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The Battle Over "Citizen Kane" - Transcript
DAVID McCULLOUGH, Host: Good evening and welcome to The American Experience. I'm David McCullough.
Our film tonight is about two colossal Americans on a collision course. It's about the sparks given off by oversized egos holding forth at center stage in American life. It's also about the often-blurred, confusing boundary between reality and illusion in American life. In his time, each of our protagonists was the acclaimed master of his medium, and both vaulted to the pinnacle as boy wonders, each in turn catching the wave of revolutionary changes in mass communication and mass entertainment. Their timing was perfect.
Beginning in the late nineteenth century, William Randolph Hearst transformed newspaper publishing. A man who adored sensation, he knew the power of lurid detail, of photographs, drawings and, if need be, manipulation. When his artist correspondent, Frederick Remington, arrived in Cuba in 1897 to cover an anticipated Spanish-American war only to find there was no war and cabled Hearst for permission to come home, Hearst reportedly cabled back, ''You provide the pictures, and I'll provide the war.''
Then, nearly fifty years later, came the theatrical prodigy, Orson Welles, who took to the new medium of radio as no one ever had, and in no time was off to Hollywood to make a movie to carry him higher still, a movie inspired by the career of William Randolph Hearst. Welles would direct the film and play the leading role. He would become Hearst. The movie was Citizen Kane, the Orson Welles masterpiece that many present-day directors and critics consider the greatest film ever made.
But our story is about what happened when the real-life Welles and the real-life Hearst collided head-on--''The Battle Over Citizen Kane,'' produced by Thomas Lennon and Michael Epstein.
CECIL B. DeMILLE, Director: Are you ready to take?
CREW MEMBER: Already and turning, Mr. DeMille.
CECIL B. DeMILLE: All right, now. Give me everything you've got, you people. Come on. Come up to it now.
NARRATOR: In 1939, Hollywood was at the top of its game. That was the year Samuel Goldwyn was filming Wuthering Heights, RKO was finishing Gunga Din, MGM would issue Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind. Make-believe didn't get any better. But none of these landmark films was the big news that year. The talk of the town was twenty-four-year-old Orson Welles, the boy genius from New York, and his new contract at RKO. No studio had ever offered such control, not even to Hollywood's biggest names, but to Welles, they handed the keys to the kingdom, and he'd never even made a movie.
RICHARD FRANCE, Writer: He had a gigantic ego. He realized that what he was doing was unique, and people were telling him it was unique. After all, he was still a kid. Who wouldn't fall victim to that kind of temptation?
SAM LEVE, Set Designer: His failing was that, ''I could do no wrong.'' That's the terrible thing--and, God damn it, he was great! Very few people like him, and that's the trouble. And the greatness drove him down to nothingness, 'cause he was careless.
NARRATOR: When Welles got to Hollywood, one of the most important centers of power wasn't even in the town, but north in the mountains where William Randolph Hearst had built his castle. One of the richest men in America who'd built an empire in newspapers, magazines, radio, film, Hearst lived on a property half the size of Rhode Island. He called it ''the ranch.''
JOHN TEBBEL, Historian: When Hearst went to San Simeon, what he did was to create a state within the United States in which he was the absolute ruler, the dictator.
VERN WHALEY, ''Chicago Herald-American'': He was so superior, he was like a god in the newspaper business. Nobody was like him. Nobody came anywhere near him. He was a tyrant, too.
NARRATOR: San Simeon for years had been the gathering place for Hollywood--Charlie Chaplin, Norma Shearer, Clark Gable. And the studio brass was there, too--Thalberg, Mayer, Warner--guest lists that were less about joy than respect. One of every five Americans was reading a Hearst newspaper every week.
NANCY LOE, Archivist, CalPoly State University: That's where his power in Hollywood came from, was all the media outlets that he controlled. And it's true, if he didn't like you, it was not going to be pretty.
JIMMY BRESLIN, ''New York Journal-American'': If you had a star and he did not, or she did not, attend the lunch with Hearst's representatives in Hollywood, the order would go out--''Out of every newspaper, out of every Hearst newspaper, not the mention of his name, ever again--dead.'' You know, and those poor fools out there got scared, didn't understand until years later that the movies were more powerful than any newspaper ever could be. But they didn't understand that.
NARRATOR: Less than a year after he'd gotten to Hollywood, Welles would turn his filmmaker's eye to that castle. Citizen Kane would be acclaimed as the greatest talking picture ever made, but it would scandalize the life of Hearst, plunge the film industry into crisis, and prove the undoing of the young Orson Welles.
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] Rosebud.
NARRATOR: This is the story of the battle over Citizen Kane, a fight so fierce that the movie was almost destroyed before the public ever got a chance to see it. The most powerful men in Hollywood tried to buy this film and burn every print. This is also the story of two outsized Americans. They were proud, gifted and destructive--geniuses, each in his way. They were men who'd grabbed for power and achieved it. They would tolerate no one who got in their way. The fight that ruined them both was thoroughly in character with how they'd lived their lives.
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, Jr., Actor: My father once asked him--he said, ''Mr. Hearst, why don't you concentrate more of your energy on motion pictures, which has a world-wide audience, instead of journalism, which appeals to one city or one nation?'' He thought a minute, and he said, ''Well, Douglas, I'll tell you. I thought of it, but I decided against it, because I realize that you can crush a man with journalism, and you can't with motion pictures.'' That was his answer.
NARRATOR: Welles was twenty-four when he set out to show the life of Hearst. He saw the fight coming, thought he could win. Hearst was seventy-six--to Welles he must have looked like a relic--but anyone who looked at that old man in the castle and thought he was through, thought Hearst would quit, was missing the main point of that life.
The first things we know about William Randolph Hearst are the things he wanted. He was ten when he first toured Europe, and he said he'd like to live in Windsor Castle. He asked his mother to buy him the Louvre. That he couldn't have--his palace would have to wait--but most things he got without delay. His father, George Hearst, was building one of the biggest mining fortunes in the West. When Will wanted ice cream, Dad tossed him a twenty dollar gold piece. Will's mother, Phoebe Hearst, was passionately devoted to her only son. It was she who showed Willie the world's treasures, and she was charmed when he wanted them all.
DAVID NASAW, Hearst Biographer: His father doesn't go with them on the grand tours of Europe. He's involved in politics, he has mines all over the place, so he stays home and Phoebe writes him. And what she writes him--she writes about Willie and Willie's consuming interest in objects of art, in architecture, in monuments. He's insatiable. He understands that there's money. He understands that the money is almost in magical quantities--you know, it doesn't fall off trees, it comes out of the earth--and that money is for--is for him to spend.
JOHN TEBBEL: He must have been the first man west of the Rockies to have his own ''Punch and Judy'' show at home, which his father could well afford, and he was always interested in putting on plays, being in plays, going to the theater.
DAVID NASAW: He loved to go to the theater, and it was vaudeville. It was not--he didn't go to Shakespeare. He went to see melodrama, he went to see low musical comedy.
JOHN TEBBEL: Well, he took it seriously to the extent that he thought perhaps he might be an actor, but I think wiser heads prevailed.
NARRATOR: Will Hearst was on his way to flunking out of Harvard when he decided what he really wanted was a poor San Francisco newspaper his dad happened to own. His father was unenthusiastic--what about the Anaconda Mine, instead, or a million-acre ranch? No, just the paper. ''There's only one thing that's sure about my boy, Bill,'' said George Hearst. ''When he wants cake, he wants cake, and he wants it now. And I notice that, after a while, he gets the cake.''
DAVID NASAW: This paper's going to be the biggest, most spectacular paper that the world has ever seen. He is going to, first, increase and then double and triple and quadruple circulation until everybody in San Francisco and Oakland and everywhere the railroads can carry The Examiner are going to be reading it.
NARRATOR: Will knew exactly what he wanted his paper to be: splashy, brash and common, with big type, pictures, and sensationally lurid news. At first he didn't have the staff or the presses to turn out any more than eight pages a day. No matter. His front page proclaimed The Examiner ''Monarch of the Dailies.''
JIMMY BRESLIN: He didn't care if it had been printed before or the story was around. ''Take it and make it ours, as if we just discovered it, and forget the other people. Let them die,'' you know. ''It's our story. Hearst put thirty-seven people on it. Let's go.''
NARRATOR: Will cut a strange figure in his city room. With dandified clothes and a walking stick, he still had the air of a college boy excited by his latest prank. He was personally shy, with exquisite manners, never ordering his staff about, but asking politely in his high, girlish voice. But they soon learned his requests were orders even it cost them months of effort or cost his father a fortune.
NANCY LOE: He literally went out and created news. For example, he hired a woman to collapse in the streets just so he could test what kind of response the city had, and he published this damning expos--of how they treated indigent women. He had one of his reporters go out on a ferry into the middle of San Francisco Bay and jump overboard just to see how long it would take to have someone rescue them.
JIMMY BRESLIN: Silly, childish, but delivered with excitement, and it was great. Men worked in places where you could barely see, which I think might have helped the stories, 'cause you didn't have to worry too much about facts, you just filled the pages--I guess they lied openly. There was first gaslight--wavery gas light--and they worked at like artists' easels, and they wrote longhand, and they smoked pipes and cigars, no cigarettes. You needed something big that would make a lot of smoke.
NARRATOR: From the clouds in his city room emerged a ferocious little paper. Hearst's staff called itself ''the wrecking crew.'' In a celebrated murder trial, The Examiner covered the prosecution, and then, when it was the defense's turn, Hearst pulled his reporter out of the courtroom. He'd already judged--the defendants were guilty. He went after his enemies in a way San Francisco had never seen. When he attacked the Southern Pacific Railroad, he didn't just investigate its service and its rates. He called its passengers ''survivors'' and printed the names of railroad directors with dollar signs in place of the letter ''S.''
DAVID NASAW: And Willie takes on the S&P in a way that no other newspaper had done in such sustained, concentrated and ferocious form. He doesn't let up. He's like a--like a dog that gets hold of your leg, and no matter how much you shake, you know, or smack the dog over the head, he's not going to let go. That's what Willie was.
NARRATOR: His plan was bold, and it would take him a long way. Hearst was making a paper for the poor who never had one. The immigrants, the working masses--they would be his readers, and he would be their champion. He meant to raise the name of Hearst to heights his father never dreamed of. If that made enemies along the way, well, that was too bad for them.
ACTOR: [''Citizen Kane''] I came to see you about this campaign of yours, this Inquirer campaign against the Public Transit Company.
ORSON WELLES: Mr. Thatcher, do you know anything we could use against them?
ACTOR: Still the college boy, aren't you?
ORSON WELLES: Oh, no, Mr. Thatcher. I was expelled from college, a lot of colleges. You remember. I remember.
ACTOR: Charles, I think I should remind you of a fact that you seem to have forgotten--
ORSON WELLES: Yes, Mr. Thatcher.
ACTOR: --that you are yourself one of the largest individual stockholders--
ORSON WELLES: Mr. Thatcher--
ACTOR: --in the Public Transit Company!
ORSON WELLES: The trouble is, you don't realize you're talking to two people. As Charles Foster Kane, who owns 82,364 shares of Public Transit Preferred--you see, I do have a general idea of my holdings--I sympathize with you. Charles Foster Kane is a scoundrel. His paper should be run out of town. A committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of one thousand dollars.
ACTOR: My time's too--
ORSON WELLES: On the other hand--
ACTOR: I am wasting--
ORSON WELLES: --I am the publisher of The Inquirer. As such, it's my duty--and I'll let you in on a little secret, it's also my pleasure--to see to it that decent, hard-working people in this community aren't robbed blind by a pack of money-mad pirates just because they haven't anybody to look after their interests.
NARRATOR: In Citizen Kane, Orson Welles painted Hearst as a young man who tore at his enemies with a fierce joy. Was Welles unaware that Hearst would come after him just as fiercely?
ORSON WELLES: And that would be too bad.
ACTOR: Yes, yes, money and property. Well, I happened to see your financial statement today, Charles.
ORSON WELLES: Oh, did you?
ACTOR: Now tell me honestly, my boy, don't you think it's rather unwise to continue this philanthropic enterprise, this Inquirer that's costing you a million dollars a year?
ORSON WELLES: You're right, Mr. Thatcher. I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in sixty years.
NARRATOR: Orson Welles was just the man to understand young Hearst. Welles was another boy raised as a genius in his home. He was another born showman with a taste for sensation, and, like Hearst, Welles knew the value of a fight. In fact, by age twenty-four, Welles' battles with authority had made him a household name. His career was built on controversy.
RICHARD FRANCE: Anything that Welles had done that involved controversy had benefited him, so it could well have been that whatever his motivation for taking on Hearst, he thought--he thought that the controversy that would stem from this could only be beneficial, and it turned out to be otherwise--terribly so, terribly so, horribly so. Big mistake.
NARRATOR: In Orson Welles, we have a strange life story, one that didn't unfold or develop. He seemed to appear all of a sudden, fully formed and afire. That was illusion, of course, and the maestro of this magic act was Welles. Most of his childhood is a cloud of myth. He was said to have learned magic tricks from Harry Houdini at the age of five, said to be drinking mixed drinks at age eight, and writing a paper on the universal history of drama, after which, in his teens, he would take up bullfighting--or so it was said--and read the classics in the palace of the pasha of Marrakesh.
RICHARD FRANCE: When you're decreed to be a genius at the age of three, you become the repository of all kinds of story-telling. Orson himself constantly picked up on these things and accepted them as true.
NARRATOR: But Welles seldom talked about the hard central facts. His parents separated by the time he was six. His mother died when he was nine. His father died from drink six years later.
RICHARD FRANCE: Orson Welles is somebody who essentially didn't have a childhood, because both of his parents were dead when he was extremely young. Welles was already off in boarding school, and I don't think there's any question that he was clearly a child prodigy and not just solely in the area of theater.
ORSON WELLES:  I painted, and they said, ''Nobody's ever seen such painting.'' I played--''Nobody's ever played like that.'' And the--there just seemed to be no limit to what I could do. I was spoiled in a very strange way as a child, because everybody told me, from the moment I was able to hear, that I was absolutely marvelous, and I never heard a discouraging word for years, you see. I didn't know what was ahead of me.
NARRATOR: Welles arrived in New York in his late teens with one colossal idea. He was going to present history's greatest plays and stage them for the common man. He was going to revolutionize the theater. He was much talked-about from the first. One actor described his first sight of Welles--''a preposterous energy pulsating through everything he did.'' There was also talk about his offstage debauches. That only added to his reputation. Orson meant to shock. Welles' big break was on a scheme as improbable as he was. The Federal Theater Project was a part of the WPA, a Depression jobs program with a fraction for the arts, which was why one hundred and thirty-seven unemployed black actors and stagehands were supposed to put on Shakespeare--Macbeth--in Harlem. In the leftist climate of the theater world, art was supposed to be the property of the masses, but this was radical. All the better for Welles.
THOMAS ANDERSON, Actor: Orson was a young white guy. Took off his coat, stood in front of me, and said, ''Just read for me. You don't have make--do anything special. Just read it.'' And if you could read it--he'd listen and then [say], ''Yeah, I--I can do something with that.''
LEONARD DE PAUR, Choral Director, ''Macbeth''; It was really ridiculous in a couple of instances, because there was no way possible that some of these souls were going to be able to read Shakespeare, but read they had to, because they were told to read, and that was twenty-one dollars and eighty-six cents a week.
RICHARD FRANCE: This guy had just barely turned twenty years old when he entered into this production. It opened before he turned twenty-one. Here he's dealing with a cast of eighty to a hundred people, seven or eight of which have professional experience. The vast majority of them have never been on a stage before, okay, and they're entrusting their entire life to this--to this kid who has never--never directed anything--anything anywhere but at school.
LEONARD DE PAUR: He knew what he wanted, and he was darn sure he was going to get it one way or the other. If it took somebody's life, that was tough. You know, he cracked the whip, he abused people. He yelled and screamed. I never saw him physically assault anybody, but he always seemed capable of it.
NARRATOR: Welles kept rehearsing 'til dawn, bellowing orders at his huge cast. He was turning Macbeth into spectacle, a pop thriller set in Haiti--Voodoo Macbeth. He was legend in Harlem even before dress rehearsal. The Communist Party started a rumor that Welles was really staging a mockery, a minstrel show. Four men attacked him one night outside the theater. After that, he worked flanked by bodyguards. But Welles and his partner, the producer John Houseman, rallied Harlem to their cause. On opening night, public officials arrived to show support. A brass band paraded in uniforms of light blue, scarlet and gold. Traffic around the Lafayette Theater was backed up for an hour.
THOMAS ANDERSON: These people had never done Shakespeare before, but with Orson in back of them, Orson could take them and change them into whatever he wanted.
LEONARD DE PAUR: Orson's artistic ambition? [laughs]
THOMAS ANDERSON: He felt that if he could do this with a group of black actors who were not versed in Shakespeare, what could he not do?
ACTOR: [''Macbeth''] Hang on, Macduff, and cursed be he who first cries, ''Hold, enough.''
RICHARD FRANCE: You can see just how this whole thing was choreographed. Every step is--is meticulously done. It looks like chaos, but it was very, very carefully contrived chaos.
ACTOR: [''Macbeth''] And be these juggling themes no more believed.
LEONARD DE PAUR: The way he developed in those performers a sense of the performer's dignity and respect for himself--Orson somehow got those people to play those roles as though they had been preparing for them all their lives.
ORSON WELLES:  I think it's the great success of my life. Everybody who was anybody in the black or white world was there, and when the play ended, there were so many curtain calls that finally they left the curtain open and the audience came up on the stage to congratulate the actors. Now that was--that was magical.
RICHARD FRANCE: Hearst was a critic of the WPA, part of which was the Federal Theater Project. The shining star of the Federal Theater Project was Orson Welles. It was inevitable that these two would come into collision at some point, and they did early on. And the attacks on Welles, directly or indirectly, began with the Voodoo Macbeth.
ACTOR: [''The Shadow''] What was that? Somebody laughed here in this office.
ORSON WELLES: Yes, Kelvin. It is the laughter that has echoed through the mind of many a killer.
NARRATOR: With his fame on the rise in New York theater, Welles was also in demand on radio.
ORSON WELLES: [''The Shadow''] The Shadow is here.
NARRATOR: He wasn't just the voice of The Shadow, but a hundred other characters. Radio money poured in, but Welles didn't care about keeping money. He poured it back into his stage plays.
WILLIAM ALLAND, Assistant to Orson Welles: We had three or four plays going on all at one time, but we needed money, so he kept doing his radio. And so he had to be able to get to the theater or to the studio and back. So--I think it was his idea, I'll tell you that, to get ambulances to come and pick him up. They'd go with sirens out on the street and get to the theater, and he had it made.
ORSON WELLES: Because I discovered there was no law in New York that you had to be sick to travel in an ambulance. So I hired the ambulance, and I would go from CBS to NBC. They'd hold an elevator for me. I'd go up to the fifth floor, go into the studio, whichever I was booked for. I'd say, ''What's the character?'' They'd say, ''Eighty-year-old Chinaman,'' and I'd go on and do the eighty-year-old Chinaman, and then rush off somewhere else.
NARRATOR: In 1937, Welles picked a fight with the WPA and, in a blaze of publicity, formed his own company. The Mercury Theater would stage the classics, but, as producer John Houseman said, ''with their original speed and violence.'' In other words, the Mercury would be just like its star.
WILLIAM HERZ, Mercury Theater: Well, I can only tell you you had to have a strong, strong stomach, because he was a genius, but he was a difficult man to work with.
SAM LEVE: I called him Mr. Welles, he called me Sam. He was three years younger than I was. I just couldn't get myself to call him Orson, because he exuded so much power, so much authority.
NARRATOR: Welles could shine the glory of his attention on one actor until that poor player felt that only Orson ever understood him, or Welles could tear a play to bits, or an actor or a theater. When he didn't work, he drank, bragged, ran through women, ate like a beast and hated himself. He'd eat supper at his dressing table--two steaks, each with a baked potato; an entire pineapple; triple pistachio ice cream; and a bottle of Scotch. Appetite drove him. Applause wasn't enough. He wanted amazement, the gasp of a common crowd. His first play for the Mercury would be Julius Caesar, but with a showman's twist.
SAM LEVE: He was going to do an idea, he was going to do a show against the Nazi regime, and the first idea that came to mind--I was there--''We'll do it as the Nuremburg Festival, all with lights, with no scenery whatsoever.''
NORMAN LLOYD, Actor: An imitation of the lights that Hitler used at Nuremburg. They went straight up in the air.
NARRATOR: In 1937, Hitler and war were the diet in the newsreels. If Welles could bring out the dread in his audience, he would have his hit. If he couldn't, well, that was his own dread. ''I'm doomed,'' Welles would say in the middle of some rehearsal. Then he'd throw out a scene or refuse to work on it. By the night of the dress rehearsal, Caesar was full of holes.
NORMAN LLOYD: The curtain came down, and there was no applause at all--the audience got up and walked out--and I vividly recall Orson standing in the center of the stage in a greatcoat he had, I believe, that he wore as Brutus, the company lined up beside him on either side of him, waiting for the curtain to go up, and taking a bow, which never occurred. Into this stunned atmosphere rushed Hank Sember, who was one of our publicity men, and he said to Orson, ''We didn't get a call,'' whereupon Orson, without moving, formed a great glob of saliva in his mouth and spit right into Hank Sember's eye.
NARRATOR: The play was in trouble, and Welles was out of time. Those were always the conditions for his best work. There was a scene he hadn't even played that night about a minor character, Cinna, the poet, an innocent who's attacked by a mob. Now Welles brought the scene back, dressed the mob in Depression-era clothes, and gave them the stage in a swirl of menace straight out of the headlines from Europe.
RICHARD FRANCE: You would have seen this poor fellow walk into a pool of light, mumble a line or two, and then gradually people start circling around him, start coming out of the darkness.
NORMAN LLOYD: I became aware that they were beginning to surround me. The lights were changing, and as they completely surrounded me, they rushed me down the ramp back from whence I came.
RICHARD FRANCE: He's literally swallowed up by this mob, and offstage was a Hammond organ, and all the bass notes were hit at that moment, signifying the slaughter of Cinna.
NORMAN LLOYD: It stopped the show. I mean, to use good old show business terms, it stopped the show. The applause lasted--some nights--for three minutes. You know, that's a whole evening.
RICHARD FRANCE: He created for his audience the same kind of tension and--and overwhelming dread that Shakespeare's audience had when it saw the original production. That Julius Caesar--that production of Julius Caesar is still regarded as--I think, anyway, and I know a number of people who feel this way--still regarded as the single most important production of Shakespeare ever done on the American stage.
NARRATOR: Welles was twenty-three years old. The editors of Time Magazine put him on the cover. ''The brightest moon that has risen over Broadway in years,'' they wrote, ''Welles should feel at home in the sky, for the sky is the only limit to his ambition.''
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] I know you're tired, gentlemen, but I brought you here for a reason. I think this little pilgrimage will do us good.
ACTOR: The Chronicle's a good newspaper.
ORSON WELLES: The Chronicle's a good idea for a newspaper. Notice the circulation.
NARRATOR: If a character of limitless ambition came naturally to Welles, it was also fair comment on his subject.
NANCY LOE: Hearst went to New York, because San Francisco just simply wasn't a large enough stage. He was not a man who thought small about anything.
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] Six years ago, I looked at a picture of the world's greatest newspapermen. I felt like a kid in front of a candy store. Well, tonight, six years later, I got my candy, all of it.
Welcome, gentlemen, to The Inquirer.
Make up an extra copy of that picture and send it to The Chronicle, will you please?
It'll make you all happy to learn that our circulation this morning was the greatest in New York, 684,000.
NARRATOR: With seven and a half million dollars--his mother's share of the Anaconda Mine--Hearst moved his operation into New York. Another man might have thought twice. In 1895, New York had fourteen papers, and at the top of the heap, Joseph Pulitzer and his New York World. But Hearst had a simple plan. He sent his calling card to Pulitzer's top editors, and when they sat down at lunch, he'd pull out a giant wad of cash. That solved two problems. Hearst had a staff. Pulitzer had to go looking for one.
JIMMY BRESLIN: Grab, just take it. What rules? Everybody's up for grabs. They weren't getting any money. What is this--what's this, a sin to steal a staff from somebody? Forget about it. Hearst--Hearst paid them, put up money. He was all right with money, you know.
NARRATOR: People who saw Hearst spend thought him mad, but he was spending for a purpose. Circulation he could use for more than commerce. Now Hearst was after real political power. New York was going to launch him onto the world stage. Pulitzer just happened to be the first man in his way.
JOHN TEBBEL: Street sales were the all-important thing, and so Hearst was immediately competing with Pulitzer on the street. And when they both heard about what was going on in Cuba--which actually didn't amount to much at the beginning--they seized on this as a grand opportunity.
NARRATOR: The Cuban revolt wasn't new, but it was perfect for Hearst. It was a chance for the vigorous Americans to kick the stuffing out of the hollow old Spanish empire, a chance for The Journal to do the same to old Pulitzer daily on the streets of New York. A war between the U.S. and Spain would serve all of Hearst's ambitions--political, journalistic and even theatrical.
NANCY LOE: There's a thread, a really strong thread in this incredibly long line of Hearst's toward entertainment, toward anything that's flashy, and I think you see that in journalism in the way that he approached things.
NARRATOR: Hearst could shape a story so it satisfied like the nickel theater he loved as a boy. Evangelina Cisneros, a rebel girl, a pretty seventeen-year-old, was clapped into a Spanish jail. Hearst heard about it in his New York office and laughed aloud. ''We've got Spain now.'' The truth was Evangelina Cisneros tried to lure a Spanish commander into bed and then kill him, but Hearst didn't want that story. Evangelina was ''the flower of Cuba.'' She must be saved.
DAVID NASAW: It was a wonderful story. Here's a story of--of embattled innocence, of a woman whose virtue is in danger because she tries to save her father, get her father out of jail. Most of it was made up.
NARRATOR: Evangelina ornamented Hearst's front page for months--great for sales. A Hearst reporter could have bribed her out of jail--in fact, the bribe was paid--but that wasn't good enough. Mr. Hearst preferred to rent the house next door so a ladder could be slid across to the jail where iron bars must be hack-sawed. Evangelina's cellmates must be drugged and Evangelina spirited away in a carriage. Why so many twists and turns? Mr. Hearst was at the theater three times a week, and he knew every melodrama had at least three close calls. When the U.S. finally invaded, Hearst went to forty-three special editions. The Journal was selling a million papers a day--more than Pulitzer--but that wasn't enough for Hearst. He wanted more, much more.
DAVID NASAW: I mean, Hearst tries to offer himself as a Navy commander. The Navy turns him down. He charters his own yacht, takes newspapermen and moving picture cameramen with him to Cuba to participate in the war, and he does participate in the war. He jumps right in. This is his moment of glory. He, as the publisher, and his newspaper, they are making history as well as reporting it.
NARRATOR: Hearst captured twenty-nine Spaniards himself, and made them sing ''Three Cheers for George Washington.'' One reporter was ordered to purchase a steamship and be ready to sink it in the Suez Canal if Mr Hearst chose to delay the Spanish navy, and a reporter was dispatched to the King of Spain to offer Mr. Hearst's terms for peace. Hearst was now acting for the people of the United States, even if he hadn't been elected yet.
NANCY LOE: It's pretty clear that Hearst's ambitions always were for the White House. I think that anyone who was raised by Phoebe Hearst was taught to aim the highest and aim for the best.
JIMMY BRESLIN: Be everything. Be the publisher, be the President. ''If there's a higher post than that, I'll be king.'' He would just--''Whatever it is, I want it, I want to be it.''
NARRATOR: But the humble arts of politics--back-slapping, handshaking--those were not Hearst's way. He was thinking bigger than that. He saw that the working poor, the immigrants would be the future of his party. He would be their champion. He campaigned for the eight-hour day, the income tax. He was far ahead of his time, and far too bold.
DAVID NASAW: He ran for Congress and was elected, went and served two terms in Congress, but he never showed up. He apparently had the worst attendance of any congressman before or since, and he was proud of it. He said, ''I would be wasting my time sitting through these boring speeches and these stupid roll calls. I'm out''--you know, ''where power is.''
JIMMY BRESLIN: Desperate judgment, but absolute belief in his own--you know, that he could carry everything off.
JOHN TEBBEL: For a while, he was very optimistic. He could scarcely believe that he couldn't buy the presidency as easily as he could buy anything else.
NARRATOR: Hearst set out to buy a future in politics by buying papers--Chicago, L.A., Boston, Atlanta. His was the first nationwide chain. For the first time, one man could shape--or, as he thought, dictate--public opinion all across the country. It was a soapbox of a size no candidate had ever enjoyed. He would build it, whatever it took.
JOHN TEBBEL: The newspaper wars, as they were called, in that period were very fierce. People were killed.
VERN WHALEY: They were shooting each other and raiding the stands and stealing papers so that the customers had to buy the opposition paper instead of the paper they wanted. It was violence, all right. Yeah, rough--it was a rough business then, really rough.
NARRATOR: This courtly man with his soft manners now had thugs on his payroll, and if that bothered him, he showed no sign. His own staff was sometimes aghast at the violence of his public positions or the way his crusades turned to personal attacks. Hearst papers called not once, but twice, for someone to put a bullet into President McKinley. Then someone did, and the President was dead.
JOHN TEBBEL: People were outraged. Hearst was hanged in effigy, his papers were banned from some libraries and schools. He was denounced from the pulpit by eminent ministers. He got death threats practically every day for a while, the public indignation was so intense about this.
NANCY LOE: He simply didn't care what others thought of him. He really, I believe, was a law unto himself.
NARRATOR: Hearst was a visionary builder, but his own imperial will was against him when he tried to be the simple servant of the people. He ran for mayor of New York, and he lost. He ran for governor and lost. He ran for President at the next Democratic convention, but never got near the nomination. He formed his own party, and he lost. By 1912, he was a public joke. He was William ''Also-Ran-Dolph'' Hearst.
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] Hello, Jedidiah.
ACTOR: I'm drunk.
NARRATOR: Citizen Kane followed the sweep of Hearst's career, the violence of his wanting, the deep disappointments, but Welles had the effrontery to hijack the story of a powerful living man, to strip it bare, make it simple, and use it as clay for his drama.
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] That's the way they want it. The people have made that choice.
JOSEPH COTTON, Actor: You talk about ''the people,'' as though you own them, as though they belong to you. Goodness. As long as I could remember, you've talked about ''giving the people their rights,'' as if you could make them a present of liberty.
NANCY LOE: You know, as you watch the film unroll on the screen, the sense of irony seems to me to be terribly present. For the first time ever, the means that Hearst had used to lay bare the lives of others had been used on him.
JOSEPH COTTON: You don't care about anything except you. You just want to persuade people that you love 'em so much that they ought to love you back, only you want love on your own terms, something to be played your way according to your rules.
ORSON WELLES: Toast, Jedidiah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows--his own.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: The Columbia Broadcasting system and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air in The War of the Worlds.
NARRATOR: Just as Hearst had seen the boom in popular newspapers and turned it to his own ends, so Welles grabbed for the medium of radio. Now, for the first time, a single man's voice could reach into living rooms everywhere. Welles not only seized this power, he used it more inventively, more recklessly than anyone else.
WILLIAM HERZ: He only looked about twenty-one, and maybe he might have been twenty-two. He was awfully young, and he was a man who--he didn't think. He just did.
NARRATOR: Welles was a young man who courted danger. That was always an element of his success. In the theater, he demanded magic. Characters had to appear from nowhere, or levitate into the sky. Actors were at risk. There were broken bones, fistfights. He liked the reflection of light on a real dagger, but one night he ran a fellow actor through, severed an artery and almost killed him. It was a risky way to live even when it did work and audiences cheered. When they didn't love Welles or his shows, that was worse.
WILLIAM HERZ: He went on a tear one night, and he went through the Ritz Carlton Hotel--one floor--breaking down all the doors, and scaring the inhabitants to death, most of the inhabitants being fellow actors. The next day, the manager called and said, ''There's about forty thousand dollars worth of damage.''
NARRATOR: Radio was supposed to pay the bills, but with Mercury Theater on the Air, Welles was even worse. He'd just make up shows as he went.
PETER BOGDANOVICH, Director: There was nobody that did radio the way Orson did. I mean, Orson was, you know, so daring and so unbound by rules that, you know, it was always--you always knew Orson would break the rule if it was worth breaking. He told me how it worked. They would rehearse for a week without him, or for five days without him, and he'd get there in the morning and they'd run it for him and then he'd start to change things. And he'd be changing them usually right up until just before air time.
WILLIAM ALLAND: We would come to the studio with the book with pages, with scissors and pencils and we'd be sitting there right 'til the last minute, putting together the damn show. It happened many, many times, and that happened even with the--with War of the Worlds.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: [''War of the Worlds''] Ladies and gentlemen, the director of The Mercury Theater and star of these broadcasts, Orson Welles.
ORSON WELLES: We know now that, in the early years of the twentieth century, this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than Man's and yet as mortal as his own.
RICHARD FRANCE: He recognized the fact that his audience was sensitized to having their favorite shows interrupted by news of some disaster, some latest disaster, be it in Europe or be it in the Far East, but something that was threatening, something that was encroaching, something that was terrifying.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: [''War of the Worlds''] Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. At twenty minutes before eight o'clock Central time, Professor Farrell at the Mount Jennings Observatory in Chicago, Illinois reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectrascope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving toward the Earth with enormous velocity. We now return you to the music of Ramon Raquello playing for you in the Meridian Room of the Park Plaza Hotel situated in downtown New York.
LOUETTA SANTUCCI, Hopewell Resident: Hopewell is a small country town where all the people usually knew each other. That's where I worked for seven years as a telephone operator. When I would come to work around five or six o'clock at night on Sunday night, it was very slow, so slow that you could almost read a book or do a little crocheting or whatever.
WILLIAM HERZ: People were switching dials all the time, and we were on between Winchell and Jack Benny, and we were not a--a very popular program.
NARRATOR: Welles knew the bulk of the audience was tuned into rival NBC, and the Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy show, but he also knew that, twelve minutes in, Bergen and his dummy would take a break, cut to music. That's when Welles landed his Martians.
ACTOR: [''War of the Worlds''] Something wriggling out of the shadow like a great snake. They look like tentacles to me. Why, I can see the thing's body now. It's large and--large as a bear. Ladies and gentlemen, it's indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it, it's so awful. Its eyes are black.
GLORIA WIDELOCK: I had just finished my homework. My older sister had gone in to take her Sunday night bath, because the next day was school. And the first thing I realized was that my parents were shushing us. They kept saying, ''Quiet. Something's going on.''
ACTOR: [''War of the Worlds''] Wait a minute, something's happening. What's that? It's a jet of flames springing from that man in a big sweater. It strikes him head on! Lord, to tell you--the flames. There are gas tanks, tanks in the automobiles. It's spreading everywhere, coming this way now, about twenty yards from my right--
GLORIA WIDELOCK: There was a point when we heard nothing. It seemed like they cut away and there was silence, and that only intensified our interest more.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: Orson held the pause and he--everybody was waiting for him to cue it, and it was up to him--he was actually directing it from the floor. And Orson just held that moment. He just kept holding it, and he wouldn't let anything happen. And then he finally said, ''All right,'' and everybody said, ''Oh, my God.'' You know, he just held this silence.
LOUETTA SANTUCCI: I guess about quarter of nine, I realized that something was radically wrong, because it would be very slow ordinarily at that time. Well, we had a board--a switchboard like this with numbers and lights, and they lit up like a Christmas tree.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: [''War of the Worlds''] Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been handed a message that came in from Grover's Mill by telephone. Just one moment, please. At least forty people, including six state troopers, lie dead in a field east of the village of Grover's Mill, their bodies burned and distorted beyond all possible recognition.
WILLIAM HERZ: Well, during the course of the broadcast, which was an hour, we noticed uniformed policemen in the lobby.
WILLIAM ALLAND: That's when I knew, ''Oh-oh, something's wrong. Is something wrong with the show, or are they after Orson for something he did or what?'' I had no idea, but there was--we knew something was wrong. And shortly after that is when Davidson Taylor came out while we were in the middle of the show, and he whispers to Orson, ''For God's sake,'' you know, ''interrupt this thing and tell everybody it's only a show.'' And Orson said, ''No way,'' he wouldn't do it, you know--no, no, no, no, he wouldn't do it--when all of a sudden, the executive in charge walks up to you and says, ''Listen, my God, you're scaring people to death. Please interrupt and tell them it's only a show.'' And Orson said, ''What do you mean, interrupt? No way. They're scared? Good, they're supposed to be scared. Now let me finish.''
ORSON WELLES: [''War of the Worlds''] The bells you hear are ringing to warn the people to evacuate the cities as the Martians approach.
GLORIA WIDELOCK: And my mother said, ''Turn it to another station.'' We did, and they were having their regularly scheduled program, and my mother said, ''They're not as sharp as CBS.'' My father was quite upset, and he hung wet dishcloths all around the windows. He said it would absorb the gases. I remember my mother wanted to call on the telephone. Her father and her sisters lived in New York, and she couldn't get through. The lines were busy. She just wanted to call to say goodbye.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: [''War of the Worlds''] This is the end now--black smoke drifting over the city. People in the street see it now. They're running toward the East River, thousands of them, dropping in like rats.
WILLIAM ALLAND: When we went out of the studio, every--we started answering the phones. ''What's going on?'' and ''Where are they?'' and it was unbelievable. And I never--I looked down the end of the hall there, and there was Paley, the head of CBS, in his bathrobe and slippers. That's who was holding court, wanting to know what the hell was going on. It was absolutely bedlam. It was bedlam.
WILLIAM HERZ: It's the only time that, in all the years that I worked with Orson that I ever saw him slightly afraid. I don't think that he quite knew what was going to happen. It's very possible that he thought that this could have ended his career, but it did exactly the opposite.
ORSON WELLES: [press conference] Do you want me to speak now? I'm sorry. Of course, we are deeply shocked and deeply regretful about the results of last night's broadcast. It came rather as a great surprise to us that a story, a fine H.G. Wells classic--
WILLIAM ALLAND: We absolutely were not prepared for the kind of reaction it got, but--but Orson was giving an interview and he said, ''I had no idea what we were doing.'' That's not true. He knew fifteen minutes in, you know, when Davidson Taylor came out and said, ''Make an announcement, make an announcement,'' and he--he wouldn't.
REPORTER: [press conference] Were you aware of terror at the time you were giving this role--were you aware that terror was going on throughout the nation?
ORSON WELLES: Oh, no. Oh, no. Of course not. I was frankly terribly shocked to learn that--that it did.
RICHARD FRANCE: The immediate thing that it got him was--was a sponsor--thereafter it became known as the Campbell Soup Playhouse--but the big thing it got him was Hollywood, sure.
ORSON WELLES:  And then, of course, they passed a lot of laws. Now you can't do it. You can't give a news broadcast--say, ''This is the news,'' without--all that. But the people who tried it in other countries were all put in jail, and I got a contract--Hollywood. It really is the truth.
NARRATOR: His New York theater was a shambles, but now that didn't matter. Welles was offered the greatest contract in the history of Hollywood: unprecedented freedom. It was just what he wanted, and the worst thing that could have happened to him.
ORSON WELLES: [''Citizen Kane''] What are you doing? Jigsaw puzzles?
DOROTHY COMINGORE, Actress: Charlie, what time is it?
ORSON WELLES: Eleven-thirty.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: In New York?
ORSON WELLES: Hmm?
DOROTHY COMINGORE: I said what time is it in New York?
ORSON WELLES: Eleven-thirty.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: Night?
ORSON WELLES: Mm-hmm. Bulldog's just gone to press.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: Well, hooray for The Bulldog.
NARRATOR: In 1941, Orson Welles depicted William Randolph Hearst as a stiff old man, cut off from the world, ossified in attitudes that had no bearing outside of his own castle.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: [''Citizen Kane''] Well, a person could go crazy in this dump--nobody to talk to, nobody to have some fun with.
NARRATOR: It was a cruel picture, but in fifty years of building an empire, Hearst had endured worse without complaint.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: [''Citizen Kane''] I'm lonesome.
NARRATOR: But Welles didn't mean to stop there. He saved his most savage portraiture for the woman who shared Hearst's life.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: [''Citizen Kane''] You make a joke out of everything. Charlie, I want to go to New York. I'm tired of being a hostess. I want to have fun. Please, Charlie. Charlie, please.
ORSON WELLES: Our home is here, Susan. I don't care to visit New York.
NARRATOR: This was the real Marion Davies. The collision between Hearst and Orson Welles--the battle over Citizen Kane--was, in large part, a fight over the honor of this woman, for when the real William Randolph Hearst fell in love, he did it to scale. Mountains would move, palaces would be built, the nation as a whole was going to love this woman. He saw her in a chorus line in 1915. Hearst was fifty-two, with his wife pregnant at home, but he still haunted the theaters, second row--one seat for him, one for his hat. He was familiar to the showgirls--one of the wealthy men who'd give a girl something nice if she favored him with her company. Marion was eighteen, but a practiced hand at this game. When she lost his first gift, a Tiffany watch, she called Hearst up and got another. She was a gold-digger and made no bones about it, but she knew how to make Hearst laugh.
NANCY LOE: She was incredibly, heart-breakingly beautiful, and she had been raised much in the tradition of Colette, where her mother encouraged her to pay a lot of flattering attention to men of incredible means.
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, Jr.: Marion was absolutely enchanting. Everybody loved her. She was cheery, jolly, generous, and full of humor and wit. She was just a glorious gal.
NARRATOR: When Hearst finally realized he was never going to be President, there was this consolation--he was now free to live as he chose. Hearst meant to move to California, to the ranch he'd known as a boy. Without giving up his wife, his children, or any piece of his business empire. He was going to add a new life of impossible scale. He would turn San Simeon into a palace. He would take on the movie business--not to dabble, but to become a movie giant, a mogul--and he would live openly with a showgirl thirty-five years his junior, but she wasn't going to stay a showgirl.
NANCY LOE: The first film that he produced for Marion Davies was his favorite historical romantic epic, and in order to premiere the film, he goes to the theater and completely remodels the theater and even surrounds the entire movie screen with hundreds of thousands of pink roses and fans that are strategically place to waft the scent of roses across the audience.
NARRATOR: For another Davies epic, When Knighthood Was in Flower, Hearst spent fifteen times the normal budget, an amount he then publicized in his papers.
NANCY LOE: It's well known how much he used his papers to feature her. This overwhelming diet of Marion Davies every day in Hearst papers really almost became kind of a joke. Literally, he was shoving her down the public's throat.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: The trouble was that Hearst liked her to be kind of genteel and use her in kind--liked to see her in costume pictures, and that wasn't what she was like. She was actually quite mischievous and had a great sense of humor, and really is charming. It's just the stuff that Hearst didn't like to see her do.
NANCY LOE: She was beautiful, but she had the ability to be comic, and I think that, without Hearst fettering her, she could have gone on and had a great comedic career, and that just didn't happen.
NARRATOR: In Hollywood, they said she'd be nothing without Hearst. Marion was the sort who'd say so herself. She never complained about his twelve-page telegrams dictating every scene in her films, as she never complained publicly when Hearst's wife would appear in California, and Marion had to move out of the ranch. She had her own way of making her points to Hearst, or ''Pops,'' as she called him. She knew he had his private detectives reporting on her when she had affairs with Charlie Chaplin, Leslie Howard, Dick Powell. ''Well,'' Marion would say, ''that should give him something to think about.'' She liked champagne, liked a crowd. He made San Simeon into a palace, but it was she who turned it into the gathering place for Hollywood.
FRANK MANKIEWICZ, Son of Herman Mankiewicz: They went there for parties, he and my mother. And my mother used to say it was just an amazing event. I mean, you'd get there, you'd be shown to your room. You would have two servants. And Saturday night, you had to come to dinner, because it was a costume party. And when you got there, they would have your costume ready. ''And you, Mrs. Mankiewicz, will be Pierrot, and you, Mr. Mankiewicz are going to be a knight, and here's your armor.''
NANCY LOE: There are a lot of accounts of people being driven up there and saying, ''We're on Mr. Hearst's ranch now,'' and they couldn't see anything. And they drove for miles and miles and miles. It's about half the size of Rhode Island, is what he owned. He had the largest private zoo in the world. Most of the comparisons--at least that his guests made--were to a feudal lord, really presiding over his own kingdom.
NARRATOR: Hearst would slip away from his guests to his study, where he'd spread out fourteen Hearst papers on the floor. The old man was still about acquisition--more of everything, Marion and movies, newsreels, magazines, more homes, more artwork--and he was still riding his editors--more readers. When Fatty Arbuckle was falsely accused of rape, Hearst invented a new sensation: private lives of the stars. He rode the story for months until Arbuckle was acquitted. When his Hollywood guests asked Hearst how he could do that--Fatty was ruined--Hearst said it was simply business. More and more, he was squeezing his papers for cash.
DAVID NASAW: Hearst's attitude towards his money was the attitude of a nineteenth-century self-made man. This was his money. He had earned it. He had earned it, and therefore he was going to spend it.
NARRATOR: George Bernard Shaw said that San Simeon was the place God would have built if He'd had the money. Twenty years after he'd made it his home, Hearst was still building. Anything he saw that he liked, he had ripped out, crated and shipped to his ranch. A row of cypress trees he drove by in California--Hearst took them all. A twelfthth-century monastery in Spain--Hearst had it disassembled and built his own road and a railroad to carry the stones to port. And San Simeon was just one of eight homes. Hearst sent a wire to his editor in London: ''Buy Saint Donat's Castle.'' There was no mention of price.
DAVID NASAW: Hearst, in all his life, if he saw something that he liked, he would say, ''Buy it,'' and if there was no place to put it, he would have it stored in warehouses. He had warehouses in--all over the country. He had warehouses in the Bronx, warehouses in San Simeon, warehouses in San Francisco, filled.
NARRATOR: At his peak, Hearst was said to account for twenty-five percent of the world's art market, until the stock market crashed and people told him to slow down. Of course, he wouldn't.
DAVID NASAW: He just kept spending and spending and spending and spending, and expecting that his newspapers would supply the money, and for a long time, he never had to worry about it. His newspapers and his magazines and his other enterprises were hurt by the Depression. He can't pay for it anymore.
NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: Sale director Dr. Armand Hammer, left, and merchant Frederick Gimbel, look at the twenty-five thousand dollar Cellini cup. And here's the original itself, as the fifty-million-dollar Hearst art collection goes on sale, the fruits of fifty years of search for art treasures.
DAVID NASAW: They sell of some of his antiques. More important, they sell some of his newspapers, which he doesn't want to part with.
JOHN TEBBEL: Hearst, for the first time, began to see the tremendous empire he'd built up begin to crumble and melt away. It was as though he were on an island and the waves were lapping up on the shore and taking away a bit of shore every time they rolled.
NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: Rare tapestries, too, and ladies, a china-and-gold service, only twenty-five thousand dollars. Did you say charge it? Ah, to dream of the grandeur of centuries gone by.
DAVID NASAW: Oh, this is an enormous setback. The man is seventy-five years old. There's a bit of embarrassment, there's a bit of humiliation, and he has to watch his pennies.
NARRATOR: Hearst, the old defender of the working man, was now railing about taxes and unions and all the encroachments on his enterprise that were called the New Deal. At his papers, reporters who joined the Guild were fired. Lavatory doors were ripped out so that Hearst employees would get back to their desks. Cut off in his castle, Hearst became a Depression-era symbol of all that was hateful about the rich. As F.D.R. signed into law a new tax on incomes over half a million, he said, through his trademark grin, ''This one's for Hearst.'' Of course, that only drove the lord of San Simeon closer to bankruptcy.
WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST: My friends, this whole system of income taxation has degenerated into a racket. The sooner this impudent, intrusive, despotic, discriminatory and perhaps revolutionary system of taxation is repealed, the better it will be for the honesty, the industry, the wealth and the welfare of the whole American people.
NARRATOR: There was nothing to hold Marion Davies at San Simeon anymore. She wasn't married, and was now, in her own right, wealthy enough to get along with ease. As creditors closed in, she sold jewelry and real estate, and gathered a million dollars in cash. Then she turned it all over to Hearst. ''I started out a gold-digger,'' she said, ''but I fell in love with him.''
DOROTHY COMINGORE: [''Citizen Kane''] You're awful funny, aren't you? Well, I can tell you one thing you're not going to keep on being funny about, and that's my singin'. I'm through! I never wanted to do it in the first place!
NARRATOR: There had always been unfair whispers about Marion--that she was a floozie without much talent--but it was Citizen Kane that would brand her forever.
DOROTHY COMINGORE; [''Citizen Kane''] What about me? I'm the one that's got to do the singin'. I'm the one that gets the raspberries! Oh, why don't you leave me alone?
ORSON WELLES: My reasons satisfy me, Susan. You seem unable to understand them.
[1982 interview] Well, I thought we were very unfair to Marion Davies, because we had somebody very different in the place of Marion Davies, and it seemed to me to be something of a dirty trick, and does still strike me as being something of a dirty trick, what we did to her. And I anticipated the trouble from Hearst for that reason.
RICHARD FRANCE: Welles was always interested in bigger and better things, and, having conquered radio and having conquered theater, the next logical step in his evolution was Hollywood, where he could be--where he arrived as the biggest thing in town. He arrived at the height of his--of his importance.
WILLIAM ALLAND: Complete script control, director control, producer control, cast control--everything, you know--and no questions asked. And this was unheard of.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: The contract was one that people in Hollywood, you know, would kill to have, and they gave it to a twenty-five-year-old radio actor, theater producer, as far as they were concerned, and who came to Hollywood with a beard and looking like--he was smoking a pipe and, you know, they hated him. They just hated him the minute he got here. He said to me he wore the beard 'cause he'd been doing some kind of performance or something, or hadn't had time to shave, and then he saw it irritated people, he decided to keep it.
ORSON WELLES:  I never said I was a genius. Nobody ever called me a genius seriously, certainly not in those days, but Louella Parsons called me ''the would-be genius.'' And she called me that--she was a Hearst columnist.
WILLIAM ALLAND: They were always saying, ''Well, what's the boy genius going to do? Oh, why we understand that he's''--you know, ''he's over--he's not going to get the budget he wants,'' or ''He's doesn't know what he's doing''--all kinds of gossipy--little pieces of gossip about the fact that we were a bunch of amateurs from New York, and here we were, marching around there, you know, as though we owned the place.
NARRATOR: As his clippings piled up, so did the pressure. Welles' contract demanded two films, but Welles demanded that they be revolutionary. He announced he would bring to the screen Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, but with the camera in the place of the central character--very highbrow.
NORMAN LLOYD: Orson and Houseman wanted me to come out and be in this picture, The Heart of Darkness for five hundred dollars a week, and it would be six weeks. Well, there was this first reading. We weren't called back to read anymore. We stayed there six weeks, we were paid regularly, I played a lot of tennis, and finally, after six weeks, RKO said to Orson they didn't want to make the picture.
NARRATOR: Halfway through his contract, Welles announced his second project, Smiler With a Knife, a British thriller, but this time the news was greeted with less fanfare and more doubt. ''They're laying bets over on the RKO lot,'' The Hollywood Reporter insisted, ''that the Welles deal will end without Orson ever doing a picture.'' Faced with failure, Welles reacted with a characteristic round of parties.
SAM LEVE: He was always posing. One time I remember he left a hundred-dollar bill for a Coca-Cola. They brought a Coca-Cola to him and left a hundred-dollar bill for the waiter. I was there! I'm not telling you any stories! And I tell you, I was almost a point of tears. How could a person be so vainglorious?
WILLIAM ALLAND: They rented a house in Hollywood for him, and by this time he was seeing Delores Del Rio. He--he did a lot of drinking, he did a lot of chasing around, but he also did a lot of work, particularly at night. He worked on the scripts, he worked on sketches.
NARRATOR: But his time was running out. When RKO refused to pay his idle actors anymore, Welles, Houseman and their staff held a crisis meeting at Chasen's Restaurant. Welles lashed out at everyone--it was all their fault. When Houseman protested, Welles picked up a flaming can of Sterno and threw it at his face.
WILLIAM ALLAND: In Chasen's Restaurant, second floor--I was there--he threw it at Jack. I think it hit a curtain and started a little bit of a fire. Somebody's holding Orson, somebody's holding Jack, and it was a mêlée.
NARRATOR: It was hard to be friends with Welles in times of pressure. One of the few who managed was an old screenwriter, named Herman Mankiewicz, a gambler and a drinker who had as much contempt for the industry as Welles did. The difference was, Mank knew Hollywood from the inside. He'd even been a guest at San Simeon. Marion liked Mank because he was funny, and they drank together. But however drunk he got, Mankiewicz never forgot what he saw.
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: You know, my father was basically, I think, a reporter. I think that was how he looked at life, sort of how would this--how would this look in the retelling, either in some wonderful semi-sober anecdote or on the screen. I think he was probably writing a book or a movie about Hearst for maybe twenty years, in his head.
NARRATOR: When Mankiewicz proposed the story of Hearst, Welles seized on this as his last best chance. It was perfect--an American saga, a giant who brings ruin to all and to himself. Houseman was dispatched to babysit Mank in a little desert town called Victorville.
WILLIAM ALLAND: You know, Mankiewicz was a drunk, and the trick was to keep him off the booze while he wrote this thing. And Houseman and myself were sort of the go-betweens. We would drive up to Victorville, get part of the script and bring it back to Orson's and back and forth.
NARRATOR: Mank called his script American, which was the title Hearst always claimed for himself, but as Houseman remembered, ''We were also creating a vehicle suited to a man who, at twenty-four, was only slightly less fabulous than the hero he would be portraying. And the deeper we penetrated into the heart of Charles Foster Kane, the closer we seemed to come to the identity of Orson Welles.'' As Welles got the pages from Victorville, he attacked the script with all of his craft and with all of his life to that point. The boy's loss of his mother--that never happened to Hearst, it happened to Welles.
WILLIAM ALLAND: He visualized himself as that character, see? Once he could see himself playing that character--I mean, that was it, you know. I--I think they thought that they--that they could get away with it. I don't think they really realized how touchy the old man was and that this was Hollywood and you--and it would be hell to pay.
NARRATOR: They knew enough to run it by the lawyers. From that point of view, they weren't at risk. Anyway, if Hearst sued, that would be great. The film would be news everywhere. They'd write in some lines about Marion's drinking and those horrid puzzles. No one in Hollywood could miss the joke. They'd even put in ''rosebud,'' the secret word which, they claimed, was Hearst's pet name for Marion's private parts. They'd drive the old man crazy, turn the town on its ear.
ROBERT WISE, Editor, ''Citizen Kane'': Got called in on Monday morning by Jim Wilkerson, the head of the editing department, my boss, saying, ''Listen, you know this fellow Orson Welles has come to the studio.'' I said, ''Yeah, I know. I've seen him.'' He says, ''Well, he's pulled a fast one on the studio,'' and I said, ''What do you mean?'' He said, ''Well, he's got this new picture, and he asked them an okay to make three, what he called 'tests' for this picture, and they gave him the okay and he shot the tests, so-called tests, and they said they've looked at the scenes and realized they're scenes from the picture, they're not just tests, so they've given him the green light to go ahead and make the picture.''
RUTH WARRICK, Actress: I never saw anybody more focused. He knew exactly what he wanted, and he and Gregg Toland were on a completely single wavelength. I'll never forget the day I came in and they have sawed a hole out of a board floor, which you could do, and they were both on their hands and knees, throwing out the dirt like children in a sandbox.
ROBERT WISE: He was totally absorbed in himself and the picture, in what he was doing, but you couldn't look at those rushes coming in every day without realizing that we were getting something quite extraordinary--the photography and the angles and the shooting. It was marvelous. It was just marvelous.
WILLIAM ALLAND: Here he was at RKO with his carte blanche deal, and he would not let the executives of that studio come anywhere near the set. They came in, and Orson said, ''Who's got a baseball? Let's play some catch,'' so everybody started playing catch. But, of course, it drove the brass absolutely loony.
NARRATOR: With his soundstage closed, with control over everything on his set, Welles thought at last he had his project in hand. Nothing stopped him. After one fall down a flight of steps, he acted in steel ankle braces and directed from a wheelchair. He still said he hated Hollywood, but at the studio he'd found the biggest magic kit on earth. But Welles had one problem he couldn't control.
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: Nobody would give you an argument if you said my father was a self-destructive man.
NARRATOR: Maybe Mankiewicz just got careless, or maybe he was showing off, but he gave a copy of the script to one of his old San Simeon pals, Charlie Lederer.
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: Lederer was a friend of father's, but he was, in addition--which my father knew very well--he was Marion Davies' nephew, and my father gave him a copy of the script. Now, you want to talk self-destructive, I suppose that's--that's a pretty good example. Lederer says he never showed the script to Hearst, but when it came back to my father, it was annotated, clearly by the Hearst lawyers, and I think that's probably how the old man learned that Citizen Kane was about him.
NARRATOR: If Welles knew of trouble ahead, he showed no sign. As he worked, he was fusing the character, Charles Foster Kane, completely with himself. His own brilliance, his greed, arrogance, ambition he poured into Kane, and the script made it easy. Mankiewicz, Houseman, they knew their man. They'd seen him take over a room just by force of his charm. They'd seen him cut people off without a second thought. They'd seen him that night at Chasen's when he went on a tear.
WILLIAM ALLAND: One of his greatest acting performances, he didn't say a bloody word, and that was when, in Citizen Kane, he tore up the bedroom, you know, after his wife left. The master shot was unbelievable, and as he staggered off the set after doing this thing, you know, and he walked by me, I heard him say, so help me, God, ''I really felt it. By God, I really felt that scene.''
DAVID NASAW: Hearst was a man who loved life. He had had some rough moments when he went bankrupt, but he loved a good time. The portrait of Hearst as this stolid, stooped, bitter old man is totally wrong.
NARRATOR: Hearst had been a visionary publisher. He wrote for the poor and the immigrants--the people whose lips moved when they read--and he was right, they changed the world, but Hearst couldn't change. His papers were still instruments of his will. He used them for influence, publicity or cash. By 1940, Hearst papers had lost readers and reputation. They were low-paying, lowbrow, and often just low.
VERN WHALEY: And I was reading copy on the old Herald Examiner. One night I had a crime story that was going to be featured in the ninety-six-point headline on page one. And in those days, we had a big book--it looked like a bible--and you could go through and check addresses. And when I found the address that was in the story, that address was a vacant lot. So I hollered over to the re-write desk. I had John Guyan, I said, ''You got the wrong address in this story. This is a vacant lot.'' The copy chief that night was a guy named Vic Barnes, and he says, ''Sit down, Vern,'' he says, ''The whole story's a fake.''
JIMMY BRESLIN: Instead of making it with his energy and the joy that he put into it, they were trying to make it with the gossip, with the divorce stories, and they just were not making it. You know, they lost in Chicago, they lost in Houston, they lost in--well, Detroit. They lost everywhere.
NARRATOR: To hold onto readers, the Hearst papers now pedalled tidbits of movieworld gossip and glamour. For a man who'd wanted the White House, it seemed a shabby end, but ironically that's how he held onto power in Hollywood.
NEWSREEL NARRATOR: Well, folks, here they come. Hollywood moves to Illinois to help celebrate the homecoming of the First Lady of movieland, Dixon's own Louella Parsons.
NARRATOR: This was the executor of Hearst's Hollywood power. Louella Parsons was more than a reporter. She was a pillar of the industry, bringer of Tinseltown's news to millions through her radio show and her gossip column in every Hearst paper.
DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, Jr.: Louella was a devoted slave of Mr. Hearst. She was very nice, you know, if you were on her side. And she could be very nice and could be charming, but, oh, boy, look out,
NARRATOR: Louella was feared by everyone in Hollywood, but her number-one enemy was her younger and smarter rival, Hedda Hopper. It was Hedda who saw a tiny notice in The Hollywood Reporter--a screening of the unfinished Citizen Kane, January 3, 1941. When the film ended, Hedda rushed the news directly to San Simeon, and that sent Louella Parsons into a frenzy.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: Louella called and demanded that she see the film that afternoon, and when the lights came up, she was purple, and her wattles were wobbling like a turkey gobbler.
WILLIAM ALLAND: She stormed out and said, you know, ''You're going to hear from Hearst and their lawyers,'' and this and that and the other thing. She was--she was frantic--very, very distressed--and then took off. Within days, the word was out that Hearst was absolutely furious about this film, and wanted it destroyed, period.
NARRATOR: Hearst maintained the public stance that he never saw the film, but he knew what was in it. Charlie Lederer said it was the portrayal of Marion as pitiful drunk--that Hearst would not abide. Whatever the reason, Louella Parsons took three weeks off from reporting her column, weeks she devoted to killing Citizen Kane. She called the office of RKO chief George Schaefer, and threatened ''one of the most beautiful lawsuits in history.'' Another RKO man quoted her thus: ''Mr. Hearst told me to tell you if you boys want private lives, he'll give you private lives.''
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: Hearst threatened the industry in every way he could think of. He recalled scandals, drunkenness, miscegenation, crimes of various kinds that he had, at the request of the studios, suppressed in his newspapers and which remained, I assume, in type somewhere. He reminded them that the--that the country that read his newspapers might not look kindly on the high percentage of Jews in the industry.
NARRATOR: Hearst warned, through The Hollywood Reporter, that their papers would crusade against all the major studios for ''giving employment to refugees and immigrants instead of handing those jobs to Americans.''
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: I think what he was saying was, ''You Hollywood people who crave respectability do not want the country to think about and talk about and dwell upon the fact that you're all Jews, and that many of your key executives and directors and writers are now refugees from Germany.'' And he was right, they didn't want that, so they pulled the movie.
NARRATOR: Louis B. Mayer assembled his fellow studio chiefs and, in their name, he offered eight hundred thousand dollars to buy the negative for the express purpose of burning it. RKO begged for a meeting with Hearst, and nervously postponed the premiere. Meanwhile, the real owners of the studio--the money men who held the stock--gathered in New York.
ROBERT WISE: I got a call from my boss one Monday morning, saying, ''Listen, there's a great urgency that you go to New York with this print of Kane because they need it back in New York very, very urgently. You must get on a plane and go.'' And I was told I was to take the print of the picture to the Music Hall, where they had a projection theater there. Now, these were the chairman of the boards, the head men of all the major studios, and their lawyers. The purpose of it was to see, after looking at the picture, whether the companies would say to RKO, ''In the interest of our film industry, put this film on the shelf, don't release it.'' That was the first time I realized the film was really in danger.
Orson was there. Orson knew what was up; it wasn't that he was there just by accident. He knew that this was a very crucial point in the film's history, and he spoke to them for a few minutes before we started, and I always have to laugh to myself to think that I was the only person in Hollywood that saw Orson give one of his greatest performances.
NARRATOR: With a stirring oration about the tyranny loose in the world and value of free speech in the U.S., Welles won out in the New York meeting. The last thing these men of business needed was a public fight over the Bill of Rights. Citizen Kane would be released and now it was a real Orson Welles project. The film was a cause célèbre.
WILLIAM HERZ: None of us were really concerned. We really didn't know what was in store. I went to--we went to a screening at Radio City in one of those private rooms. There were more celebrities than I've ever seen in my life. We all felt it was the greatest picture we'd ever seen.
NARRATOR: Welles meant to ride this wave like every other--straight onto the front page. As RKO still delayed the release, Welles threatened his own lawsuit. He announced that his money men would go L.B. Mayer one better. They'd buy Kane for a million dollars and show it themselves. Kane's delay gave him time for a new play on Broadway and a radio series. His ratings were soaring. And meanwhile, he planned another picture, no less than the life of Christ, Welles in the title role. When the theater chains started turning down Kane, Welles fired off a message to RKO: ''Show it in tents. It'll make millions--the film your theater won't let you see.''
PETER BOGDANOVICH: That was Orson. You know, that was a good example of Orson's personality. He liked to be challenged with--with, you know, impossible odds. He pushed it a bit far on that one, and he got burned quite a lot.
NARRATOR: Within a month, the Hearst campaign had shifted. Now the target wasn't just the film. Hearst's American Weekly started researching an expos--on Welles' private life--would he be available to talk about Delores Del Rio? Wasn't she married when he took up with her? A whisper campaign questioned Welles' willingness to serve his country. Reporters started showing up at his draft board.
JIMMY BRESLIN: There's no secret to how you attack somebody. You call him a dirty son of a bitch, and if you can't use the word ''son of a bitch,'' you put it in something else in the paper. And you--you--you don't have any sidelines. I mean, you run out of bounds at all times. You always suggest sodomy, always. That's important. And the Communism business, which was lousy, a cheap, rotten way to hurt somebody, and it would stick in America--you know, by pointing a finger and call him a Communist. That could stick.
NARRATOR: When Welles opened his Broadway play, Native Son, the review in Hearst's Journal American called it ''propaganda that seems nearer to Moscow than to Harlem.'' That week, the FBI opened a file on Welles.
ORSON WELLES: [on radio] This story happened in a small town near the Mexican border. We'll call it Benton, because I never heard of any town by that name.
NARRATOR: Two weeks later, when Welles joined a celebrated group of writers for a series of radio dramas, the Hearst press called Welles' play ''Communistic.''
ORSON WELLES: [on radio] Right here, I want to say that this broadcast isn't intended to be uplifting or inspirational. It hasn't any moral at the end of it or any message.
NARRATOR: These Hearst clippings formed the core of the FBI file that would be labeled, ''Welles, Orson, native-born, Communist,'' and the FBI file would stay open for years.
WILLIAM ALLAND: The FBI gave me a questionnaire and asked questions of me. Weeks later, they called me back and said, ''Now, look, you held out on us.'' ''What do you mean, held out on you?'' ''Well, we know that you and Orson had a house in Hollywood, and you lived together there. Are you both homosexuals?'' So I said, ''Absolutely not.'' ''Why did you rent it for Orson?'' ''Well, because he had a lady that he used to take there.'' ''Who was the lady?'' I said, ''Well, I'd rather not say.'' ''Well, you better tell us.'' I said, ''It's Delores Del Rio.'' They also asked me some questions about, ''Is he a Communist?'' You know, they asked me that. It told me that they were very much suspicious of Orson on every level.
NARRATOR: The FBI would conclude that Welles was ''a threat to the nation's internal security.'' That alone might have ended Welles' career in years to come when the Communist blacklist was the terror of Hollywood, but Hearst's blacklist worked quicker. The industry was closing ranks against Welles. Maybe it was a tribute from Hollywood to Hearst, or perhaps it was just fear of his papers.
FRANK MANKIEWICZ: And then they turned on the pressure. They--they told them, ''If you run this movie in your theaters, we will not take your advertising for any other movies,'' the Hearst papers. Well, that's--that's a death knell. You don't--you just don't--you don't mess with that.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: They couldn't get theaters. Some of them would book it and then not play it.
DOROTHY COMINGORE: And RKO finally--they owned the Palace Theater, but they turned it into a movie house in order to be able to show it in New York.
VERN WHALEY: No Hearst newspaper ever published a review. No Hearst newspaper ever published an ad. The orders came from San Simeon that there was to be no advertising accepted for that movie.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES, New York Film Critics Awards: On behalf of all our film critics, we're very happy to present you these awards for Orson Welles' production of Citizen Kane as the best picture of 1941--
WILLIAM ALLAND: When the film came out, as you know, it won every award in New York, it did everything, and immediately there was a blackout. They really wanted to destroy it and destroy him.
NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: Hollywood honors its own at the Motion Picture Academy Award dinner. There are glamorous Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant.
NARRATOR: Orson Welles had one last shot at vindication, the Academy Awards for 1941.
NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: Now the presentations they're all waiting for. Ginger Rogers makes the presentation for Best Actress of 1941--the winner, Joan Fontaine.
NARRATOR: Citizen Kane had nine nominations and Welles personally was nominated for four: best picture, best director, best actor, and, with Mankiewicz, best screenplay.
ROBERT WISE: I went to the Academy Awards in '41, because I was one of the nine nominations that the picture got. And I'll never forget that evening, because the first time that Kane was mentioned as one of the nominees for whatever it was--I can't remember what category now--there were a certain number of very noticeable boos from the audience. And then other people shushed them down, and we went on for another category or two. And the second time that Kane came up, it was announced as--whoever nominated from Citizen Kane, more boos.
NARRATOR: The voters of the Academy would grant Citizen Kane only one award, for the screenplay. That vote was really for Mank. Orson Welles lost for best picture, best actor, and best director. Kane lost for cinematography, editing, lighting, music, sound, art direction, after which RKO retired the film to its vault.
ORSON WELLES: [on stage] Your kind indulgence. We trust you like to be fooled. We hope we fool you.
NARRATOR: Orson Welles' greatest magic act had always been his own career. That was his longest piece of stagecraft and the most melodramatic. He may never have learned tricks from Houdini, but he knew what the great illusionist knew. You don't get the gasp from the audience without putting yourself in ever greater danger. It was five years until his luck ran out.
RICHARD FRANCE: Orson Welles' period of phenomenal success--and, you know, we still, at this point in history, can't truly fathom the extent of that success. He--he was a name known in the same breath as Roosevelt. That's how successful he was. That's how prominent he was. Yes, it peaked at the age of twenty-five, and, indeed, he became known a year later as--a year or two later as America's youngest has-been.
ORSON WELLES:  That year--its official stationery, RKO Pictures, and its slogan for that year printed on every piece of paper that went out from RKO was ''Showmanship instead of Genius.'' In other words, the reason you should buy an RKO picture was that you didn't get Orson Welles.
NARRATOR: Welles' second picture for RKO, The Magnificent Ambersons, was yanked from his control and finished by the studio's regular staff. Orson Welles never got control of a major Hollywood production again.
NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER: The vast empire that he built headlines the passing, at eighty-eight, of William Randolph Hearst.
NARRATOR: William Randolph Hearst died in 1951 in Marion Davies' home, but his body was whisked away from the house while she slept. She was barred from his funeral--the family insisted for the sake of his reputation. But Hearst's reputation was beyond saving. It would all but disappear over time, to be replaced by the fiction he hated, the movie he thought he'd killed, Citizen Kane.
DAVID NASAW: There's a sense in which Welles, the twenty-four-year-old who comes to town and does battle with the seventy-six-year-old Hearst--that Welles, the twenty-four-year-old wins, because it's the images that he presents us with that have lasted longer than the achievements of Hearst, the real man.
NARRATOR: In fact, there is only one winner in the story of Citizen Kane, and that's the film, which couldn't be killed.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: It didn't come back into public consciousness until about the mid-fiftiess. Then it began to appear on international lists of the greatest films ever made. I think that started in the early sixties. It's not like any movie made at that time. It was very much ahead of its time. In fact, you could say it was, you know, forty years ahead of its time.
NARRATOR: Kane was also forty years ahead of its time in its portrayal, not of Hearst, but of the man who made it. It was Welles who lived out his life in isolation.
ROBERT WISE: Well, I thought often afterwards--only in recent years when I saw the film again two or three years ago when they had the fiftieth anniversary, and I suddenly thought to myself, well, Orson was doing an autobiographical film and didn't realize it, because it's rather much the same, you know. You start here, and you have a big rise and tremendous prominence and fame and success and whatnot, and then tail off and tail off and tail off. And at least the arc of the two lives were very much the same.
NARRATOR: In latter years, Welles was a vagabond, trying to patch together his low-budget films. He begged or borrowed from everyone he knew, including two hundred and fifty thousand dollars from an old pal, Charlie Lederer, Marion Davies' nephew. The money came from her estate. Welles never paid it back. He'd do bit parts for money--ads for airlines or Paul Masson wine--between fits of temper at the journeymen filmmakers or junior execs who were now directing him. Sometimes he was so overweight he had to be ferried about in a wheelchair. He hated the fat man jokes. He hated it worse when people asked him what had he done with himself after Kane.
PETER BOGDANOVICH: Orson used to tell the story that Billy Rose, the entrepreneur, saw Citizen Kane, and then, when he saw Orson afterwards, said, ''Quit, kid. You'll never top it. Quit while you're ahead.'' And Orson said, ''You know, maybe he was right.''
ORSON WELLES:  I think I made essential a mistake in staying in movies, because I--but it's a mistake I can't regret, because it's like saying ''I shouldn't have stayed married to that woman, but I did because I love her.'' I would have been more successful if I'd left movies immediately, stayed in the theater, gone into politics, written, anything. I have--I have wasted the greater part of my life looking for money and trying to get along, trying to make my work from this terribly expensive paintbox, which is a movie. And I've spent too much energy on things that have nothing to do with making a movie. It's about two percent moviemaking and ninety-eight percent hustling. It's no way to spend a life.
Produced by THOMAS LENNON, MICHAEL EPSTEIN
Written by RICHARD BEN CRAMER & THOMAS LENNON
Edited by KEN ELUTO
Narrated by RICHARD BEN CRAMER
Associate Producer JULIE SACKS
Researcher HELEN WEISS
Directors of Photography GREG ANDRACKE
Original Music Composed & Orchestrated
by BRIAN KEANE
Additional Music by MAURICE WRIGHT
Music Consultant/Rights Coordinator
RENA C. KOSERSKY
Sound JUAN RODRIGUEZ, FELIPE BORRERO
Sound Editor KEN ELUTO
Production Coordinator JANET SIMONELLI
Additional Research KATHRYN POPE
Historical Advisers JAMES NAREMORE
ANDREA NOURYEH, JOYCE MILTON
Gaffer DUNCAN FORBES
Assistant Camera OTIS W. BESS, Jr.
On-Line Editor CALEB OGLESBY
Mixer MICHAEL RUSCHAK
Animation ALEX RADNOTI
Flutes, Woodwinds LAWRENCE FELDMAN
'Cello DAN BARRETT
Bassoon DAVID CARROLL
Violins ROBERT TENCA, SUSAN TENCA
Oboe, English Horn SHELLEY WOODWORTH
Drums ARTI DIXON
All other instruments BRIAN KEANE
Assistant Music Engineer JEFF FREZ-ALBRECHT
Location Scouts ABRA GRUPP, FLORA MOON
CAROL CONNOLLY, RAYMOND HAYDEN
Special Thanks to:
Black Bass, New York
Minetta Lane Theater, New York
Reminiscent Bar/Grill, Chicago
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
AP/Wide World Photos
The Bancroft Library
The Bettmann Archive
The Billy Rose Theatre Collection,
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts,
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
California Historical Society
Culver Pictures, Inc.
Department of Special Collections,
University Research Library, UCLA
Fred Lawrence Guiles Film Archives,
from the Davies-Lederer Collection
The Hagley Museum and Library
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center,
University of Southern California Library
Los Angeles Public Library
The Huntington Library
Library of Congress
Lilly Library, Indiana University,
Library of Moving Images, Inc/Michael Peter Yakaitis
Marc Wanamaker-Bison Archives
Motion Picture & Television Photo Archive
Museum of the City of New York
San Francisco History Room,
San Francisco Public Library
Seaver Center For Western History Research,
National History Museum of Los Angeles County
California Polytechnic State University
University of Southern California Library
USC Cinema-Television Library and
Archives of Performing Arts
Film Footage and Audio Archives:
A.R.I.Q. Footage Archive Films
BBC Worldwide Americas
Creative Arts Television Archive
Film/Audio Services, Inc.
Grinberg Film Libraries Inc.
Hearst Castle Video Archives
Library of Congress
Charles Michelson, Inc.
Producers Library Service
Library of Moving Images, Inc./Michael Peter Yakaitis
University of South Carolina Newsfilm Library
UCLA Film and Television Archive
Howard Koch -- under exclusive license from Metacom, Inc.
Materials from Citizen Kane, Blondie of the Follies,
The Patsy, and MGM Presents Another Romance of Celluloid
provided by Turner Entertainment Co.
Special Thanks to Turner Entertainment Co.
for cooperating in this production, and for
making available from its library film clips
and other materials from Citizen Kane.
For THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE:
Post-production Supervisor FRANK CAPRIA
Post-production Assistants MAUREEN BARDEN
Field Production LARRY LeCAIN
DENNIS McCARTHY, CHAS NORTON
Series Designers ALISON KENNEDY, CHRIS PULLMAN
Title Animation SALVATORE RACITI, Wave, Inc.
On-Line Editors DAN WATSON, MARY E. FENTON
DOUG MARTIN, STEVE BARACSI
Series Theme CHARLES KUSKIN
Series Theme Adaptation MICHAEL BACON
Unit Manager MARI LOU GRANGER
Project Administration NANCY FARRELL
HELEN R. RUSSELL, ANN SCOTT
Publicity DAPHNE NOYES, JOHANNA BAKER
Coordinating Producer SUSAN MOTTAU
Series Editor JOSEPH TOVARES
Senior Producer MARGARET DRAIN
Executive Producer JUDY CRICHTON
A Lennon Documentary Group film for
THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
is a production of WGBH/Boston.