- Paperback: 185 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; Revised ed. edition (October 24, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520205677
- ISBN-13: 978-0520205673
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Making of Citizen Kane, Revised edition Revised ed. Edition
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Ever since Pauline Kael wrote her controversial essay "Raising Kane" (available in print in her omnibus collection For Keeps), film fans and scholars have debated the "authorship" of Citizen Kane. Most audiences and critics agree that it is one of the greatest American movies, but Kael claimed that the genius behind Kane was not writer-director-producer-actor Orson Welles, but coscenarist Herman Mankiewicz. Others attribute the film's power to the influence and contributions of John Houseman or the incredible innovations of cinematographer Gregg Toland. In this superbly researched book, Robert Carringer proves conclusively that Kane is not the product of any individual artist, but the collective work of a brilliant team working under Welles's supervision. Without Mankiewicz, Toland, and the talented designers and technicians who worked on the film, Kane could never have become what it is. As Carringer covers each step of the film's production, from conception to final release, he leads readers through the enormously complex process of making a great movie. He also provides an introductory chapter about an unfilmed project Welles worked on before Kane, an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. In his concluding chapter on The Magnificent Ambersons, Welles's follow-up to Kane, Carringer argues that the latter film suffered precisely because its collaborators failed to achieve the artistic harmony that had made Kane so successful. --Raphael Shargel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
It seems that the moviegoing public just can't get enough of Orson Welles and Charlie Kane (see Video Reviews, this issue, p. 98). Carringer's 1985 volume offers and a nuts-and-bolts description of Kane's production. This revised and updated edition has been enlarged to include a new preface, new photos, and a discussion of Welles's second feature, The Magnificent Ambersons. Though volumes on Orson and Kane abound, this "is well researched and generally well written" (LJ 7/85). Considering Kane's importance to American film, this is essential for all movie collections. If you're talking movies, you're talking Kane.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
This is no simple accounting of what these talents contributed, though; Carringer has a thesis, that Welles produced his greatest work while in collaboration with a cadre of equals -- that in fact, far from the product of an all-seeing auteur, CK is a summation of the Hollywood studio system, and the most completely successful of the director's films as a result. His short discussion of the problems with the director's second film, "The Magnificent Ambersons" shows his opinion even more blatantly; it's one I happen to disagree with, as I value Welles' later independent productions just as highly as Kane, but he does make his points with some conviction, and in any case given that his focus is here is otherwise almost entirely on "Kane" and the discarded projects that came before it, not worth getting into. At any rate, worth the read for anyone interested in the director or in how big studio productions developed in the "Golden Age."
Carringer's writing style is engaging and eloquent without being too academic. He doesn't bombard the reader with a million esoteric film terms but instead instills his prose with an infectious passion for his subject. Reading this book will make you want to re-discover KANE all over again -- which is what a good film book should do!
This is a great companion book with the awesome two-DVD set of KANE that was release a little while ago.