Web Premiere of Orson Welles’ Rediscovered Film TOO MUCH JOHNSON (1938)

The rediscovered footage for the Mercury Theatre’s production of Too Much Johnson makes for fascinating but challenging viewing. Never finished and long presumed lost, the film survives as 10 reels of an abandoned, partially edited 35mm nitrate work print created in the summer of 1938 by the 23-year-old Orson Welles. The footage was most fully edited by Welles in its opening reel—the first seven minutes here—but most is a rough assemblage, and all of it lacks the intertitles he planned to write. The 66-minute print went unseen publicly until its rediscovery in a warehouse in Pordenone, Italy, and its preservation in 2013 through an international collaboration among the National Film Preservation Foundation, George Eastman House, the Cineteca del Friuli, and Cinemazero.

Watch the film here | National Film Preservation Foundation



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