The best scene from Orson Welles’s DON QUIXOTE & “The Most Beautiful Six Minutes in the History of Cinema”(2 Chicago Reader blog posts, 2007)
The best scene from Orson Welles’s Don Quixote
Posted By Jonathan Rosenbaum on 10.14.07 at 07:37 PM
I hope I can be forgiven for promoting a piece of my own promotion. It seems worth doing in this case because an hour-long interview with me by Mara Tapp about my latest book, Discovering Orson Welles, taped for CAN TV19 and showing on Sunday, October 21, at 5 PM and then again on Monday, October 22, at noon, entitled “Unseen Orson Welles,” includes a silent, five-minute sequence (scroll down article to four paragraphs before the end) from Orson Welles’ unfinished Don Quixote that is arguably the greatest sequence he shot for the film, even though it can’t be found in the execrable version cobbled together by Jesus Franco in 1992. It was shot in the mid-1950s in Mexico City, during the postproduction of Touch of Evil. It’s set in a movie theater, features child actress Patty McCormack as herself, Francesco Riguera (see photo) as Quixote, and Akim Tamiroff (perhaps Welles’s favorite character actor, who also appears in Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil, and The Trial) as Sancho Panza, and is fully edited by Welles.
“The Most Beautiful Six Minutes in the History of Cinema”
Posted By Jonathan Rosenbaum on 10.18.07 at 11:58 PM
Thanks to Reader webmaster Whet Moser, here’s a scene from Welles’s Don Quixote, preceded by a few comments from me from an upcoming interview, “Unseen Orson Welles.” As I mention in the last chapter of my book, contrary to the claim of some Italian critics that this sequence is derived from the attack on several windmills in Part 1, Chapter 8 of the Cervantes novel, I think it can be traced more plausibly back to Quixote’s attack on a puppet theater in Part 2, Chapter 26 — although, as with other scenes in Welles’s film, it’s a very free adaptation.