Research Paper - MW 3:00 Citizen King Kane Or How a...

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MW 3:00 Citizen King Kane : Or, How a Newspaper Tycoon Unwillingly Helped Make the Most Important Film of All- Time
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George Orson Welles (1915 –1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. Welles first gained wide notoriety for his infamous October 30, 1938 halloween-themed radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds . Adapted to sound like an actual news broadcast, it caused a number of listeners to panic. In the mid-1930s, his New York theatre adaptations of an all-black voodoo Macbeth and a contemporary allegorical Julius Caesar became legendary as well for their innovation and creative twists of the classic shakespahere As film critic Robert Ebert notes on a commentary track for the special edition DVD release of Citizen Kane , RKO Pictures president George Schaefer eventually offered Welles in 1939 what is generally considered the greatest film contract ever offered to an untried director--complete artistic control. RKO signed Welles (who had previously not even so much acted in a film, let only directed one) to a two-picture deal, including script, cast, crew, and, most importantly, final cut. This is now something almost completely unheard since, even for proven big-time Hollywood director like Steven Spielberg or Michael Bay, who make big box-office hits after hits routinly today. For some time, Orson Welles and co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz had wanted to write a screenplay about a public figure – perhaps a gangster – whose story would be told by the people that knew him (CK4). Mankiewicz decided to base his original notion on an expose of the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially but now hated, having once been great friends with Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies. Mankiewicz was now banished from her company because of his perpetual drunkenness. A notorious gossip, he exacted revenge with his unflatteringly depiction of
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Davies in Citizen Kane for which Welles got most of the criticisms. This "larger-than- life" character was also loosely modeled on Robert McCormick, Howard Hughes, and Joseph Pulitzer, but few truly acknowledge these other enturtpatunares as the inspiration as much as Hearst was for the film today.
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