A typed and annotated script of Orson Welles' acceptance of the New York Film Critics Award for "Citizen Kane"
RKO, 1941. 6 pages, typed and annotated in Welles' hand. For the acceptance of the Film Critics Award Welles, predictably does something quite novel. The opening remarks "Ladies and gentlemen. I'm speaking for all of us in the Mercury Theatre -- and the truth is I can't speak. We have received a very great honor and none of us can imagine how properly to express our gratitude. We have agreed .. to perform a scene or two from ... Citizen Kane, and we'll do our best by it in the time we have. Then he adds to the margin in autograph an interesting insight on the nature of his great film: "Citizen Kane is really sort of a psychological detective story. Well then, here's an example of what might be described as the clues. It's 1910 ..." And the script picks up on election night where Kane has just lost his bid for governor over the scandal (in autograph) "involving a certain Susan Alexander." The script jumps around picking up snippets of important moments in the film. What becomes apparent is that Kane wants everything his way, and that everything revolves around the great newspaper tycoon ... From his best friend Leland"You talk about the people as if you owned them. As though they belong to you. Goodness -- as long as I can remember, you talked about giving people their rights as though you could make them a present of liberty -- as a reward for services rendered." This is obviously Welles' working draft of the script as performed in front of the New York Film Critics Association. There are numerous annotations and strike-outs; and further along in the piece we hear from the afore-mentioned Susan Alexander: "You don't love me. You just want me to love you. Whatever you want, just name it and it's yours. But you gotta love me. It's no use. I'm leaving you." The piece concludes with Orson speaking "All the parts in this little sketch were played by the Mercury Actors who created them in the motion picture. Joseph Cotton was Jedediah Leland. Dorothy Comingore was Susy. Everett Sloane was Mr. Bernstein and Kane himself was your obedient servant."