Orson Welles: Meeting William Randolph Hearst

Orson Welles: Meeting William Randolph Hearst
Portrait of nespaper magnate William Randolph Hearst

Welles rushes down the hallway of the top floor at the Fairmont Hotel. “Citizen Kane” is opening that week in San Francisco.

He ducks into the elevator as the doors close. There is only one other person there. William Randolph Hearst.

The elevator starts its descent. Hearst looks calm and collected, Welles a little anxious as the floors drop by.

He turns to the newspaper publisher and offers him an invitation to see his film.

Hearst doesn’t say a word. The elevator lands on the ground floor and opens onto the lobby that looks as monumental as the Hearst Castle interior in marble and gold.

Hearst steps out and across the grand space. Welles yells out after him.

Charles Foster Kane would have accepted.

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