1. Citizen Kane (I had never seen it before last night! Imagine where this post is going!)
2. He allegedly dated Billie Holiday

3. The War of the Worlds
4. He was the voice of the Shadow (I had no idea!)
5. Don’t laugh at me, but he was mighty handsome
(Think young Brando. Not old Brando. You can never think of the old version of hot genius actors.) (Peter O’Toole is an exception to that rule.)

And a bonus reason:
6. He wanted to make Heart Of Darkness as his first movie

I knew a little about William Randolph Hearst, thanks to my old roommate’s tutelage and love of San Simeon (he visited it as a boy, and credits it for wanting to be a sculptor). And of course I had read The Fountainhead, whose Gail Wyand character is also based on Hearst. But Citizen Kane and the Citizen Kane documentary last night made me feel like I did when I was maybe eight and had just figured out the allegory in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and wanted to make sure everyone knew about it. (I remember telling my mom that, and her saying—so seriously, which is one of the many reasons she is such an excellent mother—“I think people already know.”)

In other words, I’m sure people already know much more than I know about the connections between Citizen Kane, The Fouintainhead, and William Hearst. But I want to find out more about Hearst, and about when exactly Rand was writing The Fountainhead (it was published in 1943) and if she saw Citizen Kane first (premiered in 1941) and yeah. Learning! Books! Cinema! And did I mention I was knitting on a new grey alpaca sweater during all of this?