LA Timesa piece by Richard Schickel

The Essential Chaplin

The simple truth is that Welles, who was orphaned as a child, was raised by a foster father, Maurice (“Dadda”) Bernstein, and nurtured by a schoolteacher, Roger Hill, to believe in his own genius — no questions asked, no limits set. McBride quotes Welles, late in life, commenting on a character in the screenplay “The Brass Ring” (published but, of course, unmade), thus: “He is a man who has within himself the devil of self-destruction that lives in every genius…. It is not self-doubt, it is cosmic doubt! What am I going to do — I am the best, I know that, now what do I do with it?”

In Welles’ case, the answer comes back: After 1942, he did almost nothing of unambiguous value.