Did everyone see this website make the wires?
The star of the remake of Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, which supposedly employed Welles' original script and shooting notes, has expressed her dismay over the outcome of the project. Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans, The General's Daughter), who portrays Isabel Amberson Minafer in the three-part miniseries due to air on the A&E channel in January, told today's Calgary Sun: "It is the best screenplay I have ever read. I was so thrilled to be part of this great project, but what happened was a disaster." In the interview, Stowe seemed to accuse Mexican director Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate, A Walk in the Clouds) of reworking Welles' script. "Arau didn't want to discuss his vision with the actors, nor did he want any input from any of us about our characters. All he wanted to talk about was incest. It was 12 weeks of agony. We had a chance to make cinema history and, because of Arau, we botched it." Ironically, in his own time, Welles had accused executives of RKO of botching his original version of Ambersons, based on the novel by Booth Tarkington, by drastically cutting his film. Arau had said earlier that he intended to be faithful to Welles' script, telling one interviewer, "We couldn't take the risk of spending millions on trying to better something that couldn't be bettered." But Stowe told the Sun: "It breaks my heart that we didn't do the material justice." A message posted today (Wednesday) on a website devoted to Welles' films (http://www.wellesnet.com/News.htm
) claims that the new film is only "loosely based" on the original screenplay and lists numerous alterations -- and even the elimination of scenes that were included in the original RKO release.
Nice new website by the way!