The Last Orson Welles Movie Needs Our Help

Orson Welles The Other Side of the Wind

Orson Welles spent the majority of his filmmaking career unable to get his movies made, filming until the money ran out, then raising more money, and then filming again. Even though Welles directed Citizen Kane – arguably the greatest motion pictured ever produced – and the classics Touch of EvilThe TrialThe Lady from Shanghai and F for Fake, many of his movies remain unfinished to this day. One can only imagine how frustrated Orson Welles must have been about never completing films like The Deep and Don Quixote, and how excited he probably would have been about crowd funding systems like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

So it is fitting that this week, 100 years after the birth of Orson Welles, an Indiegogo campaign has begun to help finally complete the his last movie. Unlike many of Welles’ unfinished projects, The Other Side of the Wind was completely filmed, and needs only post-production financing to officially come together, 45 years after the fact. The last $2 million are needed to acquire the negatives, scan them in 4K, edit them together according to Welles’ extensive notes, color correct the footage, produce the score and mix the sound.

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The Other Side of the Wind stars filmmaker John Huston (The Maltese Falcon) as an aging filmmaker named Jake Hannaford, and takes place during a party Hannaford has thrown to help raise money for his new comeback film, The Other Side of the Wind. Peter Bogdonavich, the protege of Orson Welles, also plays Hannaford’s protege in the film, and he will also help finish the post-production of Welles’ film once the funds are raised. Welles had already finished 40 minutes of the film before his passing in 1985.

Like many Indiegogo campaigns, The Other Side of the Wind includes many tempting perks, including copies of the film (on 35mm stock for those with particularly deep pockets), posters, cigars and Orson Welles’ personal journal from the production of Citizen Kane. That last one isn’t a copy, but the real thing. That particular perk costs $50,000 but we’d sure as hell buy it if we had that kind of cash.

Film lovers have long bemoaned the difficulties that Orson Welles, one of the great filmmakers (period), had to endure just to make his movies. If the campaign’s goal is met, they are planning to finish the film before Orson Welles would have turned 101. So If this really is the last step towards finishing and releasing one last Orson Welles movie, we hope they consider putting their money where their mouths have been for so many decades. 

CraveOnline has no vested interest in this Indiegogo campaign to complete The Other Side of the Wind, other than that we – like so many others – really, really, really, really want to finally see it. If you feel the same way, you can contribute to the campaign here.


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.