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Rare Citizen Kane scripts sold at auction in California

Published 30/09/2015

Orson Welles, pictured aged 68 - he wrote, directed and acted in Citizen Kane when he was 25
Orson Welles, pictured aged 68 - he wrote, directed and acted in Citizen Kane when he was 25

Orson Welles' personal manuscripts for Citizen Kane, including the film's final revised shooting script, have been sold for over 102,000 dollars (£67,265) at auction.

The three screenplays illustrate the evolution in the creation of the masterpiece.

An original first rough draft of American, the working title for Citizen Kane, written in 1940 by Welles' collaborator Herman Mankiewicz sold for 32,000 dollars (£21,100).

The Calabasas, California-based auctioneer Profiles In History said the next draft featuring a fuller evolution of the script brought 25,600 dollars (£16,880).

The third and final revised shooting script fetched 44,800 dollars (£29,543). It includes Welles' handwritten annotations, directing notes and camera-angle diagrams, and is signed by most of the cast principals.

The seller was a close friend of Welles who acquired the material from the filmmaker, who died in 1985.

The sale also included a rare original 49-page CBS-issued transcript of the 1938 Mercury Theatre radio broadcast of War Of The Worlds - an adaptation of HG Wells' science-fiction novel - and the cover letter from the network apologising for the mass hysteria created by the realistic dramatisation of a Martian invasion of Earth.

It came from another collector and sold for 28,800 dollars (£18,992).

Welles directed and starred in Citizen Kane, about the rise and fall of a publishing tycoon. He was 25 when the movie was released in 1941.

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