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Citizen Kane

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on January 30, 2004

    Epic 1941 film co-written, directed by, and starring Orson Welles. References to this film can be seen in Meet John Doughboy (Clampett, 1941) in which a character identified as “Citizen Sugar Cane” states that the Open Door Policy is responsible for the draft. In The Hep Cat (Clampett, 1942) the dog, like the sled in the film, is named Rosebud, and in Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs (Clampett, 1943) Prince Chawmin’ tries to revive Coal Black with his Rosebud kiss. Clampett uses a close-up shot of his mouth speaking the word in an echoing fashion, clearly showing the gag’s origin.

    A thought about the last reference. “Rosebud”, the mysterious word uttered by Kane at the beginning of the film which sets in motion the review of his life, was said in real life to refer to a very private part of the anatomy of Marion Davies, the mistress of William Randolph Hearst, on whom Charles Foster Kane was modelled. This certainly puts an interesting twist on what the Rosebud kiss must be.

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