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Find out more hereHide The Guardian Film User comments Web News Sport Comment Culture Business Money London 2012 Life & style Travel Environment Video Apps Offers Jobs Culture Film Citizen Kane Hearst family forgive Orson Welles for Citizen Kane after 71 yearsScreening of Welles' masterpiece at former home of William Randolph Hearst will lay to rest long-running feud Share 112 Email Ben Child, Tuesday 24 January 2012 10.43 GMT Comments (32) Orson Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane provoked the anger of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/RKO When Orson Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane first hit cinemas in 1941, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was distinctly unimpressed: the similarities between himself and Welles' creation Charles Foster Kane were too strong to be ignored. The powerful press baron went out of his way to derail the movie. Now, more than 70 years later, it seems that the family of the pre-eminent US media impresario of the early part of the last century has finally forgiven Welles after agreeing to a screening of Citizen Kane at the Hearst Castle visitor centre in California. Citizen Kane Production year: 1941 Country: USA Cert (UK): U Runtime: 118 mins Directors: Orson Welles Cast: Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles More on this film The screening on 9 March will be part of the San Luis Obispo international film festival, which takes place each year in the central Californian region where Hearst's ornate former home is located. The castle was donated to the state in 1957, six years after its owner's death, and is now a significant tourist attraction. Kane, written and directed by Welles when he was only 26, is being shown with the blessing of Hearst's descendants. Festival director Wendy Eidson told the LA Times it was likely to be the first time the Welles classic had been seen on Hearst's sprawling estate, which its owner referred to as "La Cuesta Encantada" ("The Enchanted Hill") and is visited by one million tourists each year. "I tossed out the idea of screening Citizen Kane there as a joke, and they didn't laugh," Eidson said. "I was sort of floored." However the mogul's great grandson Steve Hearst said the viewing was "a great opportunity to draw a clear distinction between WR and Orson Welles, between the medieval, gloomy-looking castle shown in Citizen Kane and the light, beautiful, architecturally superior reality". Hearst's efforts to destroy Citizen Kane are legendary. He is said to have lobbied against it with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body which decides the Oscars, resulting in How Green Was My Valley winning best film in 1942 in its place. Hearst also kept adverts for the movie out of his many newspapers, and one of his allies in Hollywood is even said to have tried to buy the footage in order to burn it just prior to the movie's release. Another story is that FBI chief J Edgar Hoover launched a decade-long investigation into Welles as a result of Hearst's anger over the film. Hearst is said to have been particularly incensed at the depiction in Welles' film of Kane's companion, Susan Alexander, an alcoholic singer who the magnate persuades to embark on a disastrous opera career, supported by his newspapers. The mogul himself was romantically involved with a successful actor, Marion Davies. Welles once said that she was not the basis for Alexander, but the comparison seems to have stuck in Hearst's craw nonetheless. Steve Hearst, who manages the family's ranches and other business interests, said there were many comparisons to be made between Kane and his great-grandfather, but also huge differences. "The character Orson Welles depicted was quite a bit more flamboyant and outgoing than WR was," he said. "He wasn't the kind of guy who would be dancing in the editorial room with his staffers." 112Share Print this Share Clip this Contact us Article history Film Orson Welles Culture Festivals More news Related 28 May 2005 Touch Of Terrorism 4 Feb 2003 Welles scion sues for Kane rights 7 May 2006 The KO blow from RKO 22 Jun 2007 Citizen Kane tops nostalgic list of America's top 100 films Share Email Ads by Google Salas Comercias. Salas Comerciais de 23m² a 480m² Simule Agora seu Financiamento! Garanta sua Casa Até 180 meses para pagar sem juros. Grátis consultoria jurídica. Film Machinein China Export Manufacturer of film Machinery,after-sale services. Comments 32 comments, displaying Sort comments by Oldest Newest first Staff Contributor Comments on this page are now closed. Comments on this page are now closed. JoeCarlson 24 January 2012 11:20AM Selling Rosebud Sleds in the gift shop next, courtesy of the Hearst Corporation. Recommend (11) Responses (0) Report | Link 8bitSanders 24 January 2012 11:32AM It would be a pity if this development meant visitors to San Simeon were no longer able to draw hilarious reactions from guides just by mentioning 'Citizen Kane'. The guide during our visit gave me the stink-eye when I mentioned it and tried to suggest to another visitor that she had never heard of the film. Recommend (13) Responses (2) Report | Link neilsed 24 January 2012 11:36AM I visited Hearst Castle last year having had no previous knowledge of the Hearst family or their story but was immediately struck by the similarities to the Citizen Kane. I brought this up with the tour guide who was incredibly unimpressed and said with utter conviction that there was "no proof" that the character of Kane was in anyway based on William Randolph Hearst. I think she may have been in denial or afraid of losing her job! Recommend (17) Responses (0) Report | Link neilsed 24 January 2012 11:38AM I suspect they have been asked this question numerous times. I got a similar reaction when as a cheeky 16 year old I asked a guide on the HMS Victory in Portsmouth whether Nelson had indeed asked Hardy to kiss him. Recommend (16) Responses (0) Report | Link andygibb 24 January 2012 11:41AM I thought it was supposed to have more in common with Harold Fowler McCormick who divorced his first wife Edith Rockefeller and then spent much time and money trying to promote the mediocre opera career of his second wife Ganna Walska. Marion Davies was an established successful talented movie star when she met Hearst. Recommend (3) Responses (2) Report | Link pgzats 24 January 2012 11:44AM Hearst family? They do deserve an Hypocrisy Award! Welles is laughing in his tomb :-) Recommend (8) Responses (0) Report | Link pgzats 24 January 2012 11:46AM Response to andygibb, 24 January 2012 11:41AM Marion Davies was an established successful talented movie star when she met Hearst. She also was a well known drunkard! Recommend (5) Responses (0) Report | Link dondi 24 January 2012 11:57AM Welles surprisingly unavailable for comment... Recommend (2) Responses (0) Report | Link Chewtoy 24 January 2012 12:05PM If anything, Hearst got off lightly with a rather mild portrayal in Citizen Kane. For instance, the film doesn't touch on his more nefarious deeds, such as the racist smear campaigns against blacks and Mexicans in his publications. These campaigns, full of lies, were set up to help the lobby for the criminalisation of hemp (cannabis), and all because hemp threatened to make Heart's tree plantations for paper pulp obsolete. Recommend (32) Responses (1) Report | Link brimble 24 January 2012 12:32PM Hearst Castle, and you're walking amidst what is undoubtedly the ugliest collection of ostentatious tat gathered in this concrete monstrosity, plundered and pocketed from around the world by an avaricious, vain monster, and the staff are refusing questions whilst reciting obsequious Hearst propaganda. I always thought the 'tour guides' were the epitome of 'Don't piss on my shoes and tell me it's raining'. If they're apologising to Welles, will that include refunding my admission fee. Recommend (7) Responses (0) Report | Link owaingr 24 January 2012 12:41PM I thought what angered Hearst more was the "rosebud" reference, it was WRH's pet name for Marion Davies' clitoris. Recommend (21) Responses (0) Report | Link darknight 24 January 2012 12:49PM They do know that all involved are dead, yes? I think it was in the papers... Recommend (9) Responses (0) Report | Link mollyminx 24 January 2012 12:55PM How very gracious of them. I am sure Welles would have been thrilled. Jeez, the time to get over yourselves and move on is surely well overdue. Great film. Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report | Link QueenVictoriaII 24 January 2012 12:57PM Charlie Chaplin was a friend of Hearst and Welles. In his autobiography he points out that when staying overnight at the Hearst estate, he would hear blood-curdling screams from the orangutans in Hearst's private menagerie. I remember thinking "just how much money and land does this Hearst fellow have that he needs his own zoo?" Recommend (8) Responses (1) Report | Link mollyminx 24 January 2012 1:05PM Response to QueenVictoriaII, 24 January 2012 12:57PM ....And how cruel does he have to be to own one? Recommend (7) Responses (0) Report | Link strawwdog 24 January 2012 1:18PM I also hear for this years Tory Xmas party they have commissioned Bleasdale's Boys from the Black Stuff to be performed live across the country. Recommend (26) Responses (0) Report | Link peachycarnehan 24 January 2012 1:41PM This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. patrickjfoley 24 January 2012 2:21PM Amazing movie, i'm only 20 and when i watched this film for the first time last year after i was supprised at how much the media baron and his rise was relevant even 70 years later. I think that the Hearst family should be honoured by this timeless film Recommend (2) Responses (0) Report | Link chandradevi 24 January 2012 2:31PM Not sure what went wrong with the other visitors to Hearst Castle. When I visited and mentioned Orson Welles, the guide presented me with a rosebud from his buttonhole and said "What a movie!". I think you lot went on the wrong day..... Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report | Link Peter4321 24 January 2012 2:39PM How about screening some Fatty Arbuckle movies there next? Allegedly, Arbuckle's career was utterly destroyed by Hearst's papers printing hideous lies accusing him (without a shred of evidence) of rape and causing accidental death. Funnily enough it wasn't true. Unfunnily enough, Arbuckle never fully recovered. Hearst sold some papers though. Recommend (14) Responses (0) Report | Link johnny5eyes 24 January 2012 2:41PM Always thought the whole fued was rather odd as a) Kane is NOT actualy Hearst and b) For at least the first half of the film Kane is actualy rather a sympathetic character, perhaps Hearst didn't like being 'portrayed' as a Liberal who wanted to go to war with Spain (no idea if Heasrt had the same views when he was younger BTW). i Recommend (0) Responses (1) Report | Link owenduffy 24 January 2012 3:09PM Response to johnny5eyes, 24 January 2012 2:41PM Hearst's newspapers latched on to the sinking of the USS Maine in Cuba to campaign for war with Spain - an interesting early example of the power of media owners to influence public opinion and sway governments. Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report | Link reggiepurrin 24 January 2012 3:13PM Response to 8bitSanders, 24 January 2012 11:32AM Stink-eye? In my country that could be a reference to one's anus. Strange response from the tour guide. Recommend (3) Responses (0) Report | Link hergest7 24 January 2012 3:32PM San Simeon is a great place to visit and when I was there the guides were really well informed and happy to talk about Citizen Kane and indeed the Hearst Corporation. Hearst also had a place in Wales, St Donats Castle. Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report | Link Mondragon 24 January 2012 4:38PM Response to Chewtoy, 24 January 2012 12:05PM True dat, Hearst had just bought loads of paper mill and logging interests in the name of vertical integration, but the invention of the Hemp decorticator had the potential to put a rock through the value of those investments. So, a little racist reinvention Cannabis becomes the hispanic Marijuana ( a rebrand missed by the AMA, who only at the end of the process realised that a part of their pharmacoepia was threatened with prohibition), that sends Mexicans mad, and can even make a black man think he is as good as a white man (see Harry Anslinger's testimony to Congress). The prohibition of Cannabis is entirely based on fabrication and lies. Recommend (14) Responses (0) Report | Link Frites 24 January 2012 5:44PM Response to andygibb, 24 January 2012 11:41AM Although Marion Davies was established and successful when she met Hearst, his relentless efforts to promote her as a dramatic actress in period films did have a detrimental effect on her career. In reality, she was a gifted comedienne, and would have been far more successful if he had not meddled in her career. Recommend (2) Responses (0) Report | Link EdWelthorpe 24 January 2012 7:39PM Hearst created an archetype which Welles used. In reality, characters are based on one, two, several people, something someone said, serial selves or serial others. “If someone you know thinks a character is based on them, that’s their business, not yours” was the stern, official advice I heard in a creative writing class. You can’t bend your imagination to fit between everything someone might not like, or you'd have nothing written. If it all gets too much for you, as a viewer, stick to documentaries. Recommend (0) Responses (0) Report | Link RobertSnozers 24 January 2012 7:45PM That's great, I wonder if the descendants of the people George Hearst murdered, then disappeared the jury to evade justice, have forgiven the Hearst family yet? IMO the family needs to work on atoning for its many sins over the 19th and 20th centuries than 'forgiving' imagined slights. Especially when the 'slight' is one of the most iconic films ever produced. Recommend (2) Responses (0) Report | Link TheFall2007 24 January 2012 8:10PM There is a rumor that somehow (I think through Herbert Mankiewicz, at a party) Welles had found out that 'Rosebud' was the pet name given by WR Hearst to Marion Davies' clitoris and this was one of the reasons WR was so incensed. Recommend (2) Responses (1) Report | Link EdWelthorpe 24 January 2012 8:56PM Response to 8bitSanders, 24 January 2012 11:32AM Don't mention Ian Fleming during a guided tour of Ernő Goldfinger's modernist home on Willow Road, Hampstead. Just. Don't. Recommend (3) Responses (0) Report | Link SiberianNights 24 January 2012 11:03PM Welles was certainly daring, as youth can be (Eisenstein was making his biggest movies at 26 also), even to the point of hijacking a radio broadcast to announce that Martians had attacked. The hysteria generated by that hoax in the name of art remains, mercifully, still unmatched. But Kane was making use of a new depth-of-field technique that made it a kind of cinematic black-and-white this light it was the Avatar of its day. The director with the long neck was packing them in as much for the effect as the film. Recommend (0) Responses (0) Report | Link reggiepurrin 25 January 2012 7:46AM Response to TheFall2007, 24 January 2012 8:10PM This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Comments on this page are now closed. Festival Photography Masterclass with Katherine Rose at Apple Cart Learn how to take professional-standard photographs in a festival environment with Guardian photographer Katherine Rose. You'll get professional access and shoot live bands, cabaret and circus performers and more at the Apple Cart festival in Victoria Park on Sunday 3 June. Learn more and sign up Buy the Actors: Legends, Egos and Revelations Guardian ebook Buy for Kindle UK - £2.56 US - $4.03 Buy for iPad / iPhone UK - £2.99 US - $3.99 Learn more about Guardian Shorts On Film Most viewed Zeitgeist Latest Last 24 hours 1. Cannes 2012: The Paperboy – review 2. Jada Pinkett-Smith: 'I'm scared of clowns' 3. 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