REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: ORSON WELLES 1980 PAUL MASSON WINE COMMERCIAL

We will sell no wine before its time” - Go Into The Story

 

For a couple years beginning in the late 70’s Orson Welles did one of the most memorable commercials of the era as the on -camera spokesman for the Paul Masson Vineyards. During Orson’s time as spokesman sales for Paul Masson grew by one third. The part of the commercial that is most remembered is the catchphrase “We will sell no wine before its time.”

At the time the commercials ran I was in my late teens. While I was a movie fan at that point -it was a fan of modern movies. What I knew about Orson Welles was in parts wrong. I was under the impression he was the film equivalent of a one-hit wonder. That as a man in his early 20’s he had made this towering movie that was considered the greatest movie ever made “Citizen Kane”- and after that it was all downhill. He couldn’t top what he did in his youth. By the late 70’s he was heavily overweight- as seen in the commercials. The commercials to me were sort of humorous but they were effective commercials.

Citizen Kane | Summary, Cast, & Facts | Britannica

 

In my early 20’s I began watching older movies. I would certainly not consider myself to be an expert on movies today but certainly a big fan- especially of older movies. I found out that I was wrong about Orson Welles. I viewed Citizen Kane for the first time in my early 20’s. {I would imagine over the years I have watched it a few dozen times including a few times on the big screen.}  To knock Orson for not being able to top Citizen Kane is kind of like being critical of The Beatles as individuals for not being able to top The Beatles- in their solo careers. Citizen Kane is a landmark movie- one of my greatest if not the greatest movies ever made.  Orson Welles wasn’t able to top Citizen Kane but nearly eighty years later no one else has been able to either. I loved Kane so I dug deeper into Orson’s work over his career- other favorites “Touch Of Evil”, “The Magnificent Ambersons”- which he directed didn’t act in, “Chimes Of Midnight”, “The Third Man”, “The Stranger”, “The Trial”, “Othello”, “Mr. Arkadin”, “Journey Into Fear”, “Jane Eyre” if Orson is in it it I will watch it. He would be on my Mount Rushmore of Favorite Actors- Humphrey Bogart, Orson, James Stewart and Robert De Niro.”

 

 

16 responses to “REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: ORSON WELLES 1980 PAUL MASSON WINE COMMERCIAL

  1. Touch of Evil is brilliant…that first scene is incredible.
    I’ve read a book about him by Barbara Leaming… He was so naturally talented but kept shooting himself in the foot. At least from what I read…he would almost always take off before a movie was finished…and other things. I’m a huge fan though.

    • I have had other people ask that- I have no idea why the comments close?? Is there some gadget that you can control that?

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  2. For me the most memorable part Orson Welles played was that of Father Mapple delivering a sermon on Jonah in the movie Moby Dick… ranting about truth and falsity and plucking out sin from under the robes of senators and judges – great stuff! And I’m an atheist BTW!

  3. I do remember that commercial! In fact, if one is of a certain age, many old commercials are stuck in our heads with their memorable slogans, jingles and catchphrases. How about: “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” or “Where’s the beef?” or “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing.”

    And what about the old commercial songs? ” I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony” or can you remember the Oscar Mayer song? ” Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener…” Fun stuff, but a little scary at the same time. How advertising can stick in your head for so many years. Thanks for the blast from the past!

    • Those old slogans do seem a lot more memorable than ones of today! Those do stick in your head! All good ones!

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