Orson Welles was always hard up for cash. Though he directed, co-wrote and starred in Citizen Kane — often regarded as the greatest film ever made — at just 25 years old, his career after that was famously tumultuous. While he was a brilliant creative force, he was also relentlessly obstinate, which caused him to clash with the studio powers-that-be on nearly every picture he made. The result of this was a great number of burned bridges and regular efforts to strike out on his own.
But making movies on his own took money, which meant the great man needed to subject himself to work that was well beneath his talents, like recording radio commercials for frozen peas and doing television spots for a cheap wine company named Paul Masson, which touted the slogan, “We will sell no wine before its time.” Read more >