Who Wrote ‘Citizen Kane’? It’s No Thriller


“She picks the man who is the quintessential writer in America and tears down his one great achievement that everyone can agree on,” said Joseph McBride, who wrote three books on Welles and for him in The Other Side des Windes “played” A film that was finished late in 2018. ” But there is also a misunderstanding about author theory. “The French critics who invented it” were mainly responsible for directors who didn’t write scripts, like Raoul Walsh, and how they shaped films they didn’t write. “

That point is made in “Mank” when Welles (Tom Burke) reacts angrily to Mankiewicz’s request for credit, saying, “Are you wondering who is producing, directing, and starring this picture?” The critic Andrew Sarris, in a reply to Kael’s paper in April 1971, noted that, even if Mankiewicz had written every word, Welles was no less the author of Citizen Kane than his 1942 adaptation of The Magnificent Ambersons, of which ” The best lines and scenes were written by Booth Tarkington. “

While Urbanski said that Kael’s argument had been discredited by historians, he added, “You could also say that our film is 100 percent accurate if, and here’s the if, you accept that you take it from an alcoholic perspective by Herman Mankiewicz because that changes everything. “Mankiewicz is the“ engine ”of a film that works on several levels.

McBride, who defended the filmmakers’ right to drama, sees “Mank” as a gross distortion and a missed opportunity to capture the already interesting relationship between Mankiewicz and Welles.

“They both worked on it, they both brought their talents to the table, and they worked together better than they were alone,” he said. “You could show that. It wouldn’t affect Mankiewicz ‘genius and Welles’ genius. “

For Fincher, “Mank” isn’t about who wrote what. He said through a representative, “It was not in my interest to make a film about posthumous credit arbitration. I was interested in making a film about a man who agreed not to get recognition. And who then changed his mind. That was interesting for me. “


Robert Dunfee