I'll try to use this thread to compare the three movie versions of Mr. Arkadin, and I'll try to avoid repeating things that are already in the Rosenbaum Article. Who knows when I'll really have time to go through all three films, but I'll try to list things as I think of them. Here are a few things off the top of my head:
1. The Corinth Arkadin is closer in form to the Public Domain version. This may seem shocking, but it's not as bad as it sounds once we realize what is different between these two versions. I'll leave Confidential Report out for the moment:
a. Take the public domain version and flesh it out a bit. One of the reasons the PD version is so choppy is that the "editors" of it seemd to have taken the Corinth version and cut out all suggestions of flashbacks. Both the Corinth and PD versions begin the same way, with the text, the plane flying, and the cast pics. The only difference here is that Akim's clip comes first in the Corinth Version and second-to-last in the PD version, since it goes by order of appearance. I wonder why the PD "choppers" took the time to swap the clips, since it seems they didn't take the time to do much else by way of continuity.
b. The final part of the opening credit sequence in both films involve footage of Van Stratten approaching the building Zouk is in. When the credits finish in the PD version, it cuts abruptly to the Bracco on the dock sequence. The Corinth Version continues the Zouk introduction sequence with Van Stratten entering the attic apartment and finding a near comotose Zouk staring off into space.
c. Such is the case with the PD version all throughout. Generally, the Corinth version periodically fades back to the attic scene where Van Stratten and Zouk banter. This ties the narrative together. PD cuts even the fades, so the edits between sequences are mega-abrupt. This is also the reason I believe the PD cutters used the already-edited Corinth version as a template, whereas the Confidential Report version was edited from raw footage.
2. The oddest thing about the Corinth version, and the reason why I understand how people like Jaime M. prefer the Confidential Report version is the option, by Welles presumably, to overdub narration over actual dialogue. Confidential Report uses the dialogue track, while the other two versions use the overdubbed narration. For the PD version this is horrid, since the editing is butchered anyway. When I realized that the Corinth Version did the same thing, at first I was confused, but then I realized:
a. When placed in the context of the flashback style, with periodic returns to Van Stratten and Zouk, the narration doesn't seem out of place at all. It actually pulls the whole piece tighter. We are continually reminded that this story is being told to Zouk, where in the PD version, it seems like sloppy editing and story construction.
b. Likewise, in the CR version, since there's less narration, and we only begin and end the entire flashback with the attic scene, we forget that the story is being told to Zouk.
Okay, I haven't even gotten started, and I've written a bunch. I'll have to watch the openings of each movie again to continue. I hope people are interested in this. Let me know.