Friday, April 1, 2011

Kane's Bernstein

Mankiewicz may not have been the only participant in the Citizen Kane project concerned about whether Sloane’s appearance was sufficiently sympathetic. As Mankiewicz knew, Sloane was a Jewish actor and a veteran of Welles’ theater company. In the years following the filming of Citizen Kane, Sloane embarked on a series of plastic surgeries to reduce the size of his nose and thereby, he imagined, broaden the range of acting roles available to him. Welles later said that Sloane “must have had twenty operations before he killed himself. He must have thought, ‘If I could ever bob my nose right, then I’ll be a leading man.’”

Harold Heft's fascinating piece on Orson Welles's portrayal of the jew in his masterpiece Citizen Kane.

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