Documentary about the battle between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). Features interviews with Welles' and Hearst's co-workers also as a relative complete bio of Hearst.
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Episode credited cast:
William Alland ...
Himself
Thomas Anderson ...
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Narrator (voice)
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Leonard de Paur ...
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William Randolph Hearst ...
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William Herz ...
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Sam Leve ...
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Nancy Loe ...
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Frank Mankiewicz ...
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Storyline

This documentary, produced for PBS' _"American Experience, The" (1988)_ series, chronicles the struggles between filmmaker Orson Welles and newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst over the making and release of Citizen Kane (1941), whose protagonist (Charles Foster Kane) was allegedly a barely fictionalized Hearst. Interviews with contemporaries of Hearst and Welles reveal the intense campaign to suppress the film and ultimately ruin the career of its director. Written by Jesse Garon <grifter@primenet.com>

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29 January 1996 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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References Young Bride (1932) See more »

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Good Documentary
2 December 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Battle Over Citizen Kane, The (The American Experience) (1996)

*** (out of 4)

Season eight of The American Experience featured this documentary about the making of Orson Welles Citizen Kane, which would cause the director to do battle with William Randolph Hearst, the man Kane is based on. There's one huge problem with this film and that's that the film takes way too much time to dig into the actual making of the movie. We spend about an hour getting to know both Welles and Hearst, which is fine but I think too much time is spent here. We learn how Hearst ended up making his fortune (as well as losing) and how Welles became an overnight sensation with The War of the Words radio show. The most interesting aspects happen when we get to the making of the film and how Welles was running out of time to get a movie on the screen as many felt he'd never film anything. When the actual battle starts between the two men it's rather shocking and perhaps sad that neither Welles or Hearst had the decency to try and meet with one another to settle this thing instead of letting it take both of them over. The even sadder thing is that the movie Citizen Kane ended up being a bio of Welles as he ended up just like the character. I've often wondered if Welles got lost in the Kane character or perhaps he was the Kane character and this documentary makes it seem like he was the Kane character.


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