Citizen Kane

Similarities and Differences Between Kane and Hearst


Kane Hearst
Charles Foster Kane

William Randolph Hearst

Similarities with Jules Brulatour, millionaire head of distribution for Eastman Kodak and co-founder of Universal Pictures

New York Inquirer San Francisco Examiner, New York Journal
Multi-millionaire newspaper publisher, and wielder of public opinion, called “Kubla Khan” Same kind of press lord, “yellow journalist,” and influential political figure
Political aspirant to Presidency by campaigning as independent candidate for New York State’s Governor, and by marrying the President’s niece, Emily Monroe Norton Political aspirant to Presidency by becoming New York State’s Governor
Extravagant, palatial Florida mansion, Xanadu filled with art objects “The Ranch” palace at San Simeon, California, also with priceless art collection
Souring affair/marriage with talentless ‘singer’ Susan Alexander (the Hays Code wouldn’t permit extra-marital affair)

(Difference: Susan Alexander suffers humiliating failure as opera singer, attempts suicide, separates from Kane)

A beloved mistress – a young, and successful silent film actress Marion Davies

(Difference: No breakdown in Davies’ unmarried relationship with Hearst)

Similarities between mistress/wife Ganna Walska of Chicago heir Harold Fowler McCormick who bought expensive voice lessons for her and promoted her for the lead role in the production of Zaza at the Chicago Opera in 1920

Kane bought Susan an opera house, and although Susan said that her ambition was to be a singer, this career goal was mostly her mother’s idea

Excessive patronage of Davies – Hearst bought Cosmopolitan Pictures – a film studio – to promote Davies’ stardom as a serious actress, although she was better as a comedienne

Similarities between Chicago Utilities tycoon Samuel Insull who built the Chicago Civic Opera House in 1929 for his daughter

Character of Walter Parks Thatcher Similarities with financier J.P. Morgan
Character of Boss James ‘Jim’ W. Gettys Similarities with Tammany Hall (NYC) Boss Charles F. Murphy

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