Orson Welles – The AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Orson Welles (1975)

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In 1975, the American Film Institute bestowed upon Orson Welles their third Lifetime Achievement Award. (The first went to John Ford and the second to James Cagney.) This program, which originally aired on CBS, features a host of actors and other celebrities — Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Joseph Cotton and Charlton Heston — who pay tribute to Welles’ brilliant but tumultuous career.

Throughout the night, many different people speak about the filmmaking contributions Welles made throughout his career, and clips from many of Welles’ films — Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, Falstaff etc. — are shown. It’s rumored that Welles didn’t want to show up unless the AFI would let him show some clips from his then in-production but now-incomplete film, The Other Side of the Wind, so the AFI indulged him and let him show a few clips. (The last screen grab is from one of the film’s scenes.)

For Welles fans, this is a must-see event, as it’s great to see him honored by so many of his colleagues.

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