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Thumbnail for The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Basics Critics:87Viewers:76Rusty:77
Category: DramaNotable as: Family DramaSub-Category: Family Drama, Black-and-white, DramaRuntime: 88 - 148 minutesColor: black-and-white filmLanguage: EnglishCountry: United StatesDirector: Orson Welles, Robert WiseScreenwriter: Orson WellesBased on: The Magnificent AmbersonsMusic: Bernard HerrmannCinematography: Stanley Cortez, Russell Metty, Orson WellesStars: Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, Richard Bennett, Orson Welles, Don Dillaway, Nancy GatesProducer: Orson WellesStudio: RKO Pictures, Mercury TheatreAwards won: National Film RegistryAward nominations: Academy Award for Best Art Direction, Black and White
Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Stanley Cortez)
Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Agnes Moorehead)
Award details: (details at IMDb)
Description

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1942 American period drama, the second feature film produced and directed by Orson Welles. Welles adapted Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1918 novel, about the declining fortunes of a proud Midwestern family and the social changes brought by the automobile age. The film stars Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter, Tim Holt, Agnes Moorehead and Ray Collins, with Welles providing the narration. Welles lost control of the editing of The Magnificent Ambersons to RKO, and the final version released to audiences differed significantly from his rough cut of the film. More than an hour of footage was cut by the studio, which also shot and substituted a happier ending. Although Welles' extensive notes for how he wished the film to be cut have survived, the excised footage was destroyed. Composer Bernard Herrmann insisted his credit be removed when, like the film itself, his score was heavily edited by the studio. Even in the released version, The Magnificent Ambersons is often regarded as among the best U.S. films ever made, a distinction it shares with Welles' first film, Citizen Kane.


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