I'm a bit suprised to read how many people here think the script and excerpts of OSOTW aren't good Welles -- mainly because I myself find it be such fascinating material, and in many cases really brilliant material.
Having read about half of the script and seen over an hour of excerpts from OSOTW, I firmly believe this would have been a very great Welles picture - if it had been finished. I must admit that at an earlier time, when I had not seen as much of the OSOTW material, I had severe doubts about the quality of the picture, but as I came to see more and more of the excerpts and read more of the script, I realized it was simply because I had seen many of the clips out of context, so I naturally couldn't make sense out of them.
But once you get the connections between the scenes that are missing, you can appreciate what Welles was doing to a much greater degree. You also obviously have to realize this was going to be a sixties picture, done with a editing style akin to Alain Resnais, so certain aspects of the film would no doubt appear to be dated.
Here's a perfect case in point. When I first saw the script excerpt below, I had no idea what Jake and Zarah were talking about, and I felt it was a bad scene because of that lack of information. It was especially difficult to understand, because of the quick editing style Welles employed. But now, after realizing the context of what the characters are supposed to be talking about -- namely John Dale's attempted suicide, and that earlier in the story Jake has saved John Dale from this suicide attempt, the whole scene not only makes perfect sense, but becomes (for me anyway) a sublimely Wellesian scene of great power, that is beautifully played by both John Huston and Lilli Palmer. And it's all done in very beautiful and precise cross-cutting, as the two actors were never in the same studio at the same time.
In this excerpt from OSOTW script, it is later at Jake's birthday party and Jake is talking to his old friend, the German actress Zarah Valeska, who is seen reclining on a sofa. Jake refers to Zarah as “Mother” and everyone at the party has just witnessed rushes from Jake's film in progress, where Hannaford's bullying of John Dale has led the young actor to walk off the set of the picture.
Besides Jake and Zarah, many members of Jake's entourage are present as is the Red Indian Actress (Oja Kodar) and they all chime in with their opinions on John Dale's future in the bussiness...
JAKE starts to recounts to ZARAH VALESKA the story of how he saved JOHN DALE from his attempt at committing suicide. Jake is not drunk, but he's been drinking heavily.
I’m bored with the whole story. Would-be
suicides ought to be treated like drunks.
We were conned, Mother. It was a fake.
Why make such a fuss over them? If they
don’t care, why should we? Because we
care about life, I suppose.
(Pause) It turns out he doesn’t belong to you.
The old Chinese business -- You save a
life, you own that life.
Jake isn’t a Chinese, Maggie...
And Dale wasn’t no suicide.
You know, they’re only people.
No he was an actor, and he wasn’t drunk,
he was auditioning.
Jake, that boy didn’t run away. He was
Yes, Mother. And sweet holy Jesus what a
relief that was. Like getting rid of an
aching tooth or the monkey off your back.
Like getting rid of a suffering toenail.
Yes and my foot was getting sore.
How are you going to finish the picture?
That boy is all washed up, Miss Valeska.
The picture -- isn’t that what matters?
We’ve got that footage of him bringing
the clothes to her in all that wind, right
JAKE stands up to make an announcement to the assembled crew.
Gentlemen – Ladies. We are presenting an
award to the other half of "The Other Side
Of The Wind." The better half.
Motions to his leading actress, the RED INDIAN.
A bone for Pocahontas. A little curio we
picked up somewhere. A bit of our old
paleface craftsmanship – an Indian bone.
The inscription goes back to before all
this was movie country. Just after gold
was found, the Indian population dropped
pretty quickly. And in ten years about
ninety thousand of them just disappeared.
Well in those good old days, are gallant
honky pioneers used to cut off Indian
ears and pickle them in whiskey for
souvenirs. And on little pieces of bone
like this they’d write funny little jokes –
“I’m off the reservation at last.” And so
are you my dear. Perhaps you’d like to
present this to our leading man.
Right up his ass!