Ain’t that the truth?!
Was Orson Welles thinking about eternity when he scooped up the Academy Award for his blockbuster hit film “Citizen Kane”? Probably not—just as you and I are not usually thinking about eternity when we acquire a bigger home, the newest electronic gadget, another item for our collection of DVDs, athletic jerseys, or teacups.
Welles was a young man of 25 in 1941 when he wrote, directed and starred in the film which was voted “best film of the previous century” by the American Film Institute. In the movie, Welles played a fictional media tycoon (based loosely on the life of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst). In his ruthless pursuit of power, Welles’ character acquires more and more property, more wealth, more prestige—but at the end of his life, it’s not his worldly riches which he remembers but the sled he had enjoyed in the innocence of childhood. His dying word was the name of the sled: “Rosebud.”
Orson Welles died on October 10, 1985; but his legendary film lives on. Considered by many film critics to be the greatest film ever made, “Citizen Kane” was re-released on Blu-ray in a special 70th anniversary edition on September 13, 2011.
Welles’ much-deserved Oscar will be going on the auction block this month, according to Sam Heller of Nate D. Sanders Auctions, a Los Angeles auction house.
An attempt to auction the famed trophy in 2003 was stopped by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which testified that the award’s value at that time was at least $1 million. The Academy has aggressively challenged efforts to sell Oscars in the past, and successfully stopped the sale of two Oscars which had belonged to silent screen star Mary Pickford. A more recent court ruling, however, has cleared Welles’ prize for sale, after a ruling in 2004 that Welles had never signed the Academy’s agreement not to sell the trophy.
So the Motion Picture Academy wants to hold onto the Oscar; so, most likely, did Orson Welles hope to keep it. The thing is, though, you really CAN’T take it with you. Orson Welles walked into eternity and met the Lord Jesus, just as you and I will, alone—with none of the riches acquired during life, but with only his record of good deeds or ill.