THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS Add To My Top 10

Magnificent Comeuppance

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Language        
Violence        
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Release Date: July 10, 1942

Starring: Joseph Cotton, Dolores Costello, Anna Baxter, Tim Holt, Agnes Moorehead, and Ray Collins

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older children and adults

Rating: TV PG

Runtime: 88 Minutes

Distributor: RKO Radio Pictures

Director: Orson Welles

Executive Producer: None

Producer: Orson Welles

Writer: Booth Tarkington and Orson Welles

Address Comments To:

Ted Hartley (CEO)
RKO Radio Pictures  
Los Angeles, CA:
1875 Century Park E
Ste 2140
Los Angeles, CA 90067
USA
Phn: 310-277-0707
Fax: 310-226-2490
http://www.rko.com/
info@rko.com

Content:

(CC, BBB, D, A, M) A strong Christian, biblical worldview showing that pride cometh before a fall, concluding with repentance and forgiveness, including a powerful climactic scene of prayer and repentance featuring the movie’s villain, who is brought low by his pride and arrogance; no foul language; no sexual content; no nudity; no violence; some drinking of alcohol; no smoking; and, a very strong example of pride based on wealth and aristocracy.


Summary:

The 1942 classic movie THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Orson Welles, based on the novel by Booth Tarkington, is a tremendous movie about the dangers of wealth leading to pride. While the movie concludes with repentance and forgiveness, the price paid for pride is incalculable.


Review:

The 1942 classic THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS is a tremendous movie about the dangers of wealth leading to pride. While the movie concludes with repentance and forgiveness, the price paid for pride is incalculable.
The movie opens with the Ambersons being the wealthiest, if not the most respected, family in Indianapolis. Isabel Amberson (played by Delores Costello) loves Eugene Morgan (played by Joseph Cotton). But, she is so publicly disgraced by an incident where he drunkenly stumbles and breaks his bass violin while trying to serenade her that she breaks their engagement and marries another man. They have a son, George (played by Tim Holt), who grows up to be such an obnoxious snoot that everyone in town hopes he will get his “comeuppance.”
George comes home from college and falls head over heals for Lucy (played by Anne Baxter), the daughter of Eugene, who has become an inventor and a pioneer of automobile manufacturing.
George’s father dies after making some poor investments, and Isabel begins to show interest in her old love, Eugene. Regrettably, her snooty son despises Eugene even though he’s in love with his daughter Lucy. Lucy refuses to talk about marriage until George shows an interest in some worthwhile occupation. When she asks him what he wants to be, George replies, “a yachtsman.”
George is livid when he learns of his mother’s interest in Eugene. Rather than see them marry, he does everything he can to separate them. Eventually, he takes his mother on an extended trip to Europe. They come home to find the Amberson fortune gone and the Morgans quite wealthy from their automobile business.
The tremendous wealth and pride George inherits causes arguments, ruined lives and much misery. The movie ends on a redemptive note that was actually added after some audience screenings and after Orson Welles had turned the movie over to RKO Pictures. Nonetheless, the movie provides a great lesson to those who rely on pride, arrogance and privilege.
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS came out in 1942, plays occasionally on Turner Classic Movies and was re-released on DVD in February 2010. This was Welles’ second movie. His first was the remarkable CITIZEN KANE. Though the studio cut out some of the scenes and long takes Welles intended for the final version and tacked on a quick redemptive ending, the ending strangely works despite its sudden brevity, and the movie went on to be nominated for several Oscars. The brilliant narration by Orson Welles (not to mention the wonderful acting) actually holds this masterpiece together, especially the incredibly powerful climactic scene of prayer and repentance.


In Brief:

The 1942 classic THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Orson Welles is a tremendous movie about the dangers of arrogance and pride. While the movie concludes with repentance and forgiveness, the price paid for pride is incalculable. The movie opens with the Ambersons being the wealthiest, if not the most respected, family in Indianapolis. Isabel Amberson loves Eugene but is publicly disgraced by an incident where he drunkenly stumbles and breaks his bass violin while trying to serenade her, that she breaks their engagement and marries another man. They have a son, George, who grows up to be an obnoxious snoot that everyone in town hopes will get his “comeuppance.” George’s arrogance and pride, based on his life of wealth and privilege, causes arguments, ruined lives and much misery.
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS ends on a sudden redemptive note that was added after some audience screenings, against the wishes of Orson Welles. Nonetheless, the movie provides a great lesson about the dangers of arrogance, pride and spoiling one’s children. And, the sudden ending strangely works, despite its suddenness. Orson’s brilliant narration holds this masterpiece together, especially the powerful climactic scene of prayer and repentance.