Erich von Stroheim on Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE
Fred Camper, who writes on movies for The Chicago Reader, has posted a fascinating article by Erich von Stroheim on Citizen Kane at his website. Although it appeared in an obsure magazine called "Decision, a review of free culture" it seems amazing to me it has apparently never been reprinted or, as far as I know, even been mentioned in all the avalanche of material that has been written about Citizen Kane, since it premiered in 1941.
By Erich von Stroheim
This is perhaps the first criticism of a film ever written by a film-maker who coincidentally also in his time — like Orson Welles — played the "Holy Trinity." In our case "Trinity" means that the functions of the Writer, Director, and Star are combined in one person. The man executing these three functions in any case has a gigantic job on his hands which can only be fully appreciated by someone who actually has attempted the same. In fact, Orson Welles went me one better as he was also the Producer. And the Producer Welles permitted without grumbling the Director Welles to execute what the Writer Welles had planned to do. And Director Welles allowed the Actor Welles to do as he pleased.
As the man who plays the "Super Trinity" earns the applause practically alone — provided the finished product is a worthy one — so must he solely take the blame should one or more of his endeavors not have functioned properly.
Read the whole article here:
The article goes well with the links Tony has posted on the messageboard to Greenbriar pictureshows, a great blog where you can see some very rare photos, posters and studio trade ads for Citizen Kane.