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Me and Orson Welles (2008)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 18 December 2009 (USA)
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1:50 | Trailer
In 1937, a teenager is cast in the Mercury Theatre production of "Julius Caesar", directed by a young Orson Welles.

Director:

Richard Linklater

Writers:

Robert Kaplow (based on the novel by), Holly Gent (screenplay by) (as Holly Gent Palmo) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian McKay ... Orson Welles
Zac Efron ... Richard Samuels
Zoe Kazan ... Gretta Adler
Megan Maczko ... Evelyn Allen
Simon Lee Phillips Simon Lee Phillips ... Walter Ash
Patrick Kennedy ... Grover Burgess
Shane James Bordas Shane James Bordas ... Conspirator
Alessandro Giuggioli ... Conspirator
Harry Macqueen ... Conspirator
Rhodri Orders Rhodri Orders ... Conspirator
James Tupper ... Joseph Cotten
Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold ... George Duthie
Aidan McArdle ... Martin Gabel
Simon Nehan Simon Nehan ... Joe Holland
Claire Danes ... Sonja Jones
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Storyline

In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar, which includes such stalwart Mercury Theatre players as Joseph Cotten and George Coulouris. Despite others with official roles as producer John Houseman, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver. These requests include everything, even those of a sexual nature. Welles does not believe in conventions and will do whatever he wants, which includes not having a fixed opening date, although the unofficial opening date is in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Director of 'School of Rock' and 'Before Sunset'. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | Isle Of Man | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Me & Orson See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,638, 29 November 2009

Gross USA:

$1,190,003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,336,172
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Crucial to the success of this film enterprise was finding a theatre that could play the interior of the Mercury Theatre itself. By a stroke of good fortune CinemaNX, the production company, is based in the Isle of Man, and there in the capital, Douglas, was the magnificently restored Gaiety Theatre, an almost exact contemporary of the Mercury Theatre. "I don't think we would have been able to make the film if we hadn't been able to shoot it there," said producer Marc Samuelson. "It was just the most fantastic set for us. It worked really well, looked great in the film, was just the right size - in every way it fitted the bill." See more »

Goofs

Richard accompanies Orson to 485 Madison Ave (CBS) for a "recording session" for a radio show ("The First Nighter" program). At this time (1937) and until the late 40s network programs were broadcast live, never recorded. Most programs were produced live twice, once for the East Coast and three hours later from the West Cost. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Mewling: By the year of 1592, Shakespeare was already an actor, and a playwright. Records of how his stage career began have not survived. We do know that in 1594 he joined a theater troupe. Called... anyone remember? Not everyone at once now. The Lord Chamberlain's Men.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Gilson Lavis is listed as "Drumer" instead of "Drummer". See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Post-War Cinema (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Shooting High
Written by Ted Koehler & Jimmy McHugh
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
Performed by Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perfect blend of coming-of-age and theatre
26 August 2010 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

The "me" in "Me and Orson Welles" is Richard (Zac Efron) a high school student who gets himself a part in Orson Welles' production of Julius Caesar at the Mercury Theatre. He's the kind of kid that loves everything creative in the world, is romantic, and is confident and sure of himself. Well, that is until he's alongside Orson Welles. Christian McKay plays Welles as the cocky and out-spoken man that I'm sure he was.

Directed by Richard Linklater, he has managed to turn this coming-of-age film into a Shakespearean theatrical production. My living room was transported into a theatre house, and I was watching a play. The lighting and score mirrored the production and its time; the actors were all right on cue; and backstage became the forefront.

This film is not a biopic, it's just the story of a young man discovering the acting world and the real world -- all alongside one of the most dramatic artists of the time. Romance was added to the storyline, along with a touch of self-discovery and world wonderment -- but that was done beautifully and softly. "Me and Orson Welles" is the perfect blend of coming-of-age and theatre.


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