Monday, October 06, 2008

Henry Jaglom on Orson Welles in the LA Times Magazine

As I am teaching Touch of Evil next week, Monday, October 13, 2008 in my Naked Mirrors, Fractured Souls Literature and Film seminar, I thought I would provide this facsimile of a moving piece from this Sunday's LA Times Magazine by Henry Jaglom on his friend Orson Welles. It's a valuable piece of biography for fans and scholars (and students, hi!) alike.


  1. Henry Jaglom recently posted some 20 min of Orson's "The Other Side of the Wind" without authorization. The clip was obviously used to stir interest in his book about lunch conversations with Orson.
    Well, here is a little story about those conversations:

    Orson and Jaglom had numerous lunches as friends.  I remember the day when Orson came home from the last of these lunches with Jaglom and I noticed that he was visibly shaken, very sad and disappointed.

    I was in the room with Orson later when he received an overseas call from Oja and heard him confide in her what he had experienced.

    At that last lunch Jaglom had finally slipped and accidentally admitted to secretly taping all of their conversations.  In retrospect, as he spoke with Oja, he remembered one particular time when he noticed Jaglom fiddling with his ever present shoulder bag which he had laid on the table next to him.  Orson realized now, after the fact, that Jaglom must have been fiddling with a tape recorder that he had hidden in that bag.  Oja asked him why he didn't confront Jaglom, to which Orson answered that he was too ashamed for him.

    In Orson's words: "I felt like a friend stole my watch.  I could see the bulge in his his pocket, but was too ashamed for him.  So the only thing I could do was simply let him go…."

    Orson never quite recovered from that betrayal and in fact died soon thereafter.  While I doubt that that was a direct cause of his death, the continuing betrayals and disappointments he experienced in those later days, both from Jaglom and from many others that Orson trusted and believed in, was, I believe, a contributing factor.  Many people, myself included, feel that Orson died as much from a broken heart as he did from physical causes.

  2. Thanks so much for your visit and your comments--such a tragedy.


    Bill Nericcio
    head-curator, TEXTMEX