03/09/2012 12:55 pm ET | Updated May 09, 2012

Raising More Than Kane: Steve Hearst Great Grandson of William Randolph Hearst Will Screen for Citizens at The Hearst Castle


In 1941, the lights dimmed at La Questa Encantada when the movie Citizen Kane, Orson Welles homage to newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst was first released. Welles was only twenty-four when he took aim at one of the most powerful men in history.

Hearst was king of a newspaper empire who had more insider umpires to detract offensive rumors then the NFL has players. But one very smart “boy genius” made an historic tackle that lives in infamy.

At the time, one of Hearst umpires was Hedda Hopper, the leading gossip columnist of the day. She hated the movie, calling it “a vicious and irresponsible attack on a great man.”

Hedda Hopper comes to the rescue of William Randolph Hearst after the release of Citizen Kane

Soon the titans clashed armor. Vast wealth against tinsel’s town. The stuff of Hollywood when it makes or breaks legends or twists fate by revealing unrequited love affairs which disrupts the sanctity of the high moral ground; the place where personal ruination results. But religious ideologies did not hold Hearst harmless from rumor. Facts detonated, weakened and almost defamed Hearst and his empire. He literally became imprisoned in his own castle when the world viewed him as Charles Foster Kane and equated his power and wealth to be evil and his action immoral.

Citizen Kane was brutal as it defamed Hearst against his own ego. Self-conscious and righteous about his privilege for privacy when Hearst learned through Hopper of Welles’ film, he set out to protect his reputation by shutting the film down.

Back then the good old boys network got its roots. Hollywood executive Louis B. Mayer came to Hearst’s rescue. Money had an impact on the talkies. Forget about the artist, Welles, went bonkers when he learned that Mayer was attempting to buy Citizen Kane in order to burn the negative.

William Randolph Hearst

Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane