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The Magnificent Ambersons: Film and Discussion   

Online Class:  A ZOOM invitation link will be sent one day before each class session begins.

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) was Orson Welles’s immediate follow-up to his celebrated Citizen Kane (1941). We will view the entire film in the first session, and then discuss it in the second session by looking closely at, and listening carefully to, a series of specific examples from the film. By drawing upon archival material digitized from the Orson Welles Papers in the Screen Arts Mavericks and Makers Collections in the University of Michigan Special Collections Research Center, we will consider what was lost with the drastic recutting of the film prior to its release, which eliminated fully one-third of the film. The class sessions will be interactive, with observations, comments, and questions from attendees strongly encouraged. Reading Booth Tarkington’s original 1918 novel, now in the public domain, is recommended but not required.  

Matthew Solomon is a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Media at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Disappearing Tricks: Silent Film, Houdini, and the New Magic of the Twentieth Century, which won the Kraszna-Krausz Award for best moving image book. He has also authored a BFI Film Classics monograph on Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, and, most recently, Méliès Boots: Footwear and Film Manufacturing in Second Industrial Revolution Paris.


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