Here is a bit of information I recently received from a friend who had talked to someone in Los Angeles who was Gary Graver's assistant on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.
Obviously, because this info came to me second-hand, and I personally find most of it very hard to believe, I tend to think it comes from a crew member who Welles probably attacked, in a way which might have been very upsetting to her, so she probably has a grudge against Welles. But even when Welles was at his worst, I don't think he was ever capable of doing something as inexcusable as the rant Christian Bale gave to his cinematographer on the set of his latest film. Just listen to Welles talking to the idiot directors of the Pea commercial he was recording in England. Yes, Welles's is upset, and why shouldn't he be? All he's trying to do is improve the lame direction he's getting about reading his lines! Welles never even raises his voice, much less uses the F-word. Of course, it's a very stern rebuke to the director, but it's backed up with concrete suggestions and he never loses his cool. He simply walks out of the recording studio. In short, even when he was most upset, Welles never seemed to lose control of his emotions. Certainly Welles never talked this way to Gary Graver, who from all accounts I've read, Welles considered his good friend.
However, knowing there are members here who still like to hear all the bad stories about Welles attacks of megalomania and exploding like Christian Bale did on the set, I thought I would post these negative comments here, mostly in the hopes that some of Gary's friends or relatives who may read this board can either verify or refute their accuracy. I can't say who the comments come from myself, because I really don't know, beyond the fact that it was a female member of Gary's crew (and supposedly Gary had a mostly female crew), that worked with him on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.
"She (the unnamed source) does not like to talk about Welles, because of his treatment of Gary during the shooting of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND. In fact, she basically hates Welles, because she claimed he worked Gary like a dog and treated him terribly throughout the production. She told me about one incident where Gary was holding a piece of equipment for so many hours that he fainted on the set!
She was also furious that Welles was mentioned so many times at Gary's wake, as it was apparently common knowledge among Gary's close friends and family how badly Welles had abused Gary throughout their long association.
So although Gary adored Welles, Welles may have only adored Gary because he worked for him for free. Another person close to the shooting said it was his belief that Welles never intended to finish OSOTW, but simply kept it and other projects in production as long as possible, in order to get investors to put up money which he then used (at least in part) towards shooting new footage so he would have something to show to his investors, but he mostly wanted to continue living in the lavish lifestyle to which he had become so accustomed."
So is it actually possible Charles Higham was right and Welles really did have a "fear of completion?"