This is a special mini-blog entry…
WELLES-FEST PART 2(b)
I’ve had a couple of items brought to my attention since posting WELLES-FEST PART 2 (read that HERE if you haven’t already) on Wednesday.
1. I mistakenly referred to Agnes Moorehead’s character as Fanny Amberson instead of Fanny Minafer. I’m not sure why I did that, but it’s proof that checking your own article as many as 5 times isn’t enough.
2. “Ambersons” expert Roger L. Ryan posted this clarification in regards to my criticism of the ending. I think it’s pretty informative and should be passed on…
“It’s interesting that you note that George’s character disappears from the current finale to the film. In fact, George was not seen after the car accident in Welles’ initial cut either! Originally, Eugene visits George in the hospital (off-camera), then stops by the boarding house where he clumsily describes his mystical experience of sensing Isabel’s presence to a very unresponsive Fanny.
The disruption of George’s character arc actually occurs earlier in the film when we lose many of the moments that show what motivates George’s actions (fear of losing his financial and social standing; Lucy rejecting him). The re-sequencing of his final scenes hurts as well since we are meant to see that his attempts to provide for Fanny and take on the job in the dynamite factory come AFTER he breaks down at his dead mother’s bedside. By moving the “comeuppance” scene to near the film’s end, we don’t immediately recognize that George is attempting to turn his life around in his final scene with Fanny and with Bronson the lawyer.”
As someone who spends a disproportionate amount of their waking hours editing, I find this pretty fascinating. I agree with pretty much everything Roger says there. I think the skeleton for George trying to redeem himself is in the final version. It’s just that with the way things are sequenced, it isn’t as effective.
I also forgot to mention a pretty cool site about the movie itself. If you get a chance check out www.ambersons.com. It has a goodly amount of information.
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