Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Watch This: Orson Welles' Complete 1979 Variety Show Pilot


Made in 1978 and 1979 as an attempt to land a network deal, this ORSON WELLES SHOW pilot is more cheaply made than most talk shows, it is shot with one camera, with patently staged audience participation and a laugh track. It's really weird. Welles directed it and his special gifts of direction and on screen presence are evident throughout.

Welles called in favors from guests Burt Reynolds, Angie Dickinson, Jim Henson and the Muppets. Strange as it is, it is no train wreck. We can tell we're in the hands of a genius. It's very special and as far as I know this is the first time it has been available in its entirety.

I recommend starting at about 59:40 and watching the ending of the show first, to get a feel for Welles' peculiar vision of the show, and then going back and watching the interviews later.

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