All The Real Old Hollywood Figures In Netflix’s Mank

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: possible spoilers ahead for Mank.
Netflix's Mank is a Hollywood whodunit that has nothing to do with solving a murder, but everything to do with solving the mystery of who actually wrote the script for the 1941 film Citizen Kane. For decades, cinephiles have debated, thanks to a controversial essay by film critic Pauline Kael, whether Herman J. Mankiewicz (a.k.a. Mank) should be the sole screenwriter credited on the legendary film. Citizen Kane director Orson Welles also has a writing credit on the film, though, Kael argued he shouldn't. To help you come to a fair conclusion, you'll definitely need to know the true story behind every character in Mank. Most of whom are based on real people with real connections to the man for which the movie is named. (A hint, perhaps, that the film, directed by David Fincher, takes a side.)
While many of the players in the film are notable Hollywood names — actress Marion Davies, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, director Orson Welles, just to name a few — others are simply known for being part of Mank's orbit. (Justice for poor Sarah!) Don't worry, though, we'll help fill in the blanks by comparing the real people to their movie doppelgängers, played by Sirius Black, Tywin Lannister, and one of the funniest women in Mean Girls. And we all know that's really saying something.

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