I'm currently writing a glowing review of My Lunches With Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles which will be up in a day or two. In the meantime, if you don't know Welles as well as you should, here are some recommendations:
I love it), you can no more call yourself a film buff without seeing Kane than you can call yourself literate without knowing the alphabet. As Jean-Luc Godard said of Welles, "Everyone will always owe him everything."
The Third Man (1949)—Welles didn't direct this suspense classic (Carol Reed did), but his supporting performance as the charming arch-criminal Harry Lime is one of the most memorable in movie history.
The Lady From Shanghai (1948)—starring his soon-to-be ex-wife Rita Hayworth, this film noir thriller boasts the legendary shoot-out in a hall of mirrors.
Touch of Evil (1958)—from the twilight of the film noir era, Welles is a cop run amok terrorizing both good guys (Charlton Heston) and bad guys (Akim Tamiroff).
Chimes at Midnight a.k.a. Falstaff (1965)—the least seen of his classic films, Welles plays Shakespeare's fat fool as a tragic-comic figure and a meta-commentary on his own career.
Macbeth (1948)—One of Welles's three Shakespeare films, this atmospheric interpretation made a lot more sense after it was restored in the 1990s.
Othello (1952)—personally, I think the only way for a white actor to play Othello is the way Patrick Stewart did it at the Shakespeare Theater back in 1997: with an otherwise all-black cast. Except for the matter of pigmentation, Othello was right in Welles's wheelhouse.
Mr. Arkadin a.k.a. Confidential Report (1955)—the studio messed around so much with this whodunit about a private detective hot on the trail of the mysterious Mr Arkadin, that the Criterion dvd contains three versions.
Compulsion (1959)—another acting-only movie, Welles plays a lawyer defending two killers based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb.
Jane Eyre (1944)—acting only. Welles is pretty good as Mr. Rochester, but Joan Fontaine obviously didn't read the novel about a feisty girl who marries above her station.
Tomorrow is Forever (1946)—acting only. I waited forever for this three-hanky weeper to finish. Co-starring Claudette Colbert.
Catch-22 (1970)—acting only. Alan Arkin is good, but the screenplay makes too much sense to capture the flavor of the classic Joseph Heller novel.
F for Fake (1973)—Welles's last feature-length directorial effort, this documentary about art forger Elmyr de Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving who got rich off a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes is beloved by some, but I'm not some.
Burn Before Watching
Casino Royale (1967)—no, not the Daniel Craig classic. This is the swingin' 60s spoof. Incoherent, self-indulgent and painfully unfunny. Acting only.
It Happened One Christmas (1977)—made for tv remake of It's A Wonderful Life with Welles as Mr. Potter and Marlo Thomas in the Jimmy Stewart role. Saw it as a teenager and was scarred for life. Acting only.