Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010

Orson Welles, G&G Whiskey

These days, Orson Welles' most famous advertising moment may be his blowup over a script for frozen peas. But that was just an outtake. As far as Welles' actual commercials are concerned, the most entertaining one (those unfortunate Paul Masson ads aside) is clearly this spot for Japanese whiskey. Welles doesn't speak Japanese, and advertisers can't dub his voice because — well, that deep, booming baritone is the whole point of using Orson Welles in a commercial. In the end, Welles just talks to the camera in a fairly lackadaisical fashion while a bastardized version of the theme song to his film The Third Man plays in the background. He doesn't even try to hide his apathy in this one. Sean Connery and Bill Murray (the latter in Lost in Translation) would later provide their own versions of the dissolute Hollywood star stuck working in Japanese commercials.