In a scene from Mank (2020), the car is parked beneath a tree. Mank and Marion sit on the ground upon a table cloth. They drink and discuss about "Citizen Kane" script:

Mank: I hope, if this gets made, you'll forgive me.

Marion Davis: And I hope, if it doesn't, you'll forgive me.

What wrong did Mank and Marion Davis do to each other?

1 Answer 1


Mank was apologizing because his script for Citizen Kane included a character that was based on Davies but was depicted as a terribly untalented performer, while Davies was quite talented in real life.

Davies was apologizing because her lover and benefactor, William Randolph Hearst, was trying to prevent Citizen Kane from being released.

From the Wikipedia entries for Citizen Kane and Marion Davies:

Many assumed that the character of Susan Alexander Kane was based on Marion Davies, Hearst's mistress whose career he managed and whom Hearst promoted as a motion picture actress. This assumption was a major reason Hearst tried to destroy Citizen Kane...

By the time of her death, her popular association with the character of Susan Alexander Kane in the film Citizen Kane (1941) already overshadowed Davies' legacy as a talented actress. The title character's second wife—an untalented singer whom he tries to promote—was widely assumed to be based upon Davies. However, many commentators, including writer-director Orson Welles, defended Davies's record as a gifted actress and comedienne to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good.

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