No Magnificence: Welles’s “The Magnificent Ambersons”

The Magnificent Ambersons (film)
The Magnificent Ambersons (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George, the young man played by Tim Holt in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), is not only a cad but a fool as well.  Maybe, just maybe, he’ll learn not to be callous to the father of the girl he desires to marry.

This Orson Welles picture is quite unlikely—and quite thin too.  Unlike other Old Hollywood films, however, it has a strong tragic dimension (similar to that in Citizen Kane) and its visual artistry still pleases.  The best thing about it is that uncommon air of mystery mentioned in 1963 by William Pechter.  It’s a classic, but needed to be far better.

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