Orson Welles' Citizen Kane scripts to auction

Three of Orson Welles' personal manuscripts for Citizen Kane (1941) are up for auction at Profiles in History in Los Angeles.

Each of the lots is expected to make $20,000-30,000 when they cross the block on September 29.

Welles Profile Kane
Mankiewicz finished the first draft of Citizen Kane in April 1940

The scripts are all from different stages in the film's evolution and offer phenomenal insights into its development.

Perhaps the most important is written under the working title "American" and dates to 1940. It's screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz's first rough draft, the earliest known draft of the film to remain in private hands, and shows how its basic structure came to be.

The auction house explains: "In March of 1940, Orson Welles sent Mankiewicz and close friend John Houseman (tasked with making sure Mankiewicz wrote rather than getting drunk) to Mrs. Campbell's Guest Ranch retreat in Victorville, California some 60 miles outside of Los Angeles to write the first drafts of Citizen Kane, with a 300-page draft script of dialogue and camera instructions by Welles as a starting point.

"Mankiewicz's April 16, 1940 draft clocks in at approximately 250 pages but exhibits huge gaps in continuity…"

The second script offered shows the film in an almost complete state, while the third features Welles' personal shooting instructions and revisions.

It's also signed by various members of the cast.

All of the scripts are likely to exceed their estimates. In 2014, another of Welles' personal copies of the script made �98,500 ($164,692) at Sotheby's London - up 392.5% on an estimate of �20,000 ($30,811).

Click here to see all our movie memorabilia for sale.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about movie memorabilia auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock