For those who are unaware, the late, great Orson Welles did a lot of voice work over his career. From his unforgettable radio performance of War of the Worlds, to his work as a narrator (like this promotional video for shooting movies in my home state of New Hampshire; music by Tangerine Dream?), or even in animated movies, such as 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie, where he voiced Unicron. There is no doubt that he had one of the best voices we’ve ever heard.
For those of you who loved and miss this voice, here’s an old gem of a video of Orson reading Herman Melville‘s literary classic, Moby Dick. This may sound like a boring video to some of you, but if you’re not familiar with Welles’ brilliant and booming voice, you’ll be quick to discover that this is just flat-out awesome.
Now, this is not the first time Welles was involved with the classic white whale. He played multiple roles, including Captain Ahab and Father Mapple in a 1955 TV special; then again as Mapple in a 1956 movie. He was even used as Captain Ahab, Starbuck, and Ishmael in a 1971 short film that was never completed and ultimately edited together in 1999.
Grab your harpoon and row yourself on over to the other side to watch a bit of Orson Welles reading Moby Dick.
I actually realized that if he were still alive, Welles would have made a perfect Andrew Ryan in Bioshock, and that this may have even been some kind of inspiration for that part. You can’t tell me you don’t feel like you’re listening to an audio diary while watching this video!
Videos like these are rare gems, and just watching this man speak — even in interviews that you can find on YouTube like this one where he talks movies — is far more compelling and hypnotic than a great deal of actual movies we see today. He’s still very much missed and there will never be another like him.