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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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