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Lord Ludd

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Member since: Sun Feb 9, 2020, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 585

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A query for (most likely) senior Citizen Kane purists

Is there anyone out there in DU land (of any age, but probably old-timers like myself) who viewed Citizen Kane before it was inexplicably mutilated? Yes, one of the most compelling sequences in the film was cut to a fraction of its original length before going to VHS in the early '80s and DVD later on!

In the prints I watched in the '60s & '70s (which I'll get to later), after the confrontation in Susan's rooms including Kane, Gettys & Emily, Gettys exits & starts slowly descending the hallway stairs, half-smiling, followed by an apoplectic Kane shouting, "I'M CHARLES FOSTER KANE… I'M NO CHEAP, CROOKED POLITICIAN…GETTYS!..SING SING!... etc., etc." This continues down four (maybe five) flights (no, Susan did NOT live on the second floor!), with Gettys maintaining the same expression & deliberate pace & Kane following in short bursts, stopping, & shouting mostly the same lines over & over. Caught on film was the moment the famously flat-footed Welles slipped down several stairs & (depending on the source) either sprained or chipped an ankle. In any case, he directed from a wheelchair for a week & wore a leg brace in later scenes.

It's been decades, but I believe this sequence ran for well over a minute, perhaps as long as 90 seconds, & imo ranks with the greatest set pieces in a film chock-full of them. I mean, talk about your metaphors! Kane's descent from the heights! Kane's big slip-up (a clumsy accident, but still)! In the current video version, of course, only a tiny snippet remains, running less than 20 seconds, a pale shadow of the original. In several frames near the end, Kane is heard shouting but his lips don't move, proof that an edit was made.

As to the historicity of the above, I saw Kane for the first time (16mm) in a film class at NY's School of Visual Arts in 1966 (coincidentally Kane's 25th anniversary) & can still remember how blown away I was at the end. For the next 10 years I caught Kane at its annual showing at the beloved Elgin Theater on lower 8th Avenue & also on TV (usually once a year). When retail VCRs arrived in the mid '70s I taped Kane (pausing for commercials) off WOR-TV channel 9, which at that time was owned by RKO Studios, where Kane was filmed. (In fact, the graphic at commercial breaks & before resuming -- copied from a still frame -- showed the scowling Kane at the top of the staircase at Susan's.) Had I forseen the future I would've treated that tape like gold, but in the course of my lifelong vagabonding the tape was lost. So it goes.

I've scoured the internets but have found no mention of this edit, let alone a clip of the original. I've reached out to both a respected film historian & the webmaster at Welles.net, but neither had seen the sequence nor could provide information regarding its fate. The earliest VHS I know of, RKO Studios' "Original Studio Version" from 1982, contains the edited sequence, & I'm not aware of any uncut DVD edition, including the several anniversary releases.

As we know, the original 35mm print of Kane burnt to a crisp in a warehouse fire decades ago (not unlike Rosebud), so there's no chance of a restored version being released. What I'm hoping for is that someone out there who lived in Noo Yawk or LA (or somewhere else? who knows?) during the '50s, '60's or '70s knows what I'm talking about. If so, please, please post a reply. If you also happen to own an uncut Kane tape, or know someone who does, I'd be extremely eager to hear from you. All comments are welcome, of course, even from those who think I'm hallucinating (I'm not).

To all who have read my entire long-winded post, I admire your patience & perseverance. Thanks!

Is it my imagination...

…or is this cover from a 2010 edition an unintentionally dead-on, brilliant caricature of Terrible Twos (himself an anything-but-brilliant caricature)?

Sorry, but "President Tweety" just doesn't cut it

This is not a knock on our presumptive nominee per se, rather on the entire campaign brain trust. Two reasons:

1. If you're coining a nickname for Trump, go for the jugular FFS. Something that will really penetrate his bath-tissue skin & turn his orange face fire-engine red. President Tweety doesn't begin to accomplish that.

2. Using "President" only reaffirms Trump's status as the incumbent, a position & title my cat (if I had one) is better qualified for. Don't intentionally elevate him above Biden; keep both candidates on the same level (although there is no actual level low enough for Trump).

My fantasy choice is Fat Donnie. It's nasty, it's true (not that it matters anymore), & it would make Trump's hair arrangement catch fire. (Heck, Nancy already called him morbidly obese.) Let the complainers complain & the ranters rant, including those on our side; they will only help spread the meme. My formal proposal, however, is Tweetle Don. At first it sounds benign, but seconds later people will realize it's actually calling Trump Tweedledum. Even Trump will get it & will not like it, to understate dramatically.

Trouble is, we're stuck with President Tweety, because changing it now would be admitting that it was lame from the start & would cause howls of derision to rain both on Biden & the Dems. This has all been an academic exercise, but I just wanted to vent my frustration with my party's undeserved reputation for being a doormat.

Pop quiz on facemasks

Grateful rancher/schoolmarm/storeowner: "Sheriff, who was that masked man?"

Please choose the correct answer:
(a) Sheriff: "Why, that was THE LONE RANGER!"
(b) Sheriff: "Darned if I know, but it sure as fuck WASN'T DONALD TRUMP!"

My post-election prediction

After Trump is humiliated in November & then assanged from the WH on January 20th, Melania will file for divorce on the 21st. (She might even file on November 4th, reasoning that there's no need to continue the charade in light of his ouster.)

Trump, of course, will tweet that he divorced her, at the same time announcing his forthcoming tell-all entitled "I Fled Three Wives."* (He'll need the dough to pay his trial lawyers.)

*For the non-senior DUers, "I Led Three Lives" was a book written by Herbert A. Philbrick published in 1952 (& soon thereafter a TV series), detailing his exploits as a businessman/family man, secret member of the US Communist Party, & counterspy for the FBI. (Whatta guy!)

Et tude, kitteh?

That's one patient woman…and one persistent cat.


*A German word known to many DUers, but for those who aren't familiar, it means "a face in need of a punch" (or slight variations thereof).

Today I came across the name Hogan Gidley, a White House toady (sorry, spokesman) vehemently defending Trump's corona response, & was compelled to see the face attached to that name. What turned up did not surprise me in the least, and in fact reminded me of another backpfeifengesicht candidate from a few years ago.

Hogan Gidley

Martin Shkreli

We really do get the face we deserve.

This recent photo of Trump reminded me

of his fellow faux populists in the superb animated feature Animal Farm (1954). The pigheadedness (understandable in the 2nd photo) and arrogance are there for all to see except for the willingly blind.


Newbie intro

Greetings, DUers!

I'm an early post-war Boomer, born & raised in Brooklyn, long since retired to sunny & warm (OK, hot) Arizona. (It's dry heat, folks, not nearly as bad as humid places I've lived like NY & Philly.) I supported Bernie last time, switched to Liz this time, but will of course vote for whoever is nominated.

Thought I'd intro myself by posting some of my celebrity pencil sketches done over the years with varying degrees of success. Constructive criticism is welcome & appreciated!

**UPDATE Sunday 3/1 -- Somehow the images are no longer embedded in my post; only the links remain. You'll need to click to view the sketches on imgur. Sorry!

**UPDATE, Part Deux --Here's a link to view all the images together in grid format:








COOPER again

STERLING HAYDEN as Gen. Jack D. Ripper

GERALDINE MCEWAN (late British actor)








NICK NOLTE mug shot






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