Edward G. Robinson pursues a nazi war criminal named Franz Kindler. He thinks it’s the kindly college professor played by Orson Welles. Only a dead man can link him to the crimes… or is it his own obsessions that will finally be his undoing. If you haven’t caught this film, this is a keeper in the realm of public domain films.
Mr. Arkadin is a French-Spanish-Swiss coproduction film written and directed by Orson Welles. Its history is quite convoluted; the story was based on an episode of the radio series The Lives of Harry Lime, which in turn was based on the character Welles portrayed in The Third Man. In addition, several different versions of the film were released. Jonathan Rosenbaum’s essay “The Seven Arkadins” is an attempt to detail the different versions including the novel and radio play. Adding to the confusion is a novel of the same title that was credited to Welles; Welles claimed the book was only ghostwritten with Maurice Bessy. In 1982 Welles described it as the ‘biggest disaster’ of his life, due to him losing creative control of the film.