Orson Welles in Rome

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Richard Stokes
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Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Richard Stokes » December 22nd, 2016, 3:16 pm

The Blu-Ray edition of The Third Man recounts how difficult it was to persuade Orson to show up in Vienna for his role as Harry Lime.
It says he kept moving back and forth to various hotels in European capitals and refused to take calls.
Eventually they managed to lure him out of his hotel in Rome by exploiting his passion for magic.
They arranged for him to meet a famous Italian magician.
This worked wonders and they were able to gain his co-operation.

Does anyone know who this magician was?

The year would be 1948.

JHostler
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby JHostler » December 22nd, 2016, 6:15 pm

Though not a magician in the strictest sense, I wonder if it might have been Gustavo Rol.

Richard Hatch
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Richard Hatch » December 22nd, 2016, 7:44 pm

Perhaps Chefalo?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 22nd, 2016, 8:07 pm

It must have been the famous Doctor Vinnie Boombotz.
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JHostler
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby JHostler » December 22nd, 2016, 8:13 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It must have been the famous Doctor Vinnie Boombotz.


That's it! All roads lead to Dean Martin.

Boombotz --> Dangerfield --> DMVS
Welles --------------------------> DMVS

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Marco Pusterla
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Marco Pusterla » December 23rd, 2016, 3:52 am

The magician Welles met in Rome in 1948 was the most popular magician in the country at the time, Ranieri Bustelli (1898-1974) who was at the time performing at the Teatro Adriano in Rome with an enormous success and great earnings. Bustelli performed four months at the Adriano. I believe the season started on 28 July 1948, but would not know when Welles met him.

Bustelli was the greatest illusionist touring Italy from the 1930s to 1955, when he retired: Chefalo's success was more outside of Italy and in 1948 Chefalo was performing in England (he did perform in Italy between 1945 and 1946 for USO). Bustelli's show was a "magical revue", similar in scope to that of Dante, where he performed illusions, manipulation and general magic. A curiosity about Bustelli is that he probably was the first magician offering a 3-D experience to the audience, who was invited to wear the classical 3D glasses (one blue lens, one red) during his "séance" segment, to "better" see the "real" ghosts produced on stage.

Orson Welles had more than one encounter with Italian magicians at this time: a few weeks ago I was talking with Silvan who remembered the time he was called, in Venice, to perform magic for Welles who was in the city. This would have been again around 1948-49, and Silvan was still a child, but very talented magically.

It doesn't seem there is any information on Bustelli in English on the internet, but there is an Italian Wikipedia page with some basic information on him.

Next year, during the next European Magic History Conference, there will be a talk on Orson Welles and magic, and I believe the speaker will discuss about his "Italian connection" to magic.
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

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Richard Stokes
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Richard Stokes » December 23rd, 2016, 5:09 am

Thanks for that useful information.
The film was shot in November and early December of 1948, so the dates provided make sense.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Matthew Field » December 23rd, 2016, 5:46 am

Thank you Marco!

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lybrary
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby lybrary » December 23rd, 2016, 9:36 am

Lots of little known facts about Orson Welles are in the fascinating book by Bart Whaley "Orson Welles: The Man Who Was Magic" http://www.lybrary.com/orson-welles-the ... p-400.html (including several bits of his time in Italy)
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Jim Martin
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Re: Orson Welles in Rome

Postby Jim Martin » December 23rd, 2016, 11:04 am

There is also Orson Welles in Italy by Alberto Anile (IU Press, 2013).

Here are some preview pages:
https://books.google.com/books?id=3cyrAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Jim Martin
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