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8/16/08 11:00 PM
Herman J. Mankiewicz
EXT. XANADU - FAINT DAWN - 1940 (MINIATURE)
Window, very small in the distance, illuminated.
All around this is an almost totally black screen.
Now, as the camera moves slowly
towards the window which is almost a postage stamp in the frame, other forms appear;
barbed wire, cyclone fencing, and now, looming up against an early morning sky,
enormous iron grille work.
Camera travels up what is now shown to be a gateway of
gigantic proportions and holds on the top of it - a huge initial "K" showing darker
and darker against the dawn sky.
Through this and beyond we see the fairy-tale
mountaintop of Xanadu, the great castle a sillhouette as its summit, the little
window a distant accent in the darkness.
(A SERIES OF SET-UPS, EACH CLOSER TO THE GREAT WINDOW, ALL TELLING SOMETHING OF:)
The literally incredible domain of CHARLES FOSTER KANE.
Its right flank resting for nearly forty miles on the Gulf Coast, it truly extends
in all directions farther than the eye can see.
Designed by nature to be almost
completely bare and flat - it was, as will develop, practically all marshland when
Kane acquired and changed its face - it is now pleasantly uneven, with its fair
share of rolling hills and one very good-sized mountain, all man-made.
the land is improved, either through cultivation for farming purposes of through
careful landscaping, in the shape of parks and lakes.
The castle dominates itself,
an enormous pile, compounded of several genuine castles, of European origin, of
varying architecture - dominates the scene, from the very peak of the mountain.
GOLF LINKS (MINIATURE)
Past which we move.
The greens are straggly and overgrown, the fairways wild with
tropical weeds, the links unused and not seriously tended for a long time.
WHAT WAS ONCE A GOOD-SIZED ZOO (MINIATURE)
Of the Hagenbeck type.
All that now remains, with one exception, are the individual
plots, surrounded by moats, on which the animals are kept, free and yet safe from
each other and the landscape at large.
(Signs on several of the plots indicate that
here there were once tigers, lions, girrafes.)