Orson Welles and People

Orson Welles and People was a 1956 pilot for a projected documentary series by Orson Welles, which is now believed to be lost.

Orson Welles and People
Written byOrson Welles
Directed byOrson Welles
Narrated byOrson Welles
Theme music composerOrson Welles (arranger)
Country of originAmerica
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes1 pilot
Producer(s)Orson Welles
Running time27 min
Production company(s)Orson Welles Enterprises

The pilot was a portrait of Alexandre Dumas, entitled "Camille, the Naked Lady and the Musketeers". It was filmed in just one day in October 1956, at a Poverty Row studio in Hollywood using the $5,000 fee that Welles had earned from his guest appearance on I Love Lucy. Welles used photo stills and drawings to illustrate the programme. He hoped that future episodes would profile Winston Churchill and P. T. Barnum.[1]

The pilot was unsuccessful: no series was ever commissioned, the pilot was never broadcast, and the one copy owned by Welles has now been deemed lost. However, film historian Joseph McBride believes it to be significant, as it was "an early example of the 'essay film', a genre that would increasingly occupy Welles."[2]


  1. Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, This is Orson Welles (DeCapo Press, New York, 1992 [rev. 1998 ed.]) p.421
  2. Joseph McBride, What Ever Happened to Orson Welles? (University of Kentucky Press, Kentucky, 2007) p.125
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