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Battle Over Citizen Kane

Battle Over Citizen Kane

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Item Number:
120 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Boy Genius vs. Media Powerhouse:

An inside look at the biggest Hollywood drama in history.

When power, brilliance and ambition clashed, America nearly lost its greatest cinematic treasure. In 1941, 24-year-old Orson Welles--armed with the most lucrative motion picture contract ever--wrote, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, a masterpiece many regard as the best film ever made. The alleged subject of the film disagreed. Publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst wielded his immense power, money and influence to destroy the picture--and Welles himself. The "boy genius" fought back mightily, but, ultimately, it was a war with no winner.

This Academy Award nominated two-hour documentary offers a detailed on and off the set perspective on the historic "clash of the titans." Through amazingly candid interviews with Orson Welles, the stars of Citizen Kane, and associates of both combatants, discover what made Welles so revered and Hearst so vindictive. Extensive film clips from Citizen Kane and fascinating biographical profiles of both men (including rare footage from San Simeon and Welles' historic War of the Worlds broadcast) reveal new facts in the power struggle between two proud, gifted, and destructive Americans on a fateful collision course.

Special DVD features include: Welles filmograpy; access to The Battle over Citizen Kane Web site; chapter search; English audiotrack; and subtitles (CC).

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