WELLES, Orson. Mr. Arkadin. W H Allen. 1956.
8vo., original cloth with dust wrapper. A little rubbing and creasing to head of spine of wrapper, a little spotting to prelims, otherwise a very good copy.
First UK edition, inscribed by Welles "To Keith Burns best regards Orson Welles." Kevin Johnson, author of The Dark Page. Books that Inspired American Film Noir, notes that this is the only signed copy of this English edition that is thus far known.
The basis of the 1955 film noir of the same name directed by and starring Welles as the title character. The film was released in England under the title "Confidential Report". "It is perhaps surprising that Orson Welles, so phenomenally active and versatile in the arts, has not written a novel before. Mr Arkadin finds Mr Welles in what may perhaps be described as his "Third Man" mood".
Welles was unhappy with the film and indeed denied authorship of the novel, although it was confirmed as his work by many others.
Collector Keith Burns, a former NBC News editor and son-in-law of RKO Pictures assistant director Samuel Ruman sold off some of his Welles-related treasures in 2015.
Burns met Welles on the sets of The Dean Martin Show and The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson. The two men shared an interest in magic. (Burns has authored books on magician Dai Vernon).
"Welles liked me because I was an editor," Burns said. "I was a fan, but not a fawning fan."
Burns' collection includes items given to him by Welles and Ruman and collectibles he purchased from "directors and producers who fell on hard times in the 1970s."