The history of Mr. Arkadin is quite convoluted. A novel by Maurice Bessy of the same title that is credited to Welles, the film's writer and director, has only added to the confusion. The film was based on an episode of the radio series The Lives of Harry Lime, a series based around the character Welles portrayed in The Third Man. In addition, several different versions of the film were released. Jonathan Rosenbaum's essay The Seven Arkadins is an attempt to detail the different versions including the novel and radio play.
Released in some parts of Europe as Confidential Report, this film shares themes and stylistic devices with its cousin The Third Man.
Like many of Welles' other films Mr. Arkadin was heavily edited without his input.
The Criterion Collection has now issued a 3 DVD box set which includes three separate versions of Mr. Arkadin including a comphrehensive re-edit that combines material taken from all the know versions of the film. Also included are three of the Harry Lime radio plays Welles reportedly wrote and based the screenplay on, as well as the complete novel that is credited to Orson Welles, but that Welles himself claimed was "ghost-written".
Gregory Arkadin, a Russian tycoon -- ORSON WELLES
Guy Van Stratten, American smuggler -- ROBERT ARDEN
Mily, dancer at Juan les Pins -- PATRICIA MEDINA
Raina, Arkadin's daughter -- PAOLA MORI
Jakob Zouk, a Zurich tailor -- AKIM TAMIROFF
Bracco, a blackmailer in Naples -- GREGOIRE ASLAN
Robert Rutleigh, a Scottish Marquis -- JACK WATLING
The Professor, a Copenhagen flea trainer -- MISCHA AUER
Thaddeus, Tangier contraband dealer- PETER VAN EYCK
Burgomil Trebitsch, Amsterdam antique dealer -- MICHAEL REDGRAVE
Baroness Nagel -- SUZANNE FLON
Oskar, heroin addict in Mexico -- FREDERICK O'BRADY
Sophie Radzweickz Martinez -- KATINA PAXINOU
Jesus Martinez, a Mexican General -- MANUEL REQUENA
Woman who hides Zouk -- TAMARA SHAYNE
Mr. Arkadin’s Secretary -- TERENCE LANGDON
A Munich detective -- GERT FROBE
Munich policeman -- EDUARD LINKER
Pianist in Cannes bar -- GORDON HEATH
Woman with baguette in Paris -- ANNABEL
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Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire