Herman J. Mankiewicz
EXT. XANADU - FAINT DAWN - 1940 (MINIATURE)
Window, very small in the distance, illuminated.
All around this is an almost totally black screen. Now, as the camera moves slowly
towards the window which is almost a postage stamp in the frame, other forms appear;
barbed wire, cyclone fencing, and now, looming up against an early morning sky,
enormous iron grille work. Camera travels up what is now shown to be a gateway of
gigantic proportions and holds on the top of it - a huge initial "K" showing darker
and darker against the dawn sky. Through this and beyond we see the fairy-tale
mountaintop of Xanadu, the great castle a sillhouette as its summit, the little
window a distant accent in the darkness.
(A SERIES OF SET-UPS, EACH CLOSER TO THE GREAT WINDOW, ALL TELLING SOMETHING OF:)
The literally incredible domain of CHARLES FOSTER KANE.
Its right flank resting for nearly forty miles on the Gulf Coast, it truly extends
in all directions farther than the eye can see. Designed by nature to be almost
completely bare and flat - it was, as will develop, practically all marshland when
Kane acquired and changed its face - it is now pleasantly uneven, with its fair
share of rolling hills and one very good-sized mountain, all man-made. Almost all
the land is improved, either through cultivation for farming purposes of through
careful landscaping, in the shape of parks and lakes. The castle dominates itself,
an enormous pile, compounded of several genuine castles, of European origin, of
varying architecture - dominates the scene, from the very peak of the mountain.
GOLF LINKS (MINIATURE)
Past which we move. The greens are straggly and overgrown, the fairways wild with
tropical weeds, the links unused and not seriously tended for a long time.
WHAT WAS ONCE A GOOD-SIZED ZOO (MINIATURE)
Of the Hagenbeck type. All that now remains, with one exception, are the individual
plots, surrounded by moats, on which the animals are kept, free and yet safe from
each other and the landscape at large. (Signs on several of the plots indicate that
here there were once tigers, lions, girrafes.)
THE MONKEY TERRACE (MINIATURE)
In the foreground, a great obscene ape is outlined against the dawn murk. He is
scratching himself slowly, thoughtfully, looking out across the estates of Charles
Foster Kane, to the distant light glowing in the castle on the hill.
THE ALLIGATOR PIT (MINIATURE)
The idiot pile of sleepy dragons. Reflected in the muddy water - the lighted
THE LAGOON (MINIATURE)
The boat landing sags. An old newspaper floats on the surface of the water - a copy
of the New York Enquirer." As it moves across the frame, it discloses again the
reflection of the window in the castle, closer than before.
THE GREAT SWIMMING POOL (MINIATURE)
It is empty. A newspaper blows across the cracked floor of the tank.
THE COTTAGES (MINIATURE)
In the shadows, literally the shadows, of the castle. As we move by, we see that
their doors and windows are boarded up and locked, with heavy bars as further
protection and sealing.
A DRAWBRIDGE (MINIATURE)
Over a wide moat, now stagnant and choked with weeds. We move across it and through
a huge solid gateway into a formal garden, perhaps thirty yards wide and one hundred
yards deep, which extends right up to the very wall of the castle. The landscaping
surrounding it has been sloppy and causal for a long time, but this particular
garden has been kept up in perfect shape. As the camera makes its way through it,
towards the lighted window of the castle, there are revealed rare and exotic blooms
of all kinds. The dominating note is one of almost exaggerated tropical lushness,
hanging limp and despairing. Moss, moss, moss. Ankor Wat, the night the last King
THE WINDOW (MINIATURE)
Camera moves in until the frame of the window fills the frame of the screen.
Suddenly, the light within goes out. This stops the action of the camera and cuts
the music which has been accompanying the sequence. In the glass panes of the
window, we see reflected the ripe, dreary landscape of Mr. Kane's estate behind and
the dawn sky.
INT. KANE'S BEDROOM - FAINT DAWN - 1940
A very long shot of Kane's enormous bed, silhouetted against the enormous window.
INT. KANE'S BEDROOM - FAINT DAWN - 1940
A snow scene. An incredible one. Big, impossible flakes of snow, a too picturesque
farmhouse and a snow man. The jingling of sleigh bells in the musical score now
makes an ironic reference to Indian Temple bells - the music freezes -
KANE'S OLD OLD