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Citizen Kane (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery | 5 September 1941 (USA)
3:46 | Trailer

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Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.



(original screen play), (original screen play)
1,183 ( 73)
Top Rated Movies #68 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Alland ...
Gus Schilling ...
Mr. Rawlston
Miss Anderson
Harry Shannon ...
Kane's Father


A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world. Written by Zack H.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Everybody's talking about it! See more »


Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$839,727 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the scenes where Kane first buys his newspaper and delivers the line about going bankrupt in 60 years, Orson Welles appears to be dressed as himself at his actual age. Welles has indicated in interviews that he was even more made up playing a young man than he was playing Kane as an old one; "temporary" facelifts and hair styling as well as camera tricks make him look much more beautiful than he actually was. Welles said that he spent years living down how far he'd come down from his "youthful looks," when in fact he never really looked that good. See more »


When Leland and Bernstein are inspecting Kane's art purchases, Leland moves a statue which wobbles too quickly for it to be made of a dense stone such as marble. See more »


[first lines]
Charles Foster Kane: Rosebud...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Most of the principal actors in "CITIZEN KANE" are new to motion pictures. The Mercury Theatre is proud to introduce them. See more »


Spoofed in As Time Goes By (2002) See more »


Una voce poco fa
(1816) (uncredited)
from opera "Il barbiere di Seviglia"
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Arranged by Nathaniel Shilkret
Sung by Dorothy Comingore (dubbed by Jean Forward)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

CITIZEN KANE may let some people down, but it's still worth seeing.
2 May 2004 | by (The Mitten State, USA) – See all my reviews

It's a difficult undertaking for someone of my generation to watch a film like CITIZEN KANE. Not because it's "too old" or "too boring", but because it has been hailed--almost universally--as the single best motion picture ever made. And while the anticipation of seeing a film with such overwhelming acclaim may be quite exhilarating, actually watching it is ultimately an intimidating and somewhat disappointing experience.

This isn't to say that I thought CITIZEN KANE was a bad film; in fact, I thought everything about it was downright brilliant. From the enchanting performances right down to the meticulously planned camera movements and clever lighting tricks, there isn't a single element of CITIZEN KANE that isn't a stunning achievement in all areas of filmmaking.

CITIZEN KANE's storyline is deceptively simple. Even though the plot unfolds by jumping in and out of nonlinear flashbacks, it is surprisingly easy to keep track of. The straightforwardness and relatively fast pace of the story are what make it seem intimidating. Because everything moves smoothly along without any standstill, it feels like we are being fooled-like there is something much greater that we just can't seem to grasp. As a first-time viewer, I knew from its reputation that there must be *something* that separates this movie from all the others; something buried within its simple plotline that everybody else has seen, but that I just could not seem to get a handle on. And then, during those final frames, that something was revealed, and it all began to make sense. To me, it was these moments of confusion and uncertainty followed by a sense of enlightenment and appreciation that made watching CITIZEN KANE such a meaningful experience.

But no matter how great of a movie CITIZEN KANE really is, it can never live up to one's expectations. Although I do feel that it is deserving of its acclamation, the constant exposure to its six decades worth of hype and praise will invariably set most modern viewers' standards at a height that is virtually unreachable--even if it really *is* the best movie of all time.

556 of 756 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Can the "average" modern movie goer fairly evaluate Citizen Kane? DarkLordBrannon
Stop pretending to like it if you don't! Rizzyay
Citizen Kane or Casablanca? powermandan
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Similar movies to Citizen Kane Citizen41
If message boards were around in 1941... Just_Alex
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