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Walking Shadows: Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst, and Citizen Kane (Ray and Pat Browne Book) [Hardcover]

John Evangelist Walsh

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Book Description

31 Oct 2004 Ray and Pat Browne Book
Walking Shadows dissects the wild, high-profile battle between newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and brash young filmmaker Orson Welles over Welles's film Citizen Kane. In 1940-1941 it became the center of public controversy and scandal. The picture portrayed the ruthless career of an all-powerful magnate bearing (not accidentally) a striking resemblance to Hearst, who immediately tried to kill the film. John Evangelist Walsh illuminates the conflict between these two outsize personalities and brings Hearst's vengeful anti-Kane campaign to the fore. He provides thorough documentation, supplemental notes, and an extended bibliography.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bowling Green University Popular Press,US (31 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0299205002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0299205003
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,573,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A sensitive treatment of a high-octane subject that has occupied the thinking of academics and Hollywood alike since the introduction of the movie Citizen Kane." - Ray Browne, series editor"

About the Author

John Evangelist Walsh is the author of more than twenty books, including The Execution of Major Andre; Moonlight: Abraham Lincoln and the Almanac Trial and Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. He lives in Monroe, Wisconsin.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkness At The Edge Of Town 28 April 2005
By Kevin Killian - Published on Amazon.com
Hearst's involvement in the movie industry has been the subject of much recent scholarship. In a way it was bad luck for Orson Welles that the man he wound up attacking in his masterpiece CITIZEN KANE was one of the very few men with the power to avenge himself so thoroughly. For Hearst's tentacles were everywhere. John Evangelist Walsh, a veteran of history's noirish back alleys, has written interesting books before on the treason of Major Andre and the sex life of Emily Dickinson. Hearst apparently saw Welles as a kind of Major Andre and CITIZEN KANE as an attack on everything America holds dear. Incidentally, it was a slanderous, even misogynistic portrait of the talented soubrette Marion Davies, Hearst's girlfriend of many years' standing and practically his "other wife."

Almost a "third wife" was Hearst's hatchet woman--the columnist Louella Parsons who had a contract with Hearst's newspapers and a mission to destroy Orson Welles. Quickly RKO lost faith in their erstwhile "wonder boy" Welles and managed to sabotage his projects THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS and IT'S ALL TRUE, along with several others he had planned, including the thriller SMILER WITH THE KNIFE and a proposed movie version of the Joseph Conrad novella HEART OF DARKNESS. Walsh is the kind of writer who will do just about anything to advance his own thesis, but here he writes crisply and cleanly about the battle between two men who were both, in different ways, quite megalomaniacal. Though the verdict is still out about who was right and who was wrong, CITIZEN KANE still remains one of the towering pinnacles of world cinema; however, the reputation of the slandered Marion Davies has emerged from the Stygian gloom into which KANE had plunged it, and she has rebounded cheerfully into the light of critical regard.
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