Orson Welles’ personal working copy of the script for the famed film, ‘Citizen Kane.’ The 156-page script, the last revised draft before the final shooting script, contains numerous annotations, revisions, and deletions, as well as the addition of a few new scenes.
Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, the creative minds behind the acclaimed screenplay, produced seven total scripts for ‘Citizen Kane,’ each with critical modifications that culminated with the Oscar-winning script. The present script, clearly stamped “Second Revised Final Script” on the cover page, is Welles’ own copy of the sixth and final draft before the shooting script. All of the written changes in the script are in the hand of Welles’ assistant, Kathryn Trosper, as indicated by the blue pencil “Trosper” in the upper left hand corner of the cover. Additional text in pencil on the cover page includes, “Mr. Welles,” “new Breakfast scene,” as well as a listing of all pages on which changes had been made.
“The Citizen Kane script is the most important screenplay of all time,” said Leila Dunbar, Director of Sotheby’s Collectibles Department. “It was a collaboration where Herman Mankiewicz set the foundation and Orson Welles added the emotion, depth and power, raising the text to a much higher level. Mankiewicz gave the story life but Welles made it immortal.”
In 1941 the young Robert Wise met the equally young Orson Welles. And the rest, as they say, is film-history. Director Robert Wise talks about Orson Welles and working on ‘Citizen Kane’ (3:29 — 6:20) and his films in this 45 minute documentary.
“The director is simply the audience. So the terrible burden of the director is to take the place of that yawning vacuum, to be the audience and to select from what happens during the day which movement shall be a disaster and which a gala night. His job is to preside over accidents.” —Orson Welles