Wednesday 28 June 2017

Hearst family buries hatchet with Welles

Nick Allen in Los Angeles

The bitter feud that began seven decades ago between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst over Citizen Kane appears to have ended after the newspaper baron's family agreed to show the film at Hearst Castle.

When Welles's film was released in 1941, Hearst, who was its partial inspiration, was incensed. His newspapers were banned from reviewing or even mentioning it.

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

It was based on Hearst's real home of Hearst Castle in California, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is now a state park visited by a million tourists a year.

In March, the film will be shown during the San Luis Obispo international film festival, which is being held there.

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

"It is a classic American film, but is in no way a historically accurate depiction of William Randolph Hearst," he said.

"'Citizen Kane' is not a documentary. Orson Welles intended it as a sketch of Hearst's life, drawn with considerable artistic licence." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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