When Orson Welles Met Adolf Hitler
By Jake Rossen
The legendarily irascible film director Orson Welles was born 105 years ago today, May 6. While Welles will forever remain best known for the landmark movie Citizen Kane—the 1941 drama is often hailed as the greatest film of all time—he later became a fixture on talk shows, relating anecdotes about everything from dating Marilyn Monroe to his days in radio.
Appearing on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, Welles shared details of an encounter he had with another highly recognizable face—Adolf Hitler. But according to Welles, the meeting was mostly forgettable.
Welles attended a dinner function with history’s most infamous monster at the behest of his Austrian hiking instructor. At the time, Welles said the Nazi party was a “minority party of nuts” that “nobody took seriously at all.” Hitler himself “made so little an impression on me that I can’t remember a second of it.” The dictator, he added, “had no personality whatsoever … I think there was nothing there.”
You can watch the segment below.
In another appearance with Cavett, Welles described meeting Winston Churchill, a far more pleasant memory. Churchill attended Othello in London, and then went backstage to meet Welles and proceeded to recite all the actor’s lines from memory.
[h/t Open Culture]