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Citizen Kane (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery | 5 September 1941 (USA)
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ON DISC
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director:

Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play)
Popularity
1,526 ( 106)
Top Rated Movies #69 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

I hate him! I love him! He's a scoundrel! He's a saint! He's crazy! He's a genius! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$839,727 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregg Toland used faster film and much more powerful lighting that made it possible to get deep focus shots. Toland also used a self-blimped (self-muffling) camera, which meant that Orson Welles had the freedom of greater camera movement. See more »

Goofs

At the first time on the opera house stage, just before Susan begins to sing, two men pass carrying a litter behind her twice. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

In a very rare move the director's credit is shown on the same card as the cinematographer's. This was Orson Welles's personal decision to show his thanks to cinematographer Toland for his enormous contributions to the film, meaning equal rights. See more »

Connections

Referenced in RKO 281 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(uncredited)
from RKO's Bad Lands (1939)
Music by Roy Webb
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
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.


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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
How come Vertigo replaced this as #1 on the Sight & Sound poll? thefly50
Citizen Kane or Casablanca? powermandan
Similar movies to Citizen Kane Citizen41
If message boards were around in 1941... Just_Alex
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