Dear Oscar: You seem to be of two minds about CRADLE WILL ROCK, but I'll take your second one. Like my first experience with MYSTIC RIVER, I was disappointed with CRADLE WILL ROCK (for similar reason: the characterizations of Welles and Houseman), but I came back to it, and of course, when I recognized what Robbins was getting at, his vision of the commodification of the Popular Arts, I came to accept it, as you may have read in my review of it at Epinions.
And I agree with both you and Blunted, that Houseman's account was splendid. Perhaps a combination of Welles' screenplay and Houseman's account would have been ideal for CRADLE WILL ROCK.
As far as Welles value as a screenwriter, Blunted, I expect that the evidence will show that he was great in envisioning concepts and probably pretty good with dialogue, but that his methods were those of one who, at his best, "improved" the drafts of others, whether on the stage, in radio, or in movies and TV. He was experimental in the best sense of the word, but not, perhaps a finished creative writer. In prose, perhaps the essay was his forte, which he seemed to move toward from the mid-1940's on, in essays, political speeches and columns. Sorry that you find them boring, Blunted, but you should cut Welles a little slack for taking up subjects like "Civil Rights" or the growth of monopolies that few in the popular arts or mainstream politics and journalism risked pounding away at, as he did.
Yes, Blunted, "Jabberwocky" is a poem by Lewis Carroll -- the guy who wrote Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. It appears in one of those sections, I can't remember which, off hand.
Sorry that you couldn't cut my review of THE BIG BRASS RING (or others I have cited here, for that matter). Most of my Epinions reviews can not take into account the interests of cults. The management "pays" me to give information, make judgments, and provide connections. They are not interested in formal essays. In the case of THE BIG BRASS RING, however, I believe, at least I hoped, that you would notice a departure. The theme of the review is the theme of F FOR FAKE, and all Welles' later work: the dual importance and irrelevance of a name on a piece of work or in a human being's life. Certainly, that theme of Welles' as appilied in THE BIG BRASS RING, is a "poignant" one. And I humbly believe, that in this case, my review comes close to being a formal essay on that poignant subject.
In my CRADLE WILL ROCK review, my defense is that I only added recently what I had learned here in the Forum about Beatrice Welles' litigiousness. If I am to believe accounts of the actions her lawyer has filed on picayunish matters related to the Welles Estate, I should think that the fear of being held up over the title of a docudrama on the production of a play, which Welles directed, and in which he is depicted, might have worried Robbins. Law suits have been filed and won over the addition or deletion of an article adjective in a title copywrighted by someone else. In this case, there would also have been the Marc Blitzstein estate to worry about.
Not so wild a nightmare.
But I agree with you, Blunted, that almost anonymous writer of additional dialogue for movies, Bill Shakespeare, writes pretty good word play in CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT. Right up there with Herman J. Mankiewicz.
Meanwhile, why don't the three of us collaborate on a screenplay entitled, "Craddle Will Rock." Peter Bogdanovich might announce that he was considering being our director, and it would throw Beatrice off the track while he and Frank Marshall complete THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.
All the best.