FilmDrunk

Orson Welles Used To Edit Lesbian Porn

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There are many Hollywood luminaries who dabbled in porn while they were still trying to break into mainstream movies, especially in the seventies, including Sylvester Stallone (The Party At Kitty And Stud’s, 1970) and Bad Lieutenant director Abel Ferrara, who once told me “It’s bad enough paying a guy $200 to f*ck your girlfriend, then he can’t get it up.”

The twist with Orson Welles, who made Citizen Kane, a film that would forever be synonymous with “masterpiece,” is that he did his porn work after he was an icon. As described in Josh Karp’s Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind, with an excerpt over at Vulture, Welles had spent seven years making what would be his final movie and was running out of cash to pay his crew. He made a deal with his cinematographer, Gary Graver, to do some editing work on 3 AM (1975), a porno Graver was making, in exchange for Graver’s work on Welles’ The Other Side of The Wind (which was still unfinished when Welles died in 1985).

Welles, wrote Karp, “wound up editing a hard-core lesbian shower scene that he couldn’t resist cutting in Wellesian fashion with low camera angles and other trademark flair.”

…Welles reciprocated by working without credit on one of Graver’s hard-core films, 3 A.M. Fuming that Graver was busy editing it instead of working on his projects, Welles volunteered to cut a sequence to speed the film’s completion. The star of 3 A.M., Georgina Spelvin, proudly told me that Welles was responsible for the dynamic editing of her masturbation scene in a shower… [Vulture]

Vulture has a short clip, which they describe, in typical internet fashion, as “extremely NSFW,” which seems a bit hyperbolic to me. What’s “slightly” NSFW, a nipple? Is a little finger banging really that much more “extreme” than a nipple? No one even gets peed on. I’m sick of you puritans, this could be a kid’s show in France.

Anyway, I’d never heard the story of Orson Welles pornographic moonlighting. Having seen the commercials he shot around this time, it was probably for the best that he did his porn work behind the camera. Still, I can’t help but imagine what it would’ve been like if he’d starred. Struggling to lift his paunch for insertion, the crew breaking every few minutes while a PA dashed in to vacuum up his cigar ash, all while he made labored groaning sounds and mopped his brow with a monogrammed handkerchief.

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