Publisher's Summary

With the 75th anniversary of Citizen Kane in May 2016, Harlan Lebo has written the full story of Orson Welles' masterpiece film. The book explores Welles' meteoric rise to stardom in New York and the real reason behind his arrival in Hollywood and unprecedented contract with RKO Studios for total creative control. It also delves into the dispute over who wrote the script; the mystery of the "lost" final script; and the plot by Hearst to destroy Welles' project through blackmail, media manipulation, and other tactics. The author finally examines the surprising emergence of Citizen Kane as an enduring masterpiece.

Using previously unpublished material from studio files and the Hearst organization, exclusive interviews with the last surviving members of the cast and crew, and what may be the only surviving copy of the "lost" final script of the film, Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker's Journey recounts the making of one of the most famous films in Hollywood history.

©2016 Harlan Lebo (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[L]ibraries should be sure to have this on their shelves." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Book was great. Narrator was an amateur!

What didn’t you like about Tom Zingarelli’s performance?

If someone is going to narrate a book about the greatest film ever made, they might want to take two hours out of their lives and WATCH THE MOVIE! If the "narrator" had done that he would have known how to correctly pronounce one of the major character's names. It's "Bern-stEEN" not "Bern-STINE." That is such a careless error that I had to wonder why no one else working on this audio-book caught it. He says the name probably 100 times in the book. Really careless and amateurish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Exhaustive, detailed look at a cinematic masterpiece

I thought I knew everything about CITIZEN KANE, but there were some great stories here. Most importantly the book dispels the often cited reasons behind the film's failure upon its original 1941 release. Very revealing and interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It's Bern STEEN!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I thought I knew what there was to know about Kane. I've read many books about the film and have seen it probably forty times. This book offers the most comprehensive and detailed analysis ever. Mr. Lebo evidently obtained access to the late Welles' files. Lebo's research was extensive and exhaustive.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Citizen Kane?

Must say Zingarelli's mispronunciation of Bernstein (one of the most important characters in the film, moreover Welles' life) is unfortunately the most memorable.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tom Zingarelli?

Anyone else in the world. How about Mike Tyson or Bevis and Butthead? Sorry, Mr. Zingarelli but obviously you did no homework whatsoever. I cringe every time you pronounce Bernstein incorrectly. That's just one example.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

See above. The narrator, although the marvelous and meticulous research and revelations offset a lackluster narration.

Any additional comments?

I hesitated to write a bad review of Zingarelli. He's probably a very nice man with many fine qualities and I don't want my review to be a factor in costing him future work. But IMO, he was dreadfully miscast for this reading. Or maybe he just didn't care enough to screen the film. Nevertheless, any Welles or Citizen Kane fan will come away with enhanced appreciation for the great artist's creation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unfortunate

I thought their was a book before the movie. So sorry I purchased it. Wasn't interested in how they made the movie.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful