Orson Welles and Rouben Mamoulian: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

  • Eleftheria Thanouli


ORSON WELLES AND ROUBEN MAMOULIAN: Dr. JEKYLL AND Mr. HYDE? At first glance the mention of these two directors in the title might sound preposterous or even blasphemous. Orson Welles has been enshrined in cinematic history as the child prodigy, as the genius who both epitomized and revolutionized the American cinema in the 40s. On the other hand, Rouben Mamoulian has been acknowledged as an innovator who, sadly enough, suffered the tragedy of running out of innovations eventually (Sarris 160). The verdict of the film historians as regards the importance and the status of these two filmmakers is so far remarkably clear and incontestable. My goal in this article is to begin to challenge some of the widely held assumptions regarding their work and bring to the surface an aspect of Mamoulian's contribution to cinema that remains to this date entirely overlooked. For Welles' Citizen Kane made in 1941...