The Affairs of Anatole


Broadcast on:
August 22, 1938
Based on:
"Anatol" by Arthur Schnitzler (1893)
The Affairs of Anatole

"It was the winter I was in love twice, and Anatole seven times."

Part cautionary tale, part hymn to the frivolity of youth, Schnitzler's story is a joyful romp through pre-war Vienna. A young man in search of love finding more than he bargained for. It seems likely Welles chose this story more from a love of Vienna than of Schnitzler himself, wanting to share his affection for the city with his audience.

Welles's opening eulogy to Vienna brings his brief yet memorable performance of Harry Lime in Carol Reed's The Third Man to mind. He was clearly fascinated by Vienna, this splendidly peculiar unfinished project from 1969 is another adulatory hymn to the city in which he shares the same nostalgia for the Vienna he knew as a child.


The Play

Schnitzler's first play, a tale of youthful indiscretion in the Austria of Welles's youth, shares a great deal in common with his later work. Much like his fellow countryman and correspondent Freud, Schnitzler had a healthy fascination with sexuality and sex - both his own and others, his diaries detailing his many casual encounters in great detail. His later novella 'Dream Story' was adapted by Stanley Kubrick as 'Eyes Wide Shut', providing audiences with an unasked-for glimpse into the Cruises' intimate moments. As Freud himself wrote to Schnitzler: "I have gained the impression that you have learned through intuition – although actually as a result of sensitive introspection – everything that I have had to unearth by laborious work on other persons."

Full Cast

Orson Welles, Alice Frost, Helen Lewis, Arlene Francis, Ray Collins, William Alland, and announcer Dan Seymour.

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Mercury Theatre

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Les Miserables

Welles's interpretation of Hugo's epic tale, which inspired CBS to commission the Mercury Theatre.

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"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Orson Welles