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Hearst family agree to screen 'Citizen Kane' after 71 years

London, Tue, 24 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 24 (ANI): The seven-decade long feud between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over the movie 'Citizen Kane' seems to be ending as the newspaper baron's family has consented to show the film at Hearst Castle.


When Welles' masterpiece was released in 1941, Hearst, who was the partial inspiration for the movie, was incensed and banned his newspapers from reviewing or even mentioning it.


He tried to get a studio chief to buy the original film and burn it, and applied pressure to make sure it didn't win the Oscar for best picture.


Welles' character in the film - Charles Foster Kane - lives and dies alone, in a vast estate called 'Xanadu' on top of a private mountain.


The fictional estate was based on Hearst's real home of Hearst Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in California.


According to his family, Hearst never actually watched 'Citizen Kane' before he died in 1951. Six years later the castle was donated to the state of California. It is now a state park and is visited by one million tourists a year.


In March this year, the film will be shown during the San Luis Obispo international film festival, which is being held there. Guests at the festival will include Harrison Ford.


Steve Hearst, the late newspaper baron's great-grandson gave his backing to the screening, saying it was time for an "informed" assessment of 'Citizen Kane.'


"Citizen Kane is a classic American film, but is in no way a historically accurate depiction of William Randolph Hearst or his favourite place in the world, his ranch," the Telegraph quoted Steve as saying.


"Citizen Kane is not a documentary. Orson Welles intended it as a sketch of Hearst's life, drawn with considerable artistic licence," he said.


He pointed out that Welles depicted 'Xanadu' as a "dark and brooding fictional fortress filled with meaningless junk" but the real Hearst Castle had always been "lively".


"This remarkable film paints a portrait of two masters of the media, William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles himself. We can enjoy it just as fully as a work of artistic fiction, not fact," Steve said. (ANI)


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