It’s a well known fact that Orson Welles did not receive an Oscar for Best Director in 1941 for his work on Citizen Kane. The honor went to John Ford for How Green was My Valley. Nor did Kane win the Best Picture statuette. Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz (the grandfather of Ben Mankiewicz at Turner Classic Movies) did, however, garner an Academy Award for Best Screenplay; as they co-wrote an amazing script.
The only statuette Citizen Kane received is now up for sale, according Nate D. Sanders Auctions. Despite protests by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beatrice Welles (Orson’s daughter) was given the right to sell the Oscar by court ruling, and the prize is valued at $1 million dollars in 2002. Believed lost, the elder Welles bequeathed the award to his daughter in his will. It had resurfaced in 1994, years after his death.
The motion pictures that lost to Citizen Kane that year in the Best Screenplay category include Sergeant York and The Devil and Miss Jones.
Online bidding, at www.natesander.com, is open until 5 p.m., December 20th. A suggestion… maybe Ben Mankiewicz should step up and keep the Oscar in the family. It would make a nice display item in the lobby at TCM. Just saying…
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