Rare Citizen Kane scripts sold at auction in California

Rare Citizen Kane scripts sold at auction in California

Orson Welles’ personal manuscripts for Citizen Kane, including the film’s final revised shooting script, have been sold for over $102,000 (€90,828) at auction.

The three screenplays illustrate the evolution in the creation of the masterpiece.

An original first rough draft of American, the working title for Citizen Kane, written in 1940 by Welles’ collaborator Herman Mankiewicz sold for $32,000 (€28,495).

The Calabasas, California-based auctioneer Profiles In History said the next draft featuring a fuller evolution of the script brought $25,600 (€22,796).

The third and final revised shooting script fetched $44,800 (€39,893). It includes Welles’ handwritten annotations, directing notes and camera-angle diagrams, and is signed by most of the cast principals.

The seller was a close friend of Welles who acquired the material from the filmmaker, who died in 1985.

The sale also included a rare original 49-page CBS-issued transcript of the 1938 Mercury Theatre radio broadcast of War Of The Worlds – an adaptation of HG Wells’ science-fiction novel – and the cover letter from the network apologising for the mass hysteria created by the realistic dramatisation of a Martian invasion of Earth.

It came from another collector and sold for $28,800 (25,645).

Welles directed and starred in Citizen Kane, about the rise and fall of a publishing tycoon. He was 25 when the movie was released in 1941.

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