The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles
Theatrical release poster
Directed byChuck Workman
Produced byCharles S. Cohen
  • John Sharaf
  • Tom Hurwitz
  • Michael Lisnet
Edited byChuck Workman
  • Cohen Welles Project
  • Calliope Films
  • Wheelhouse Creative
Distributed byCohen Media Group
Release date
  • October 17, 2014 (2014-10-17) (Woodstock Film Festival)
  • December 10, 2014 (2014-12-10)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States

Magician: The Astonishing Work and Life of Orson Welles is a 2014 American documentary film by Chuck Workman.


Produced on the eve of the centenary of Orson Welles's birth, the film is a chronological review of his personal life and achievements in theatre, radio and film. It includes excerpts of nearly all of Welles's films, archival footage and audio, and interviews with colleagues, biographers, critics, friends and contemporary directors who credit his influence.[1]


First presented at numerous film festivals,[2] the film was released theatrically on December 10, 2014.[3]


The film received positive reviews[4] with 73% on Rotten Tomatoes[5] and 67 on Metacritic[6]

The Observer called the film "an excellent primer on the maestro’s career".[7]


  1. ^ Chuck Workman Talks MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES, The Challenges of Documentary Filmmaking, Welles’ Legacy, and More-Collider
  2. ^ Harvey, Dennis (October 20, 2014). "Film Review: Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles". Variety. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  3. ^ "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles". Cohen Media Group. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  4. ^ ‘Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles’ Review: A Solid Into-Variety
  5. ^ Rotten Tomatoes
  6. ^ Metacritic.
  7. ^ Kermode, Mark (July 5, 2015). "Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles review – a heady ride". The Observer. Retrieved 2015-09-07.