BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ An anonymous bidder paid $244,500 for the Oscar that Herman J. Mankiewicz won for co-writing ``Citizen Kane.''

The winning offer was made by telephone in a spirited battle Thursday at Christie's.

``We had at least four bidders,'' said Beth Shepherd, a spokeswoman for the auction house. ``It came down to two bidders, both of whom were on the phone.''

The auction house valued the statuette at $200,000 to $300,000. The 1941 Academy Award for original screenplay was the only Oscar won by ``Citizen Kane,'' considered one of the greatest films of all time. Orson Welles and Mankiewicz shared the honor.

The film was nominated for nine other awards.