i should have clarified what i said. KANE's narrative in it's day was pretty revolutionary. it's not to us. we have seen that story, probably inspired by KANE, in dozens of movies. what we admire today in KANE is the way that the director told the story cinematically. it's the most perfect marriage of style, form, and narrative so far.
i don't know what to think about welles' writing. he did write AMBERSONS alone. i'm convinced, after seeing AMBERSONS hacked together with storyboards, that welles' version, the version that is in the continuity book, is one of the most moving films i have ever seen. then i read an article he wrote, and it's terrible.
naturally, all movies have to have a story, and the story in KANE is great. i don't think the story in TOUCH OF EVIL really is anything special. heston compared it to a 2 hr episode of MANNIX (one N or 2?).
who knows with welles. if he had a terrific screenplay from a terrific writer to work from, he might have destroyed. like obssessed says, he was never able to leave anything alone, always tinkering. then he takes a limp story, and a limp screenplay, and turns it into the masterpiece TOUCH OF EVIL IS.
i don't know how much of LADY FRAM SHANGHAI comes from the source, but it's a good screenplay, quite good. better than TOUCH OF EVIL i think.
and hey, what is this, knocking MR. ARKADIN? i think it's a great film in it's 3 trucated forms. i even like the radio show with that zither music put in when the listener needs to imagine action.
in the writing department he was hot and cold, in the directing department he was always hot.
you say you have a copy of the TOUCH OF EVIL screenplay? i have 8 welles screenplays, as well as a rare, early draft of TOUCH. if the screenplay you have has the deitrich scenes in it, i need that copy. my copy was written before deitrich, and weaver were onboard. i've ordered the commercially available screenplay twice and it has yet to arrive. would you like to trade copies?