Mr. Arkadin (The Corinth Version)

Director: Orson Welles
Year Released: 1955
Rating: 3.0

Rich and strange Gregory Arkadin (Welles) hires an American to "investigate" his less than prosperous beginnings in Poland - and eliminate anyone from those 'good old days' - in a bid to disprove Oscar Wilde's maxim about no man being rich enough to buy back his past. Like a number of Welles works, it's had a complicated production history, so some allowances are in order - the dubbing is atrocious in parts - and the gruff 'performance' of lead Robert Arden (a far cry from Joseph Cotten) - who acts like he just stepped out of a B-noir as "Heavy #3" - takes some getting used to. Welles' style is so infectiously gaudy (wildly exaggerated angels and facial expressions, offbeat performances by Michael Redgrave and Akim Tamiroff, plus Welles in so much make-up that he looks like a wizard) that even a fractured and technically flawed picture, cobbled together by different hands is considerably more engrossing than the refined work of some Hollywood hack from the same period.