BOB HART OUT OF THE BOX
IN ANOTHER life, during the 1980s, I dined as often as I could afford in a Hollywood restaurant called Ma Maison. The attractions included a young chef called Wolfgang Puck and, sitting alone at a table most nights, a glowering presence.
This presence was a grossly fat man, dressed all in black, who was treated at all times with great respect.
His name was Orson Welles. I was a fan. But the Welles I had admired, especially for a movie called The Third Man, looked nothing like the glowering presence. And in 1985, the year in which this wonderful restaurant closed, Welles also died.
I would have known more about him, however, had I been aware of this program — a revealing interview with Welles, aged 45 and at the height of his powers, recorded in 1960. It was conducted by Bernard Braden and shot in a Paris hotel room by Canadian television. Welles was forthcoming and took offence at none of Braden’s questions. On the contrary . . .
Welles was more than a great film-maker and actor: he was an intelligent, sensitive and worldly individual. But some of his views, as revealed here, were unorthodox.
For example, Braden asks
Presence: Orson Welles