According to RayKelly, who posted his observations here at http://www.wellesnet.com/?p=302
, Stefan Drossler described the Graver cut of TOSOTW as "horrible". The entire post is worth reading especially for this tidbit:
Further, the film-within-a-film footage has no storyline and even Kodar could not explain it to him. Drossler says that, in his opinion, many of the people associated with the film have exaggerated their importance, whether it was their hands on involvement in the making of the movie or claiming Welles entrusted them with the completion of the film.
Kodar, Bogdanovich, Joseph McBride, and Graver all had differing opinions as to how much of the film-within-a-film was to be included in the final edit of TOSOTW, and here we learn that Kodar herself can't explain what this footage is about. And these are the people who were closest to Welles and the production of TOSOTW! They can't even agree on this fundamental point, yet we are supposed to believe that Welles left them detailed editing notes so that TOSOTW could be completed after his death! It's no wonder nothing has been accomplished in all these years.
I'm with Drossler; some people have exaggerated their importance. Bogdanovich is no editor; Verna Fields covered his butt for years, and when she stopped editing for him his career went into the toilet (replacing the talented Polly Platt with Cybill Shepherd was another bad career move). Welles would never have entrusted Bogdanovich to cut a second of his precious footage. If that fabled conversation ever took place, it was another one of Welles's supremely sardonic jokes.
From what I hear of the Graver cut, he strung together whatever sequences Welles had edited along with various rushes to give an indication of the sequencing. Quite frankly, I'm beginning to suspect that the cut footage we've witnessed (the party scene, the car scene, the projection room sequence, and the Paramount backlot stuff) was hastily assembled by Welles for the AFI screening; little if any serious editing was done by Welles afterwards. Most of that cut material is still fairly rough, and likely would have looked very different in a final Welles version.
By the 1980's, Welles was openly discussing releasing TOSOTW as an essay film, rather than as a straight narrative. While we will never have the version Welles would have made, Beatrice was right to demand that the Showtime reconstruction take the form of a documentary. That would be closer to her father's intentions than anything these people could cobble together.