The Moorish general Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality it is all part of the scheme of a bitter ensign named Iago.
Guy Van Stratten, American smuggler, leaves an Italian prison term with one asset, a dying man's words about wealthy, mysterious Gregory Arkadin. Guy finds it most pleasant to investigate Arkadin though his lovely daughter Raina, her father's idol. To get rid of Guy, Arkadin claims amnesia about his own life prior to 1927, sending Guy off to investigate Arkadin's unknown past. Guy's quest spans many countries and eccentric characters who contribute clues. But the real purpose of Guy's mission proves deadly; can Guy himself survive it? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The novel and the screenplay were both based on an episode in the radio series, "The Lives of Harry Lime", in which Welles played his Harry Lime character as rather less villainous that he was in The Third Man (1949). In "Mr. Arkadin", the Harry Lime character is renamed "Guy van Stratten" and is played by Robert Arden, while Welles plays Arkadin. The radio episode was number 37 in the series, entitled "Man of Mystery," and first broadcast on 11 April 1952. The introduction to the episode also describes the movie: "One late afternoon a couple of years ago, a plane was sighted about seventy miles out of Orly Airport in Paris. It was a private plane, medium sized, and nobody was in it; nobody at all. The plane, keeping its course steadily toward Paris, was flying itself. Why was it empty? Who had been flying it? And why, and under what circumstances, had they left it? Why? Thereby hangs a tale." See more »
When the camera is facing Guy and Mily as they are watching the religious procession, he is standing to her left. When the camera is behind them, he is standing to her right. See more »
After seeing Gregoire Aslan knifed on a dock and hearing a couple of last words like Sophia and Mr. Arkadin, Robert Arden and girl friend Patricia Medina know at least part of it.
Mr. Arkadin refers to the mysterious gazillionaire played by Orson Welles. However Sophia is as elusive at first as the mysterious 'rosebud' in Citizen Kane.
Welles seeing that Arden is a man of wit and resource in the seamier side of life, hires him to find out about Sophia. In fact the story that Welles gives Arden is that before 1927 when he found himself in Zurich, Switzerland with several million francs, he has amnesia and has no memory of his past.
It's obviously a lie because one of the reasons that Arkadin is so mysterious is that he has steadfastly refused to be photographed. Not something someone would normally do unless they had a lot to hide.
Still Arden takes the assignment and it leads to some startling answers and puts Arden's life in peril.
Welles came up short with Mr. Arkadin. It's an intriguing story and has some good performances by the cast members already mentioned and people like Mischa Auer, Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, and Katina Paxinou from Welles's past. Problem is that Welles seems to be using a lot more in his bag of tricks than is necessary to tell the tale.
A little to arty for art's sake. Still it's an interesting story and well acted.
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