Orson Welles Hated Saying Robert Wise’s Name in the “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” Teaser

Orson Welles Hated Saying Robert Wise’s Name in the “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” Teaser (photo)

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As part of the grand opening of their swanky new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosted a whole weekend of cool free events. On Friday Night, I went to Merv Bloch’s Trailer Show, in which Bloch, a veteran of decades in the movie marketing game, shared stories and clips from his lengthy career. Early in the night, Bloch mentioned that his company had designed the logo for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” and that as part of that film’s campaign he got to direct Orson Welles narrating its teaser trailer. At the end of the evening, someone asked Bloch if he had any stories about directing Welles, who could be a feisty presence in a sound booth if he wanted to be.

Bloch had a story. And it was a doozy.

To set the stage, here’s the teaser trailer that Bloch made with Welles.

Bloch said that despite Welles’ reputation, the two got along famously, in part because Bloch had named his company Rosebud Studio in honor of his favorite movie, Welles’ “Citizen Kane.” So the recording session was going along smoothly until they hit one major snag. The phrase: “Gene Roddenberry’s production of a Robert Wise film.”

Before Wise became a director in his own right he worked as an editor at RKO Studios where he cut several of Welles’ films, including “Citizen Kane.” He also edited “The Magnificent Ambersons,” and when RKO executives were displeased with the film while Welles was out of the country on another shoot, Wise helped supervise the removal of an hour of scenes and directed the shooting of a new, happier ending. Welles was understandably displeased with the changes; according to Bloch, he still held a grudge against Wise for “Ambersons” more than thirty years later.

But now Welles was being paid to advertise Wise’s film, to say his name with as much awe and import as he could muster. According to Bloch, that proved to be a struggle. Every time they would come to Wise’s name, Welles’ would intentionally botch it. Bloch did an impression of Welles sneering “A Robert Wise Film” — deep and gravelly and full of contempt — which print simply can’t do justice to. Just think of the person you hate most in the universe, then say his or her name with as much bile and disgust as you can muster. Then multiply that by 1000% and you’re close.

So how long did it take to get Welles to say “A Robert Wise Film” properly according to Bloch?

“About an hour.”

Awesome. Bloch claimed that somewhere he still has the raw tapes of the entire recording session. Maybe if we all ask really nicely, he’ll let us hear it.

Do you think you can still hear Welles’ anger in his voiceover? Let us know in the comments below or on IFC and Facebook!

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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