“Aside from ‘Citizen Kane’, all of Orson Welles’s films were severely criticized in their day, too poor or too baroque, crazy, too Shakespearean or not sufficiently so. Nevertheless, in the end, Welles’s reputation throughout the world is secure.”
– Francois Truffaut
It is sometimes difficult to separate a man’s art from a man’s personality. Oftentimes artists hide behind their work, and their true selves are never displayed to the public. Other times, artists throw themselves in front of their work and obscure their unique creativity, instead basking in the attention that their art produces. With a filmmaker like Orson Welles, it is difficult to decide what kind of a man he was. Marlene Dietrich’s final line of dialogue in Touch of Evil intimates at the futility of such an answer: “He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people?” While she’s referring to Welles’s character, Hank Quinlan, she might as well have been talking about Orson Welles himself. Welles even admitted those lines were about himself, but sadly, in the end, the many things said about Welles had a detrimental effect on his career.