In an attempt to recover from his marriage to Rita Hayworth and restart his career, Orson Welles travels to Italy...only to be drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue, murder and politics when an actor is murdered on his set.
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--------------------------------"Fade To Black"(Ealing Studios, 2006)--------------------------------In this diverting historical fiction thriller, Danny Huston stars as actor/director Orson Welles, down-and-out in Italy after World War Two as his career has hit the skids and his divorce from actress Rita Hayworth has made him a target of international scorn. On the set of a low-budget Italian film (a fictionalized version of the real-life "Black Magic") Welles runs afoul of a murder mystery that encompasses the convoluted politics of the recently-liberated Italian nation. I found this film to be entertaining and mostly charming; it was not particularly surprising where the story went or how it played out, but it was still a nice change of pace from the usual Hollywood fare, with an aura of Euro-intellectualism about it. To the filmmakers' credit, although they clearly draw on the film noir tradition (and "The Third Man," in particular), they don't try to simply mimic Welles' own work, or to match its intensity. Huston is a plausible and pleasant Welles, perhaps more robust and less savvy than one might imagine, but fun to watch nonetheless. If you like thrillers, but want a little change of pace and a dollop of politics and history, give this one a shot. Not a classic, by any means, but a fun movie. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)
I enjoyed this movie immensely. It captures the sense of Orson Wellesas an adventurer, trying to raise money for movies which he understandsbetter than those around him and instead making ones for other peoplewhich he knows are rubbish. On his travels in 1948 Italy, he stumblesinto a murder mystery connected, perhaps too loosely, with a politicalconspiracy.It's cleverly made and very funny. I loved the playfulness which noddedat Welles's work without doing anything as crass as obvious references.It's an enjoyable story. Not a great thriller, the insights andrevelations weren't surprising but that only made it more real andengrossing.Huston was encouraged to do part Orson and part his Father, John. He'sa likable, believable hero matched by a good, mainly Serbian cast. PazVega is excellent as the heroine and Diego Luna gives a wonderful turnas the second hero to Welles, reminds me of James Macavoy, onlylikable.