Citizen Kane Research

Ciudadano Kane

“Ciudadano Kane”by Kane. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Battle Over Citizen Kane (Documentary)

  • Hearst transformed the newspaper industry
  • Hollywood was at the top of it’s game in 1939
  • Welles had a feeling that he could do no wrong
  • The greatness of Welles drove him down to nothing, because he was careless
  • Heart built an empire of media, he controlled numerous media outlets
  • Hearst lived on San Simeon (the large estate/palace that was half the size of Rhode Island)
  • Welles and Hearst were both power hungry
  • Hearst was well-off, and usually got what he wanted from his mother (who was devoted to him), and father (who was a powerful miner and businessman)
  • Hearst wanted his newspaper to be filled with it’s own story/creating his own news
  • Hearst era created gas-lighting techniques, which is manipulative
  • Welles was a born show-man, his career was built on controversy (but that controversy benefitted him, until Citizen Kane)
  • Welles wanted to revolutionize the theatre, no matter what it took to get what he wanted (the Macbeth play got wonderful reviews)
  • Welles had fame within theatre and radio, he exuded power and authority
  • Hearst always wanted more, he was taught to aim for the highest
  • Hearst lost at multiple political positions (even his own party that he formed)
  • Welles stripped Hearst’s life story to make his own plot for his drama
  • Welles’ radio could reach many people, used this platform in a risky and daring way (ex during his War of the Worlds show that scared many)
  • Marion started as a gold digger, but she ended up falling in love with Hearst
  • Citizen Kane had a horrible portrayal of Marion Davies (Orson still believes it was a wrong trick to play)
  • Welles was always posing (he did not take any blame for the issues, always put it on other people)
  • The script for the movie, Herman J. Mankiewicz, gave a copy to the nephew of Davies, Hearst knew that the topic of the movie was him, but Welles continued on with production
  • Hearst loved a good time and loved life, but he used his newspaper for his own influence (making up fake stories)
  • Hearst wanted the film destroyed and offered to buy the film and burn them
  • Louella Parsons wanted the film to be ruined, Hearst and Parsons threatened Orson
  • Orson was accused of being a communist and a homosexual
  • The RKO palace was where Citizen Kane opened, no Hearst papers showed any reviews or advertisements for it
  • Citizen Kane only got one Oscar, for the screenplay, even though it was nominated for 9
  • The one winner of the Orson and Hearst battle is the film itself

RKO 281 (Docudrama)

  • Welles, at 24, signs with RKO 281 (with an unimaginable contract)
  • Hearst and Welles had conflict at a dinner party that was hosted by Hearst (there were bull-fighting references that related to the structure of Hollywood)
  • The production of Citizen Kane went over the scheduled time
  • Welles and Mankiewicz had their ups and downs, but in the end they worked things though and were able to collaborate
  • Welles struggled within his relationship with his father
  • Hearst was in debt over $100 million
  • Marion was upset about her portrayal after watching the movie
  • Heads of the studios met to come up with a plan for their situation, which was to burn/destroy all of the copies of the film
  • Orson spoke to the ‘money-men’ in New York City, and convinced them to show the film, because of the freedom they had

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