Too Much Johnson Work Print
(1938, 66 min.)

Movies planned by Orson Welles for Mercury Theatre’s production. Preserved through an NFPF grant to George Eastman House, with the Cineteca del Friuli and Cinemazero.

The rediscovered footage for the Mercury Theatre’s production of Too Much Johnson makes for fascinating but challenging viewing. Never finished and long presumed lost, the film survives as 10 reels of an abandoned, partially edited 35mm nitrate work print created in the summer of 1938 by the 23-year-old Orson Welles. The footage was most fully edited by Welles in its opening reel—the first seven minutes here—but most is a rough assemblage, and all of it lacks the intertitles he planned to write. The 66-minute print went unseen….

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