After the disappointing box office results of Citizen Kane, RKO tried to bury Welles' follow-up vehicle, an expensive film adaptation of Booth Tarkington's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Magnificent Ambersons, by releasing it in B-run movie theatres as a double bill with the Lupe Velez programmer The Mexican Spitfire Sees A Ghost. It was considered a major surprise when the film received four Oscar nominations, including one for Welles as the producer of the Best Picture. He lost the award to Sidney Franklin for Mrs. Miniver, and was never nominated again. He did receive an honorary award for lifetime achievement at the 1970 award ceremony.

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