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9 years ago

Mr. Lane thank you for your reply and for your civilized and intelligent tone. Thank you too for all your research into the Magnificent Ambersons saga. Your detail and analysis beats Callow by a nose!…which is amazing.

My point is that your Minority Opinion in favor of Robt Wise's 88 min. edit over the 132 min. rough cut isn't very cogent. Since nobody alive or dead ever saw OW's full concept and execution, at whatever length that might have been… how do you know Wise's version was better? In a way I'd like to agree with you, but I (we) have nothing to compare it with. And Mr. Wise has said the 132 min. cut was a better movie, but he was under orders from Koerner to shorten it. OW always said TMA was going to surpass CKANE in quality. BTW: I much prefer the Welles/Wise Magnificent Ambersons to CKANE. Kane is cold and hollow. TMA is warm and human and real, and yes Wise. Ooops.

The real crime was burning the outtakes and trims. RKO executives should have preserved these film pieces. After all they paid a million dollars to produce them! Welles, for his part, should have come back to Hollywood to meet his editing responsibilities rather than expect Mr. Moss, a bookkeeper/magician, to defend the picture against the post-Shaeffer management-beast. Its clear Koerner&Co. hated Welles personally and they expressed their contempt for him by destroying company assets (the film cuts) and also by failing to promote the film upon release, which further added to the $$ losses causing more harm to the shareholders. HELL: the damn thing got 4 OSCAR nominations…it wasn't a piece of garbage!! RAGE INJUSTICE

PS: Joseph Cotten, who was a screenwriter as well as an actor, didn't think OW's rough cut was sucessfull and wrote Welles to this effect. So who do we believe? Welles/Wise on one side or Koerner/Cotten/Foy on the other? I believe Welles. He was a lot smarter and more talented than me.