Orson Welles 1915-1985
The Hearts of Age (1934)

The Hearts of Age is the first film made by Orson Welles. The film is an eight-minute short, which he co-directed with William Vance in 1934. The film stars Welles' first wife, Virginia Nicholson, as well as Welles himself. He made the film while attending the Todd School for Boys, in Woodstock, Illinois, at the age of 19.

The plot is a series of images loosely tied together, and is arguably influenced by surrealism. This once-rare film is easily seen today thanks to DVD extras and sites such as YouTube. Many point to it as an important precursor to Welles' first Hollywood film, Citizen Kane. Welles and Vance were college friends. The latter's only other film on record is another student short - an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1932.


Senses of Cinema article "The Hearts of Age" by Brian L. Frye
Orson Welles in the 356 Days Project on UbuWeb