You are going to read an article about the film director, Orson Welles. For questions 1-7 choose the answers (A, B, C or D) which you think the best according to the text.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of Hollywood’s most celebrated meeting places for people in the film business. It was here that film director Orson Welles met American journalist John Rosenbaum for a long overdue interview. Their six-hour meeting resulted in one of the finest biographies written about Welles. Rosenbaum’s book, published in the late 1970’s, has given us the clearest insight into a complex man.
Welles was born into a respectable middle-class family and became famous when he was a child, as a piano virtuoso. In his teens, his ambition was to be a painter but while he was in Ireland he took up acting to make a living. He then became an impressive theatre director, making a name for himself with stage productions such as “Julius Caesar”. But it was only after a successful period on the radio that Welles won a contract with RKO Pictures, beginning his career in the cinema.
Rosenbaum’s book suggests that all this may surprise people who think of Welles as, above all. The maker of Citizen Kane, the famous film which some critics still refer to as the best film ever made. It is the kind of film a director makes at the very end of his career. Citizen Kane
looks as though it has been made by somebody with a lifetime experience in the cinema.
There is no doubt that the film is remarkable. When it was made, Welles was inexperienced in the cinema and extremely young – he was only 25 when he started shooting the film. He was assisted by a skilled grew, Greg Toland, perhaps Hollywood’s best cameraman, volunteered to film it. Welles worked on the screen with the respected writer Herman Mankiewicz. He knew the editor and all the actors, and a good relationship between developed. He believed that the job of the director was slightly overrated and that the director must think of himself as “the servant of the actors and the story”.
Welles’ later films were never as successful as Citizen Kane. Critics felt other projects could not match the brilliance of his first film. This lack of success led Welles to feel that he had been rejected by the American public. He spent more time in Europe than in Hollywood, where he only made a few films. For these few he had to struggle to raise the money, because he was often viewed as a commercial failure. He became overweight and made money by acting in films he hated, yet he continued to bring a certain quality to everything he did. He died in California at the age of 70.
In the introduction to his book, Rosenbaum remarks that Welles was a fine talker with an excellent memory. He was a strange mix of modesty and arrogance. He was above all an actor just as surely as he was a director. And actors, of course, like talking about themselves. He was constantly saying things that surprised people. Sometimes his stories were not absolutely true, but they were always good stories. We are left with an image of Welles which reflects the way he wanted us to think of him: as a man of culture, intelligence and wit.
1. Rosenbaum’s book
A deals only with Welles’ early life.
B is critical of Welles’ character.
C creates a memorable portrait of Welles.
D concentrates on Welles’ time in Hollywood.
2. Why are some people surprised by details of Orson Welles’ early career?
A They are generally unaware of his various artistic achievements.
B They don’t realize he made “Citizen Kane”.
C They assume he made “Citizen Kane” at the age of twenty.
D They believe he came from a poor family.
3. At twenty-five, Welles
A was an inexperienced actor.
B was extremely overweight.
C had yet to move into the theatre.
D had yet to complete his first film.
4. A good relationship existed between Orson and his actors because
A everyone was expertly trained.
B he was already well acquainted with them.
C he rarely lost his temper.
D he enjoyed being overrated.
5. Welles thought a director should
A be respected.
B be treated like royalty.
C not consider himself too important.
D be talented.
6. The quality of his first achievement meant that
A his later projects were always successful.
B his later projects tended to be judged harshly.
C he lost his respect for actors.
D he felt he was too highly regarded later.
7. Which of the following does NOT apply to Welles?
A He was both an actor and a film director.
B He was both modest and arrogant.
C He was a good conversationalist.
D He was a constant liar.
You are going to read some information about some films. For questions 8-21 choose from the titles (A-G). Some of the titles may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order. There is an example at the beginning (0).
Which film would you recommend to someone who:
likes action films? 0 ___ C
enjoys rock music? 8 ___
likes stories about space? 9 ___
wants to watch an old-time show? 10 ___
likes detective films? 11 ___
enjoys stories about kidnapping? 12 ___
likes horror films? 13 ___
wants to listen to some music? 14 ___ 15 ___
likes crime stories? 16 ___ 17 ___
enjoys films about surgery? 18 ___ 19 ___
likes long films? 20 ___
likes romance? 21 ___
What to Watch
The Eddie Holbrook Show A
This show is in black and white, it is full of nostalgia and memories of the past and features three famous celebrities. When this show was recorded the voices of both Eddie Holbrook and Frank Fisher were at their best, and together with Eddie Holbrook’s Cantors jokes this could well be called a collector’s item. There are commercial breaks featuring the stars themselves making the tape both entertaining and unusual. It also features several other stars of the time, including Ronnie Russell and Ronald Arion who together sing some of his songs like “Make Believe”, “Over the Rainbow” and Frank joins in with “Come rain and Shine” resulting in some truly unforgettable moments.
Roland is obsessed with money. He tries all kinds of ways to make it, but he’s only interested if he can get it easily. When he and his girlfriend Lucy take a baby-sitting job for a wealthy lady he decides that a lot of money can be made by kidnapping. Ronald holds the children to ransom and asks their father Richard Banks for $ 200,000 for the safe return of his children. Richard gets the money from his ex-wife, but has other ideas for its use. It would appear that just about everybody has money on their mind and will do anything to get it. An adventure film with a difference, it will keep you entertained – for three hours! Not a film for the restless.
Dynamite Johnny is a young boy who has suffered a serious injury to his legs. His only hope of returning to normality is to have an operation which will give him super human powers. His aunt is a government agent who is trying to find a man who wants to rule the world. Together they have several adventures, helped by Johnny’s super powers, as they try to save the world from the evil madman.