Original Citizen Kane Scripts Are Going Up for Auction
On September 29, film fanatics can bid on a piece of cinema history: Orson Welles’s personal screenplays for Citizen Kane.
Replete with stray notes, changing character names, and progressing plot points, the three manuscripts help trace the film’s evolution from a fledgling screenplay originally titled American to the groundbreaking film that earned nine Academy Award nominations in 1942. They’re expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000 each, according to Profiles in History, the Calabasas, California-based auction house responsible for the sale.
Bidders can choose from Citizen Kane’s earliest first draft, which was written in 1940 by Herman J. Mankiewicz, Welles's collaborator; a fleshed out second draft; or the shooting script, which was revised by Welles himself and includes handwritten annotations, directing and camera notes, and the signatures of the movie’s stars.
According to The Guardian, a close friend of Welles’s acquired the screenplays from the famed director before his death in 1985.
Other Welles memorabilia for sale includes a proposed TV adaption of Citizen Kane from the 1950s, an original transcript of the 1938 Mercury Theatre radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, and the apology letter that CBS released in response to the mass War of the Worlds-induced hysteria.
[h/t The Guardian]