Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Charles Foster Kane
Charles Foster Kane (c. 1863 - 1941) is the title character of Orson Welles's famous film Citizen Kane. Orson Welles played Charles Foster Kane (receiving an Oscar nomination for the role), and he also co-wrote and directed the film.
Kane was born in Colorado of humble origins. A mine bought by his parents happened to be rich in silver. To secure a better future for the eight-year-old boy, his parents gave him over to Walter Parks Thatcher, who raised him in luxury until he became an adult.
As an adult, Kane took on the newspaper The New York Inquirer because he thought "it might be fun to run a newspaper." One of his first acts as to publish a "declaration of principles," which stated his duty to tell his readers the truth. However, he almost immediately begins using yellow journalism to blow stories out of proportion.
Kane eventually marries Emily Monroe Norton Kane, the niece of the president of the United States. As Kane's popularity and fortune increases, he begins running for governor against J. W. Gettys. It seemed Kane had the election in the bag, until Gettys revealed that Kane had been having an affair with a young "singer" named Susan Alexander.
Kane's wife divorces him and later dies in a car crash with their son. Kane goes on to marry Susan Alexander and tries to force her into a doomed career as an opera singer. After Susan attempts suicide, Kane retires to Xanadu, his gothic chateau in Florida. Susan, bored with living alone, eventually leaves her husband. There, alone and estranged from all his friends, Kane dies in his old age uttering the cryptic word "Rosebud."
The reporter Jerry Thompson was assigned to track down the meaning of "Rosebud," shortly after Kane's death. Though he interviewed all of Kane's living acquaintances he never found it. In truth, the word "Rosebud" was written on the sled Kane had owned as a little boy when he lived in Colorado with his parents.
It is almost universally agreed that Kane is obviously meant to portray a fictionalized William Randolph Hearst. Though Citizen Kane is often considered one of the best films ever made, Hearst was allegedly not amused by how he was portrayed, and he attempted to destroy the film and Welles' career. However, other men have been suggested as a model for Kane including:
- Basil Zaharoff
- Ivan Krueger
- Jules Brulatour
- Harold McCormick
Orsen Welles was quoted as saying, "It is not based upon the life of Mr. Hearst or anyone else. On the other hand, had Mr. Hearst and similiar financial barons not lived during the period we discuss, Citizen Kane could not have been made." However, in the film, Kane is given the line "You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war," which was reportedly said by Hearst. Based on this, it can be inferred that Kane is either solely based on Hearst or that he is an amalgam of Hearst and other tycoons.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details