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 <email@example.com>
Maurice Bessy ghost-wrote the "Mr. Arkadin" novel that was released shortly after the movie premiered. Though Orson Welles is credited as the author, he didn't write a single word of it. See more »
A shot near the end of the movie, with Raina resting her head on the steering wheel of her car, is extended by looping the film several times. This becomes obvious because a man's shadow keeps appearing and disappearing in a gate behind her. See more »
And now I'm going to tell you about a scorpion. This scorpion wanted to cross a river, so he asked the frog to carry him. No, said the frog, no thank you. If I let you on my back you may sting me and the sting of the scorpion is death. Now, where, asked the scorpion, is the logic in that? For scorpions always try to be logical. If I sting you, you will die. I will drown. So, the frog was convinced and allowed the scorpion on his back. But, just in the middle of the river, he felt a terrible ...
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You guys are great...so much interesting, smart stuff in all the comments. What can I add? Well, I saw it last night, and I was thinking about The Auteur Theory and Roland Barthes' thoughts about the one big book of which all books are a part. And, although I haven't seen Alphaville for years, I realized that the connections between these two films are important: the Mizraki score and the performance of Akim Tamiroff.Godard is such a great mannerist, and this film (Arkadin) is such a basic text for director - driven cinema. How can this film mean anything to anyone who doesn't understand the rage to create - against all odds, against one's self-destructive nature, against one's death wish? It is "breathless", truly. Scenes never give the impression of ending, everything is done in overdrive, people are constantly looming, dizzyingly moving in and out of shot; the grotesquerie of the bad acting rhymes with the grotesquerie of the costume set pieces and with that of the B movie Euro - freak character actors parading, one by one, in front of the camera for their star turns. "Feeding time" indeed! I saw Arkadin shortly after seeing Spielberg's Munich. The only similarity is in the constant change of location. But where in the Spielberg this functions as a celebration of money, budget and the power of illusion, here each location is both overcrowded and threadbare. The Munich of Arkadin is a bombed-out nightmare with traces of its former elegance. The Europe of this film is so haunted and sleepwalking; the world of this film is made up of bits and scraps.
The fact that Arkadin connects closely to Kane or Quinlan is obvious and certainly interesting. Although it should seem obvious at this late date that Welles has patterns and themes that reoccur throughout his films. Does this fact still illuminate anything? If anybody questions the fact that Welles is an artist...well, this film will just add to their confusion. But for us believers this film can function like the ritual suffering of the penitents in the film. It hurts so good!
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