CITIZEN KANE To Play In Xanadu, Err, Hearst Castle
William Randolph Hearst was so furious about Citizen Kane, Orson Welles' classic film modeled at least partially on his life, that he refused to allow the movie to be advertised in any of his many newspapers. Hearst ordered his writers to lambast Welles, and he put so much pressure on the Hollywood studios that Louis B Mayer and other studio heads offered RKO reimbursement if they would only destroy the film before it was released.
That was over 70 years ago. Now, in a century no one involved lived to see, Citizen Kane will finally screen at Hearst Castle, the real life location on which Kane's Xanadu is based. It will play on a five story tall screen as part of the San Luis Obispo Film Festival on March 9th.
Heart Castle was donated to the state of California in 1957; now a National Historic Landmark it is open for public tours of the stunning grounds and the collection of art and antiques. The real place couldn't be more different from the movie set as Steven Hearst, WR's great-grandson notes: “Everybody knows what it really is like: light, lovely, sunny ... very bright, a joyous place to be.”
Tickets are available at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival site. If seeing Citizen Kane at Hearst Castle isn't enough for you, Harrison Ford will also be attending and getting some sort of award - the kind of thing they give these stars to get them to show up at events. I think Citizen Kane is cooler.