Read Screenplay for Orson Welles' Unfinished Project 'The Dreamers' Online
In his “boy wonder” days, Orson Welles staged nationally-recognized productions of Macbeth while still a teenager, frightened the country half to death with The War of The Worlds, produced/wrote/directed/starred in Citizen Kane at the age of 25, and then went into a slow, decades-long decline — struggling to find financing and autonomy from a Hollywood that was, to say the least, wary of him. The man had a career unlike anyone else. Welles had countless unfinished projects — among them The Dreamers, an adaptation of 2 short stories that he tried to make near the end of his career in the early 80s. The screenplay of this partially made film has become available to download, and it’s required reading for any Wellesophile, or anyone interested in great movies.
A bit of background from Cinephilia and Beyond:
Welles shot 20 minutes of 35mm footage based on the screenplay, using his Hollywood home as the set for the film. Welles never acquired financial backing for this project and a full production of The Dreamers never came to fruition. The surviving footage is archived in Germany’s Munich Filmmuseum, and it has been made public in several film festivals and retrospectives of Welles’ work. Parts of the footage were included in the documentary Orson Welles: The One-Man Band and as a special feature on the Criterion DVD release of Welles’ 1973 feature F for Fake.
Here’s the screenplay to The Dreamers:
What do you make of the story Orson Welles never got to finish filming? Was Welles mistreated by Hollywood, or simply too difficult to work with? What lessons do you think his long, troubled career could teach an indie filmmaker?