Rebecca ends with Manderley in flames and particularly a shot of Rebecca’s large elegant bedroom, and more particularly a closeup of a pillow with an R monogram…fuel for the inferno.
Citizen Kane ends with closeup shot of a small sled being engulfed in flames inside a furnace, with the name of the sled — Rosebud — front and center.
Both shots signify finality, the end of something mythical, lives and legacies up in smoke.
Is it really all that crazy to speculate that Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles, who no doubt saw Rebecca in the spring of ’40, were inspired to end their film with a close-up of something else being burned?
Wiki account: “During March, April and early May 1940, Mankiewicz dictated the screenplay, titled American. Welles re-wrote and revised an incomplete first draft given to him, dated 4.16.40, and sent it back to Mankiewicz. Forty-four revision pages dated April 28 were given to Welles. Mankiewicz and Houseman then delivered the second draft, bearing a handwritten date of 5.9.40, to Welles. Mank immediately went to work on another project for MGM.”
After seven complete revisions, the final shooting script for Citizen Kane was 156 pages.
No, I can’t remember if the original Mankiewicz script ends with a specific description of the camera going in tight and close on the name “Rosebud”. But even if it does, who’s to say Rebecca wasn’t an influence regardless?