The Orson-Welles and Alessandro Tasca di Cutò papers reflect the working and personal relationship between Orson Welles and Alessandro Tasca di Cutò. He was a producer for many of Orson Welles’s films, but two were especially significant for Orson Welles: The Chimes at Midnight (also known as Falstaff, 1965) and Don Quixote (1955-73, unfinished). In both cases, Welles shot the material over a period of years, and on a shoestring budget. The majority of the archive consists of an assortment of letters, handwritten notes, and telegrams that Welles sent to Tasca di Cutò concerning the day-to-day working needs of the filmmaker.
The majority of the archive lies in its assortment of letters, handwritten notes, and telegrams that Welles sent to Tasca di Cutò concerning the day-to-day working needs of the filmmaker. The collection is divided into four series: Correspondence, Projects, Photographs, and Miscellaneous.
In the Correspondence series, the bulk of the letters are written from 1960-1964. Alessandro is usually referred to as Sandro by Orson Welles. The majority of letters are from Welles to Tasca di Cutò mainly discussing film production details. Welles signs many of his letters with just “O”. There is also a letter from Welles to Joseph Marks head of MAfilm in Hungary from 1985. The correspondence contains several references related to Orson Welles’s death in 1985, including a photocopy of a telegram of condolence from France’s President Francois Mitterand to Tasca di Cutò, and from Ann Rogers, Welles’s one-time secretary in London. In the Various to Tasca section letters include correspondence from Paola Mori and Rebecca Welles Manning along with business contacts. The letters are a combination of typed and handwritten letters and some letters are photocopies of originals.
The Projects series includes information on films Orson Welles acted and directed. Included in this series are scripts, production documents such as budgets and filming schedules, and photographs. The films include: "Black Magic", "Nella terra di Don Chisciotte" (In the Land of Don Quixote) a documentary, "Chimes at Midnight", "The Other Side of the Wind", "The Big Brass Ring", "The Dreamers", "King Lear", "The Cradle Will Rock", "Mercedes", "It’s All True", "The Unseen", "Don Quixote", and "Saladino". The "Chimes at Midnight" documents include 22 costume sketches that are attributed to Orson Welles, but are left unsigned. In "Don Quixote" there are eleven drawings and paintings by several different artists depicting scenes from "Don Quixote" based on stills from some early footage. The drawings are from different artists but all are in the style of Gustave Dore. The drawings were to show Don Quixote “reading his book and getting his Big Idea.” The unfinished projects include: "It’s All True", "The Other Side of the Wind", "The Big Brass Ring", "King Lear", "The Cradle Will Rock", "Saladino" and "Don Quixote".
Photographs are included in each project, but the Photographs series contains photographs of Alessandro Tasca di Cutò on set and in some of his acting roles.
Miscellaneous contains material such as stationary, and programs from many Orson Welles tributes. Included is a photocopy of a legal document that is a confirmation of ownership rights to Oja Kodar for some of Orson Welles’s material. The Clippings and Articles contains general clippings from several publications from 1943-1985 documenting Orson Welles’s career with some in French and Spanish.