The Battle Over Citizen Kane

The Battle Over Citizen Kane

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The Battle Over Citizen Kane

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The Battle Over Citizen Kane is a 1996 documentary about the clash between newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and actor/writer/director Orson Welles over Welles' 1941 motion picture Citizen Kane, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.

The Battle Over Citizen Kane originally aired as an episode of the Public Broadcast System's The American Experience series and was narrated by actor Paul Winfield.


In Citizen Kane, Welles plays Charles Foster Kane, whose fictional life partially mirrors that of Hearst's. However, Chicago inventor and utilities magnate Samuel Insull, Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick, and even Welles' own life were used in creating Kane.

In 1939, based partly on the strength of his imaginative and successful New York plays which were produced under the aegis of the Mercury Theater (such as an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, which featured an all-black cast and was set in the jungle), and the infamy of his October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds which sent residents of Grover's Mill, New Jersey into a panic, Orson Welles was able to negotiate a virtually unheard-of...
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