Orson Welles: Commentaries

1945-46 series of Hollywood news and political commentary
from archive.org

During World War II, Welles often expressed his political and social views on the air, supporting the Democratic Party or the war-effort in general. From January to June 1945, the New York Post syndicated a regular editorial column by Welles that combined Hollywood gossip and political content. As the Hollywood content lost out to political commentary, the Post dropped the column. Orson Welles Commentaries are a continuation of this effort, again combining Hollywood and Broadway news and opinion with Welles' liberal political views.

The most famous episodes address the case of Isaac Woodard, Jr., a decorated African-American solider badly beaten and blinded by police in South Carolina. Welles drew attention to the injustice over a series of weeks, bringing it to national attention and naming the officer responsible for the assault.

Frequent collaborators included composer/conductor Bernard Herrmann and actors Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, Arthur Anderson, Dan Seymour, George Coulouris, Ray Collins, Karl Swenson, Eustace Wyatt, Edgar Barrier, Bud Collyer, Hans Conried and Frank Readick.

  1. 45-09-16: The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, Bullfighting, Korea (21Mb)
  2. 45-09-23: Fortune tellers, GI entertainment in the Atomic age, food shortage in Europe (20.9Mb)
  3. 45-09-30: Ike and Britain, Patton's peace for Germany, Truman's "little man" act (21Mb)
  4. 45-10-07: Nazi tribunals, GI Bill of Rights, Hollywood parties (20.9Mb)
  5. 45-10-14: Ike and Patton, competitive nationalism, No Man is an Island (20.8Mb)
  6. 45-10-21: Little Boy in China, British confusion machine, Corinthians Ch 13 (21.2Mb)
  7. 45-10-28: Williams Hall guest hosts, talks of brewing civil war in China (21.1Mb)
  8. 45-11-04: OSS, the future CIA, possible war with Russia (21.1Mb)
  9. 45-11-11: Broadcast from Welles' house, letter from Louis Armstrong with jazz music (21Mb)
  10. 45-11-18: Zutty Singleton, British suppression of Indonesian freedom fighters, Sleeping Beauty (21.3Mb)
  11. 45-11-25: Fortune telling lobbyists, possible attack on USSR, Ike's Thanksgiving (20.9Mb)
  12. 45-12-02: Broadcast from Chicago, Oklahoma City flight holdover (20.1Mb)
  13. 45-12-09: Broadcast from Treasure Island Naval Base in San Francisco (23.3Mb)
  14. 45-12-16: Fortune telling, Russia and Iran, Virginia and Santa Claus, HUAC (21.4Mb)
  15. 45-12-23: Broadcast from Mexico City, Stone of the Sun (20.5Mb)
  16. 45-12-30: Broadcast from Miami, International brotherhood of magicians, a night at Chichen Itza (20.7Mb)
  17. 46-01-06: Epiphany story surrounding the birth of Jesus, plight of many US veterans (21Mb)
  18. 46-01-13: Free Lear radios, advertising on Broadway and New York (20.9Mb)
  19. 46-01-20: A Walk in the Sun, unemployed vets and rich war profiteers, the plight of blacks in America (21.2Mb)
  20. 46-01-27: Tribute to FDR, Truman's advisors bow to big business, audience gullability and freedom (21Mb)
  21. 46-06-23: The OPA Is Dead (19.3Mb)
  22. 46-06-30: Bikini Atomic Test (20Mb)
  23. 46-07-21: OPA One Year Extension (19.9Mb)
  24. 46-07-28: Affidavit of Isaac Woodward (19.6Mb)
  25. 46-08-04: The Peacemakers (19.8Mb)
  26. 46-08-11: To Be Born Free (19.6Mb)
  27. 46-08-18: Welles Film Banned (19.5Mb)
  28. 46-08-25: The Place Was Batesburg (19.8Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.