Oscar Scandals: Orson Welles' 1941 Stautuette for Citizen Kane to be Auctioned at Sotheby's

December 4, 2007–A working script for Orson Welles's “Citizen Kane” and the screenwriting Oscar he won (with co-writer Herman Mankiewicz) for the movie are expected to bring more than $1 million when they are auctioned next week, said Sotheby's.

It is the only Oscar Award the writer, director, actor and producer won for the 1941 film, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made.

“The American Film Institute has named 'Citizen Kane' the greatest film of all time,” said Lee Dunbar, a senior vice president at Sotheby's who is in charge of the sale.

Welles's signature work of the life of a power-hungry publishing magnate with political aspirations was vastly different from the movies made during the Depression. “Citizen Kane ushered in a whole new era of film-making, of lighting techniques, of camera techniques and a new way to telling a story,” Dunbar told Reuters.

The Oscar is being sold by the Los Angeles-based Dax Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports education, health and other causes. It was sold to the foundation by Welles' youngest daughter Beatrice in 2003.

The last revised draft of the final shooting script, complete with blue crayon markings, will also go under the hammer at Sotheby's on Dec 11 in New York.

“A lot of the blue crayon crossing out of dialogue, we believe to be Welles himself, because he was known for doing that. And you will see entire passages that are rewritten, again to sharpen the language, to sharpen the characters,” said Dunbar.

The Best Picture Oscar won by David O. Selznick for “Gone With the Wind” sold for $1.5 million when it was auctioned in 1999.