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Someone To Love - Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles

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Most of you probably have never heard of this film. It's called "Someone to Love," by Henry Jaglom. It was a noble failure, both commercially and artistically, but it holds a very special place in my heart. Almost the entire film was shot at the Mayfair Theatre in Santa Monica, and I was the box office manager of that theatre for two years, immediately following this film. It was shot in '87, and I worked there in '88 (when the film was released) and '89 (when the theatre was taken over by Second City, and I worked for them in the same capacity).

This movie holds one notable distinction, though. It's Orson Welles's last film.

It was shot in a semi-documentary style, very improvisational, about two brothers (one a filmmaker, played by Jaglom) who find themselves owners of an old theatre that is about to be demolished. Many of the details of this theatre discussed in the film are true. It was located at 214 Santa Monica Blvd., and the film takes place on Valentine's Day (2/14). The theatre was built in 1911 as an opera house, and at the time, was the oldest continuously operating theatre in the Los Angeles area. People like Marie Dressler and Fanny Brice performed on the stage.

Since we're coming up on Valentine's Day in 2014, I was reminded of this movie, flaws and all. Basically, the director (Jaglom) decides to gather a bunch of his friends, most of them in the movie business) to discuss "why they are alone" on Valentine's Day. He throws them a big party, and he films it. Essentially, that's the movie we're watching. At times, it's tedious and very self-indulgent, but at times, it's brilliant and thought-provoking. As I said, it's a noble failure.

Orson Welles appears several times throughout, but it's this scene (see the link) at the end that makes me think the most. This is only part of it. The scene is actually much longer, when the women come in and get involved in the conversation.

Aside from all the movie background here, I think this is a very interesting subject: "Why some people feel they are alone" in today's world, romantically, or rather the "demise" of the intimate relationship.

So here's my pre-Valentine's Day offering, up for discussion! After watching this clip, how do you feel about this subject?

Incidentaly, or maybe not so incidentally, this theatre was eventually demolished just a few years ago. They tried to save it for years, but after the last major earthquake, it was damaged beyond repair and had to come down. In addition to the history I've already mentioned, it was also the theatre used in the film "Young Frankenstein" for the "Puttin' On the Ritz" number. Whoopi Goldberg filmed her first HBO special there (while I was working as B.O. manager), and we ran a series of incredible music concerts, featuring Laura Nyro, Dr. John, Ry Cooder, Alex De Grassi, and many other talented artists. My biggest memories there will always be working for Second City, with all those incredible comedic actors.

And the theatre is "all gone" now ...

Someone To Love - video clip
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Updated On: 2/9/14 at 07:28 AM
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Here's the theatrical trailer, which shows more of Welles's own thoughts on the subject, plus a few more scenes from the film.


Someone To Love - trailer
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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I've heard of that movie. While I was walking in Newport, RI, last summer, I glanced in a bookstore window and saw a book entitled My Lunches with Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles. If you don't know that book, get to know it. It's great.
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Oh, very cool! I wasn't aware of this book, but it looks like it just came out last year. I will have to pick it up. Thanks for letting me know, nmartin.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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I can't stand Henry Jaglom, but he did one movie that I genuinely loved: LAST SUMMER AT THE HAMPTONS with Viveka Lindfors, Jon Robin Baitz, Martha Plimpton, Roscoe Lee Browne, Andre Gregory, and a ton of others. Very funny, escapist indie.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali
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^ Love that movie! I agree, it's probably the only film of his that I truly like, from start to finish. I've seen it many times and own the DVD.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Hi - this is Neil Roberts in Boston.  My father was Gerry Roberts,  a near legendary music and theater producer in the 1960's until 1989.  He took over the lease of the Mayfair Theater in Santa Monica in 1983 and ran it until the earthquake - I saw your post regarding the Ry Cooder show, which was one of the best performances I ever saw - your narrative about the Theater was a nice tribute - not sure if you remember me, but any reflections about my father would be much appreciated.  Best


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