RARA-AVIS: Dead Calm also by Orson Welles

From: Juri Nummelin ( juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi)
Date: 12 Sep 2006

Orson Welles tried to film Williams's DEAD CALM as THE DEEP, but failed, even though I've understood that he completed shooting. He wasn't able to sell the movie to the distributors, especially when another THE DEEP, based on a Peter Benchley novel, came out. I don't know if the film is available to scholars, but I seem to remember James Naremore comments on it in his valuable Welles book (whose title I don't remember at the moment).

When I first saw Noyce's film (and I too think it's quite good), I didn't know anything about Charles Williams, but I'd read Naremore's Welles book and was quite excited when I realized, still in the middle of the film, that it's the same story Naremore describes. (Williams may be mentioned in the text, but it's found of course in the filmography section.)

As for Billy Zane, I remember the projector man - I used to talk with him after the screenings - saying that Zane will be "the next Brando".

Juri http://pulpetti.blogspot.com

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