Brass or Gold?

“An unmakeable, even embarrassing last gasp.” That’s the assessment of Orson Welles’ screenplay “The Big Brass Ring” that Steve Hochman grandly attributes to “Welles scholars and Hollywood power brokers alike” (“Down to Brass Tacks,” Jan. 24).

Here is another opinion, from the best of the many good reviews the screenplay received when it was published in book form: “The screenplay . . . is purest Welles. He is clearly at the top of his glittering form, which was as deeply literary as it was visual.”

That was from Gore Vidal’s “Remembering Orson Welles” in the June 1, 1989, New York Review of Books, reprinted in “The Essential Gore Vidal.” Those wishing to form their own judgment can read Welles’ version when it is reprinted later this year by the UCLA Press.


Los Angeles