, because some elements are gone forever, but it does give any Welles fan a great feeling for the kind of movie he was trying to make.
A stylish examination of old money, new money and the arrogance of entitlement, The Magnificent Ambersons
features the best work you'll ever see from Agnes Moorehead — who would (famously) go on to be Endora from Bewitched
. Moorehead plays the interloping aunt Fanny, a jealous woman who tries to sabotage everyone else's happiness so she can feel better about herself. The production design is spectacular, the dialogue is rich, and the acting top notch, allowing plenty of room for forgiveness in the face of history's errors. Special features are a disappointment. There is none, except for subtitles in English and Spanish.