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Orson George Welles

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[06 Jul 2006|04:59pm]
July 10, 1941:

Well, Ambersons is going alright, though the damned Hays office is giving us a hell of a time with all thier codes against my film. I mean, really, is anyone offended by the possiblitiy that horse genitals might been seen?
If you are, get the hell out of my theatre!

At the same time, Cotten and I are working at another film, called Journey Into Fear in order to fufill my last film contract with RKO. After this I can move on to hopefully better things.



((side note: I would like to apologize for being absent for so long. A lot of shit happened at the same time and I've been trying to keep from drowning. But it's finally all settled down and hopefully I'll fall back into updating this. Please don't forget your dear ol' Orson!!))
Rosebud

[17 Mar 2006|01:13pm]
February 1941:

So Kane was up in the Oscars for Best Writing (*bow*), Best Actor in a Leading Roll (*bows*), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Director (*bow*), Best Film Editing, Best Music, Best Picture (*bows*) and Best Sound.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my film deserved all of this, but because of the politics all we won was Best Writing, which was shared between Mankiewitz and myself. I wasn't there for the award, I've been too busy filming my newest film. Mankiewitz got the award in my absesense. He still hasn't accepted that he didn't write that screenplay by himself and that even if he had, his contract says it automatically becomes property of the Mercury Theatre. He's just lucky I gave him any credit....

Ah, thing are just messed up. Ambersons isn't going too well, but we'll see how it goes...
7 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[04 Mar 2006|11:34am]
October 28, 1941:

ARGH!
We shot the first scene of Ambersons today and it was a total disater.
I can't even go into it, it just-

I need a drink.

And my cameraman!
WHERE IS TOLAND! This Cortez will be the death of me....
Rosebud

[21 Feb 2006|01:28pm]
April 1941:

Finally! The Jesus idea is out, so I am finally managed to convince RKO to buy the rights to Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons. I was considering casting Mrs. Del Rio as the leading female role, but I figured she couldn't convincingly play a Anglo-Saxon rich women. So I'm trying to Dolorese Costello out of retirement. But we'll see.
Most of my Mercurians have wandered into other contracts. I mean, it has been nine months since the end of Kane. Damn contracts!
Rosebud

((forgot this story, it MUST be told!)) [11 Feb 2006|01:54pm]
May 1941:

I ran to catch an elevator and just barely made it into the lift when the doors closed behind me. To my left I was vaguely aware of one other man in the elevator with me, but I didn't look over. Instead, I glance to my right to adjust my hat in the mirror and to my amazement, I saw it was Mr. William Randolph Hearst looking furiously and steadfastly straight ahead.
Well, how could I pass this up?
"Uh...Hello Mr. Hearst, I'm not sure if you remember me, but my name is Orson Welles."
"I know who you are," he replied petulantly.
"Well, I'm not sure if you also know, I have a movie coming out soon and if you would like tickets I could get you some to the premire."
He didn't answer, but continued to avoid my gaze.

At the lobby, he strode quickly and angerily from the elevator and exited the building.

"Kane would have accepted the tickets!" I shouted after his retreating figure.
2 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[01 Feb 2006|01:15pm]
May 1941:

Well, yesterday was the primere of my fabulous - if I don't say so myself - film, Citizen Kane. Finally I was able to defeat Hearst and get my work out there. I took John Barrymore to the opening, who has said of me, "Orson Welles?! He's an exhibitionist, a publicity seeker, a headline hunter, a cheap sensationalist...why, he's another John Barrymore!". A reporter asked why John was there and he replied with a perfect deadpan face, "You might say I'm a relative. I think it's time the public heard the truth - Orson is, in fact, the bastard son of Ethel and the Pope."
Fabulous man!

"Last Wednesday afternoon, I went to see a picture that had the most terrific critical build-up of any picture ever made. After seeing the picture, I felt that everything that had been said was an understatement," wrote the Skolsky of the New York Post
Hollywood Reporter, which has often told RKO and Schaefer to ditch me exclaimed, "Mr. Genius comes through; Kane astonishing picture"
"Now that the wrappers are off if can be safely stated that the supression of this film would have been a crime...it comes close to being the most sensational film ever made in Hollywood," shouted The New York Times.

I've chosen my next film to be Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons, though I think RKO might pressure me not to actually appear in it. We'll see how this turns out.

Anyway! Congradulate me! I'm a success!!
4 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[19 Jan 2006|07:27pm]
May 1, 1941:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am pleased to present to you - five days before my twenty-sixth birthday - Citizen Kane.


Up yours Hearst.
7 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[13 Jan 2006|11:08pm]
March 24, 1941:

Native Son opened today.
I had the play go without intermission - which totally stunned the audience - and I didn't have the programs handed out until after the performance. I didn't want the atmosphere to be distrubed by audience members looking over the cast list or rustling the papers.
Just to give up some idea of the reaction to my latest stage wonder:

Richard Wright, the author wrote to Houseman and myself, "let me thank both of you for the energy talent speed and courage which both of your brought to the staging producing and directing of native song stop i have said time and time again and i say now that i feel that native son has been in the hands of the two most gallant men in the theatrical world stop good luck always to both of you stop richard wright."
Sidney Whipple - an old hater of mine - declared, "Native Son proves that Orson Welles, whether you like to admit it or not, is not a boy wonder but actuall the greatest theatrical director of the modern stage."
Brooks Atkinson: "It is as if the theatre has been shaken up and recharged with life."

It is great to be back at the theatre. I am appreciated here, I am loved here, I am respected here.
Why do I want to return to Hollywood?
2 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[08 Jan 2006|06:57pm]
March 17 1941:

Native Son's in it's final week of rehersal, but that isn't the big news.
If you were to look at the Time and Life magazines, you'll see that Henry Luce - the owner of both - has joined my cause and is fighting against Hearst. RKO and Schaefer declared, "A free speech, a free press, and a screen free for expression tell the story of American democracy."
Way to go Schaefer! Kane will blow away the critics.
What am I talking about? It already has blown away the critics!

Look for it in theatres soon folks, it's coming.
Rosebud

[15 Dec 2005|10:54am]
March 1941:
((backing up a little, because I messed up dates a little))

Well Houseman is back in Hollywood, I am quite suprised. After our little showdown at Chasen's he swore never to contact me again, and I guess with good reasons. I mean, I did throw a flaming can of sterno at his head.
Well two.
Alright, three! But I was drunk!
ish
Anyway, Houseman managed to get the producing rights to Richard Wrights book gone play Native Son and he called me up to ask if I wanted to direct it. Well, I need something to get my mind off this whole Hearst thing, so I've taken the job. Most of my Mercurians shall be in it, and I'm bringing back Canada Lee. The man's a fabulous actor, saved my life once actually. If you need to surround yourself with people, make sure one of them is a former prizefighter.
So Native Son is a go! It'll be nice to return to the stage. I'm respected and appreciated there.
Rosebud

[09 Dec 2005|02:20pm]
April 7, 1941:

*Roars with anger*
HEARST!!! YOU LOW-DOWN, NO-GOOD, DIRTY SON-OF-A-BITCH!!!

DID YOU SEE HIS PAPERS THIS MORNING?!!
HE CLAIMED THAT MY RADIO BROADCAST OF HIS HONOR, THE MAYOR WAS COMMUNISTIC AND THAT WE WERE ALL ATTACKING THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE

LISTEN TO ME HEARST AND LISTEN TO ME GOOD:
IF I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT MYSELF, CITIZEN KANE WILL BE SHOWN!!
4 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[04 Dec 2005|10:53am]
April 1941:

"The Free Company" has asked me to do a radio segment. Basically, the theme of each program is to combat foreign propaganda through an interpretation of the true meaning of the Bill of Rights. Kind of like Aesop's fables or the Bible. Each week, a new episode has a play dealing with one of the basic civil rights.
Well I just happened to have a play I wrote entitled His Honor, the Mayor laying around which I wrote while editing Kane. It's basically about this Mayor who has to decide whether to allow an anti-labor, anti-Hispanic, anti-Semitic White Crusader to hold a meeting in town. Everyone advises him against it, but he allows it anyway, because, you can't "[forbid] anybody the right to assemble. Democracy's a rar...thing and once you start that - you've finished democracy!"
I'm getting my Mercury cast to perform in it. Ray Collins will be Mayor Knaggs (look for him as James W. Gettys in my film!), Agnes Moorehead as his wife (Kane's mother in Citizen Kane), Paul Stewart, Erskine Sanford, Richard Wilson, and Everett Sloane will all be in it.
So April 6 everyone listen in! I want feedback
Rosebud

[28 Nov 2005|10:16am]
February 1941:

Oh George Schaefer, you wonderful, wonderful, wonderful man

Bloody Louis B. Mayer had the nerve to call up Schaefer and offer him $805,527.53 for my film - all the prints and the negative - with the expressed purpose of burning it.
When he heard of this, Henry Luce of Time, Inc. offered to buy the film for one million dollars, just to make sure it was released.

At this point, I'm just waiting for RKO to finally release the picture.
2 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

Retaliation [23 Nov 2005|10:00am]
January 14, 1941 (part two):

My Written response to the NYT article and Heart's accusationsCollapse )

>_> ...



That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
4 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

[16 Nov 2005|10:55am]
January 14, 1941 (part one):

DID YOU READ THE NEW YORK TIMES THIS MORNING?!!

HEARST OBJECTS TO WELLES FILM
Mention of RKO in his Press Barred as the
Withdrawl of "Citizen Kane" is Demanded.


Now I got to go write an article trying to prove that this film isn't about Hearst.

Listen you Behemoth: if it kills me I will not let you alter or stop this film. This is MY film and it will be MY decision!

And stop calling me a communist you ass.
7 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

And it's right back to the bar.... [11 Nov 2005|09:49am]
January 11 1941:

Louella Parsons, you fat column-gossiping bitch!

Hollywood has banded together to bring about my demise, this is completely absurd!!! How do you shake off both Hedda Hopper AND Louella Parsons?

Joseph Schenck, Nicholas Schenck, Frank Freeman, Darryl Zanuck and David O. Selznick have all joined Hearst's ridiculous suit about Citizen Kane and Parsons has started threatening the RKO board of directors with fictional lives in the Hearst papers.
She even started in after Hays claiming that no one could make a picture about a living person. Hays hasn't made a move to stop my film and Joseph Breen read the script and said that he felt it wasn't about Hearst.

Well I get one moment of pleasure Parsons, you arrogance muckracking swine; your chauffeur had the courage and taste to tell him that it was a fine picture.
Rosebud

It isn't worth it... [06 Nov 2005|11:51am]
January 1941:

*throws up his hands in total aggravation*

I'm just going to go get roaring drunk, whose with me?
4 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

Insanity begins [02 Nov 2005|11:05am]
January 1941:

Ah-ha!
RKO I am sure you regret your speed at roping me in now!

I held a private screening of my film, entitled Citizen Kane - sans music - on the third for the editors of Life, Look, and Redbook, since I needed the publicity in thier journals. Well, Madame Hedda Hopper decided to invite herself to my screening. I asked her not to, since it wasn't completely finished, but she came anyway.

James Francics Crow of Look said it was one of the most unusal pictures he had ever seen. Dick Pollard of Life was awed and enthusiastic. Redbook was dazzled. Churchill of the New York Times said he had to think about it further, since his normal cinematic rheoric could not cope with the orignality of Kane.

Well Hopper, that arrogant cow, said, "Not only is it a vicious and irresponsible attack on a great man, but the photography is old fashioned and the writing very corny."

Because of this Mankiewicz is riding me even more about his credit to the script. The fact that I am putting him in the credits - which goes against the contract I made with him - isn't enough for him.
So now the writing credits will read:

Original Screenplay:
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Orson Welles

He'd better accept that, I can do no more.
6 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

And so it begins [29 Oct 2005|05:16pm]
September 16, 1940:

GOD DAMN IT MANKIEWICZ, YOU SCRIPT-STEALING HACK!!

If you want to destroy your career, don't take me with you!
Where in the hell did you get the brilliant idea to pass the bloody script on to Charles Lederer?! Did it never occur to you that he was the nephew of Marion Davis and that - in turn - she was fucking WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST?!!

Sorry dear readers, I needed to get that out. Heart has now gotten it into his head that the film is a satire on him and his lawyers have started editing our script.
My career has ended before it even begun, because of some has-been lush.
4 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

Trouble in Hollywood [26 Oct 2005|04:17pm]
July 1st 1940:

Fabulous, I just broke my ankle. In the middle of filming my first Hollywood film - which, by the way, is practially a year late - I broke my bloody ankle.

And, as if it add insult to injury, Mank is giving me such trouble over the script. Let it go Mank! You signed the damned contract; anything you wrote is mine! Besides I had to cut through the half-drunken writing to come up with a decent script. Any credit should go straight to me!
9 found out it's the sled | Rosebud

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