A Beautiful Ruin

Before its release, Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons was brutally cut by RKO, and its missing footage has long been the stuff of Hollywood legend. But the film’s tumultuous backstory hasn’t stopped it from being revered as one of the most ambitious and deeply moving family sagas in American cinema. Our edition brings it to new life in a 4K restoration, accompanied by special features that explore Welles’s genius and the fraught production he oversaw.

Out today on Blu-ray and DVD!
Peek Inside
  • “It will remain forever one of the great might-have-beens of cinematic history.”
    —film historian Simon Callow on the lost footage
  • “Never was such a grim film so buoyant.”
    —film critic Molly Haskell
  • “Is there any director who simultaneously loves and loathes his characters as much as Welles does in Ambersons? He demolishes them like Stanley Kubrick; he adores them like Jean Renoir.”
    —novelist Jonathan Lethem
The Current


Molly Haskell on Why Ambersons Cuts So Deep


Jonathan Lethem Asks: “Does Ambersons Exist?”


Farran Smith Nehme on Orson Welles’s Voice

For further information on Criterion and our products, please visit our website at If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to be added, please click here to register at To unsubscribe, click here. © 2018 The Criterion Collection.