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“This book is a gold mine for fans.”—Kirkus Reviews
It is the story of a film masterpiece—how it was created and how it was almost destroyed.
It is the celebration of brilliant achievement and a sinister tale of conspiracy, extortion, and Communist witch hunts.
It is the chronicle of a plot orchestrated in boardrooms and a mountaintop palace, as a media company that claimed to stand for “genuine democracy” defied the First Amendment and schemed to burn Hollywood’s greatest creation.
Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker’s Journey is the extraordinary story of the production of Orson Welles’ classic film, using previously unpublished material from studio files and the Hearst organization, exclusive interviews with the last surviving members of the cast and crew, and what may be the only surviving copies of the “lost” final script.
Harlan Lebo charts the meteoric rise to stardom of the twenty-three-year-old Orson Welles, his defiance of the Hollywood system, and the unprecedented contract that gave him near-total creative control of his first film. Lebo recounts the clashes between Welles and studio executives eager to see him fail, the high-pressure production schedule, and the groundbreaking results. Lebo reveals the plot by the organization of publisher William Randolph Hearst to attack Hollywood, discredit Welles, and incinerate the film. And, at last, he follows the rise of Citizen Kane to its status as the greatest film ever made.