Who Created Citizen Kane and Why Is It the Greatest Film Ever?

Charles Foster Kane, the protagonist of “Citizen Kane”, is based on newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The dialogue for Kane was written by Mankiewicz utilizing nearly word-for-word quotes from Hearst’s publications and speeches.

Orson Welles helmed, produced, and co-wrote the 1941 American drama Citizen Kane, in which he also appeared. Most reviewers agree that it is a seminal achievement in the history of cinema and one of the very few movies ever made that deserves a remake.

William Randolph Hearst: A Life

who is citizen kane based on

On April 29, 1863, in San Francisco, California, William Randolph Hearst was born to multimillionaire George Hearst and his wife Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Hearst was raised with the utmost love and attention from his mother because he was an only child.

Charles Foster Kane, the main character of Citizen Kane, is widely believed to be based on William Randolph Hearst, who established a media empire in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A relationship can’t be ignored between Kane and Hearst, even if Citizen Kane is fiction due to the many similarities between the two.

Although it’s likely that Hearst and Welles never actually met, they were both familiar with one another. It’s likely that Welles thought Hearst sought to limit his early success in the theater. Politically, the two guys couldn’t have been more different from one another.

Hearst was a reactionary billionaire who despised minorities, had doubts about Jews, backed the Nazi party, opposed communism and isolationism, despised President Roosevelt, and was opposed to the New Deal.

Welles was more of a liberal who valued an individual’s abilities over their religion or nationality. Hearst and Welles were political and social opposites, but they shared certain other characteristics: they were both intelligent and narcissistic and they were often indulged by others in their lives.

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Rosebud Was Created by Steven Spielberg, Who Now Owns the Rights to The Film.

who is citizen kane based on

The film’s climax depends on the reporters’ quest to discover the meaning of Charles Foster Kane’s final word, “Rosebud.”

Kane’s childhood sled with the inscription “Rosebud” on it serves as a metaphor for the happiness and naiveté he sought as an adult but, perhaps, never attained. You won’t find a more recognizable plot device in all of cinema.

There Is an Ongoing Debate Over Who Wrote the Script for Citizen Kane.

Although both Mankiewicz and Welles received Oscars for their efforts on the Citizen Kane screenplay, the exact contributions of each writer remain unclear.

Welles has stated that Mankiewicz wrote the first two versions while he contributed heavily to the third. Mankiewicz supposedly agreed to let the company remove his name from the script in a signed contract.

However, back then, the Screen Writers Guild had a rule that said a producer couldn’t get a writing credit unless he wrote the script “completely without the assistance of any other writer.” The two parties settled on a compromise where credit would be split evenly.

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The Filmmaking Style of Citizen Kane Changed how Movies Were Shot Forever.

who is citizen kane based on

Welles claims that Toland approached him and offered his services to direct the film. Toland’s retort to Welles’ “I don’t know anything about movies”

Because I believe we will end up with a film that looks different if I leave you alone as much as possible, that’s why I want to do it. I can’t stand being in an office with experts.

So, they started to work, and finally, Toland had the independence he’d always wanted. He made adjustments to the film equipment in order to achieve the iconic “deep focus” pictures.

The composite photos he and visual effects guru Linwood Dunn created (Kane finding Susan Alexander’s suicide attempt) are stunning. Citizen Kane is a cinematic tour de force because it showcases every innovative camera technique of the time all at once.

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Final Words

Orson Welles made his debut as a film director with Citizen Kane, in which he also appeared. Welles assisted the legendary Herman L. Mankiewicz in writing the script. The story and plot structure, editing, and cinematography of Citizen Kane are what set it apart as arguably the best film ever made, however, the film is renowned for many other qualities as well, such as its fantastic storytelling.

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