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Mainstream - The Magnificent Ambersons

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The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Tim Holt
Directed by Orson Welles
Warner Home Video

The 70th anniversary of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane brings some attention to his second movie, The Magnificent Ambersons.  Although many have the same high regard for this film, it is not really all that special aside from the cinematography. This could be because Welles’ version of the film is not what RKO released and what has survived. This classic film DVD is more for Orson Welles fans than anyone else.

The Magnificent Ambersons is the story of George Amberson Minifer. George is raised as a spoiled brat by his mother, father, and rich uncle. This will eventually have dramatic consequences.

The movie really begins when an adult George (Holt) comes back to Indianapolis after college. He meets Lucy Morgan and falls for her. Lucy is the daughter of his mother Isabel’s first beau, a man she still has feelings for. After Mr. Minifer dies, Isabel and auto inventor Eugene Morgan pick up their romance but George disapproves of it and gets in the way. His feelings for Lucy are secondary to his desire to keep his mother away from Eugene Morgan.

It is doubtfulThe Magnificent Ambersons would be receiving much attention was it not an Orson Welles movie.

Kane fans will be amused to see that on the left hand side of the newspaper about George’s accident there is a theater review by Jed Leland.

 Citizen Kane 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray:

Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology