THE CITIZEN KANE BOOK by Pauline Kael

THE CITIZEN KANE BOOK

Featured vintage review selection (week of August 12, 2013)
Note from Kirkus' Vintage Review Editor:

A book of witty, revealing conversations with Orson Welles (based on recordings thought to be lost) that's recently been published reminds us of a controversial account of the making of Welles' great film Citizen Kane. Welles never forgave Pauline Kael for writing The Citizen Kane Book but she's her usual entertaining self in the book.



KIRKUS REVIEW

The only name that doesn't belong above is that of Orson Welles', for if Citizen Kane was not only his greatest movie but is still as fresh as the day that it opened, he had nothing to do with "The Shooting Script" which, along with takes from it, and notes by Gary Carey, constitute three quarters of this book. The first quarter (which appeared in The New Yorker as "Raising Kane") is Pauline Kael's interpretive essay on the movies of the '30's, as honestly antiarty as she is, and on this 'shallow' but great masterpiece which appeared before this country began to "hate itself." Mankiewicz, one of those fabulous originals long since forgotten, scripted it in plaster casts (he drank as well as gambled compulsively) and Miss Kael's piece if nothing else is restitutive and also recalls an era when leonine figures like Hearst and Welles (Mankiewicz on Welles: "There but for the grace of God goes God") towered above a simpler landscape. Miss Kael's piece is, expectably, spankingly entertaining as well as informative and the dual project will have its new-old appeal.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1971
ISBN: 0413582906
Page count: 314pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1971




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