What really upsets me about this release is that Warner Bros. has done such great supplements in the past. THE SEARCHERS, RIO BRAVO, CASABLANCA, GONE WITH THE WIND... yet when it comes to KANE they can't afford to add any new material to a Blu-Ray release? I mean, it's only the "Greatest movie ever made," but the best they can do is come up with two discs of supplements that basically denigrate Orson Welles?
If you look at the WB extras on the above mentioned discs, all the extras treat the films and their directors with great respect for the classic movies they created. Yet for CITIZEN KANE we get a distorted "documentary" and an absurd fictional movie that is so ridiculous it is laughable. Here is a script excerpt from RKO 281, much of which (thankfully) didn't make it into the actual movie:
LOUIS B. MAYER
Who does that cocksucker (Welles) think he is?
They're laying bets over on the RKO
lot that this great deal will end up
with him never doing a picture. Back
to New York he goes.
Serves him right. I mean can you stomach the
Inside skinny says the glory boy's finished,
can't come up with a movie. Wants to do a biography now.
After RKO boots him maybe we'll pick him up cheap.
Have him do that WAR OF THE WORLDS crap as a
Meantime, shelve the newsreel. No one cares
INT: SAN SIMEON. WELLES' SUITE EVENING
Orson Welles, elegant and impressive, is flourishing a cigarette and a
coin in his magnificently expressive hands He is perfecting a magic
Welles is lounging on the bed of an enormous guest suite at San Simeon.
He is wearing a tuxedo.
In the bathroom beyond him we can see the writer HERMAN MANKIEWICZ
Mank is a wonderful wreck of a human being. 43 years old, but looking
considerably older, he is short and squat and bitter. A compulsive
gambler and drinker, Mank still glimmers with wry humor that is equally
wicked and corrosive. He is incomplete without the stub of a cigar
clenched in his teeth.
Mank, also dressed in a tuxedo, is looking at himself in the bathroom
mirror as he struggles with his bow tie. He occasionally glances in the
mirror to Welles.
Title: JANUARY 3, 1940
I don't know what you expected with Joseph-
fucking-Conrad for Chrissake. I mean this is
All right! Enough! I've heard this from Schaefer
and RKO. I've heard it from everyone--
But you keep coming up with the same elitist crap -
- HEART OF DARKNESS with a million dollar budget?! -
- no one wants to see that.
Welles dramatically taps the cigarette on the coin, practicing his
What are movies about, Orson?
What are movies about?
Who the hell wants to see life?! People are sick to
death of life! They want make-believe, pal. Fantasy.
They want Tarzan and Jane, not Tristan and Isolde.
Welles quickly makes the cigarette seem to completely pass through the
coin. An astounding bit of slight of hand.
Butts on seats. That's what movies are about. You
got one job in Hollywood -- everyone has the same
job, in fact -- putting the butts on the seats. You
gotta sell 'em popcorn and Pepsi- cola. It's all
about popcorn and Pepsi-cola.
Not for me.
Then you better get ready to be the youngest never-
was in Hollywood history.
That's better than being the oldest has-been in
You're a laugh-riot, kid.
Welles laughs and goes to Mank in the bathroom.
Here, turn around.
Welles ties Mank's bow tie for him as:
So, we've got to come up with our movie. Our
We find the man and then we dissect him-
Like a bug.
But with compassion and insight--
(glancing at his watch)
Christ, we gotta go! The old man doesn't cotton to
Mank takes a quick swig from a flask of vodka, shoves it into his coat
and scurries into the other room as Welles checks himself in the
A beat. Welles smiles, confident and resplendent
(into the mirror)
How do you do, Mr. Hearst? My name is Orson
INT: SAN SIMEON. HALLWAY FOLLOWING
Welles and Mank walk through an impressive upstairs hallway of San
Simeon. Quick glimpses of the astounding grandeur everywhere around
How about Howard Hughes? We could do Hughes
I'm not fucking with Hughes. That shit-kicker would
kill us dead, baby. Just like Jean Harlow
Howard Hughes killed Jean Harlow?
Sure. Dropped her out of his Lockheed over Utah
They disappear down a long stairway.