Dear Blunted: I believe the problem is really in your use of antecedents.
What are we to make of an opening paragraph like the following?
"you are reading much more into what i'm posting than i'm putting in to it. you are directing answers at me to questions i never asked. makes it difficult to respond to you. i have no idea what to say except correct mistaken notions."
Which posting? What "it"? Which "mistaken notions" are you correcting? Mine or your own? Forgive me, but I can't quite grasp your clarity.
It is you, after all, who brought up Minnelli:
"Had Welles took [sic] the Minelli road to filmmaking, we might not be here right now . . . . "
Where would we be, Blunted? Are you saying that if Welles had become a fashionable hack, we would not have to bother with him? We all be much happier, discussing Hollywood trivia. You would not have to damn Welles with faint praise? You would be able to refrain from making vague or irrelevant references to fictional works as if they were gilt edge factual primary sources?
I have not read Dangerous Friends, but I have read, many years ago, White Hunter, Black Heart. Blunted, you can not use Viertel's fictional characterizations as fact. What Viertel wrote, to give him the benefit of the doubt, were not even speculations. He was telling a good yarn about a movie company in Africa (unusual, in the mid-1950's), basing his main character on a director he had worked with. If you have ever tried your hand at intentional fiction, you will know that plot and the need to avoid prolix often requires all kinds of exaggerations of the models you begin with.
"is what you posted your opinion, or something you read? if it's something you read, can you post your research reference? i'd be curious to see that."
Do you think that I simply make up my postings here, in a kind of euphoric fantasy?
What is the "what"? Of course, it is an opinion! Few of us here sat down with Welles or Huston when they were alive to take down verbatim the subjective and crucial influences in their works.
Let us GUESS that you refer to the following paragraphs of my next to last posting:
"There were many sides to Welles, which is one of the things that Mankiewicz and Houseman recognized as they shaped Kane, and which Welles rather lightheartedly added to himself. His self-denigrating nature gave his enemies as much ammunition as did his genuine failings.
"Let us agree that Welles evidently knocked over a couple of gas heaters of some sort. The act should not be seen to have damned his whole career, nor, under the circumstances, be regarded as a "hilarious" act. That we bring it up again and again, without observing that Welles went on in the next months to make CITIZEN KANE, generally regarded the finest film ever made in Hollywood, says a good deal about our priorities."
Over the decades I have read so many books on Welles' work that some have slipped through my fingers at this point. Let me give you a reference, I happen to have at hand, from one of the earlier and best volumes on the subject: Frank Brady's Citizen Welles. Particularly, I refer you to pages 233-269 for an excellent account of how CITIZEN KANE was formulated, written, produced and directed. I believe that those pages will back up my suggestions about the complex process by which the film was created.
If you are obsessed, Blunted, as you seem to be, over the sad incident at Chasen's, during the Christmas Season of 1939, John Housman has a personal account in Run Through, the first of his autobiographical trilogy. For an even harder critic (though not as vitrolic as Simon Callow), that of a former idolator, try Rosebud by David Thomson (not admired here, but I understand what he was trying to do), pp 134-35.
Again, I happen to have a copies.
In the latter account, Thomson tells us that the reason for the meeting was not . . . Christmasy nor hilarious. Welles, Housman, Albert Schneider, Herb Drake, Richard Baer, William Alland, Richard Wilson and a secretary (in other words, a meeting of the Executive Board, such as it was, for the Mercury Theater) had come together about the plight of the Mercury Players whom Welles had brought to Hollwood in the heady days following his "War of the Worlds" generated movie contract. A year having passed, with no satisfactory script delivered to RKO, the Studio was taking them off salary as of December 31st of 1939.
Welles grandly said that he would pay his people from his own pocket, but his financial advisors said he had no money in his pocket to do that. Welles [flying much of that year back and forth across the country to help pay the troupe's expenses] responded, if that were the case, 'you sons-of-bitches piss it away!' Houseman and Welles exchanged pointed questions on what was to be done for the actors, Houseman responded: 'Tell them the truth for once."
That remark tore it, and eventually Welles threw 'dish heaters' at Houseman.
'Onlookers had no doubts: Welles had instigated the scene to make up for frustration.'
Thomson concludes: 'The most noted creative bond in Welles' life was over -- or nearly over --and touched with a need for vengeance."
That account comes from what I see as a grieving admirer.
I'm afraid, as I suggested in earlier posts, that the scene was hardly hilarious; rather it was tragic, in view of what might have been. Yet, a little over a year later, Houseman was still helping Welles, and the actors were all still in Hollywood, setting out to make, CITIZEN KANE, the finest black and white film produced in the zenith of the Studio System.
My view is that the rest of these petty stories are frivolous.
Blunted, I hope these additions clear up my characteristic vagueness, in your eyes.