Born in 1915, Welles was intellectually brilliant, flamboyant and physically imposing.
Using archive material, Callow traces the early years of the gifted Welles, up to the time of extraordinary creativity which characterised his Mercury Theatre of the Air.
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From the time of his 1938 production of `The War of the Worlds', Welles's wartime years witnessed his growing political involvement.
The film `Citizen Kane' was followed by `The Magnificent Ambersons', and his extensive broadcast work included comedy with Jack Benny.
After the Second World War, Welles left America and until the mid-1970s led a largely nomadic existence.
These postwar years saw the success of Graham Greene's `The Third Man', featuring Welles's extraordinary Harry Lime character.