American Experience (1988– )
15 user 7 critic

The Battle Over Citizen Kane 

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 »




Episode credited cast:
William Alland William Alland ... Himself
Thomas Anderson Thomas Anderson ... Himself
Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself
Jimmy Breslin ... Himself
Richard Ben Cramer ... Narrator (voice)
Marion Davies ... Herself (archive footage)
Leonard de Paur Leonard de Paur ... Himself
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Himself
Richard France ... Himself
William Randolph Hearst William Randolph Hearst ... Himself (archive footage)
William Herz William Herz ... Himself
Sam Leve Sam Leve ... Himself
Norman Lloyd ... Himself
Nancy Loe Nancy Loe ... Herself
Frank Mankiewicz Frank Mankiewicz ... Himself


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 <>

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Release Date:

29 January 1996 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


References Cecilia of the Pink Roses (1918) See more »

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User Reviews

Very Interesting
25 March 2003 | by Cyber256702000See all my reviews

Feature length documentary on the life of Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst. The making of the film Citizen Kane, the controversy it had, and the battle between Hearst and Welles, with Hearst trying his best to make sure the film never was released. Very Interesting, never dull, and with some bits of trivia about the movie that isn't that well known. *** out of ****

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