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Citizen Kane (1941)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  5 September 1941 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 240,542 users  
Reviews: 1,124 user | 216 critic

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

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Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Citizen Kane (1941)

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Top 250 #66 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Erskine Sanford ...
...
William Alland ...
...
George Coulouris ...
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Matiste
Gus Schilling ...
The Headwaiter
Philip Van Zandt ...
Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus ...
Miss Anderson
Harry Shannon ...
Kane's Father
Edit

Storyline

A group of reporters who are trying to decipher the last word ever spoke 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:

Radio's Most Dynamic Artist . . The Man At Whose Voice A Nation Trembled . . . Now the screen's most exciting NEW star ! ORSON WELLES in the picture Hollywood said he'd never make 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:

$686,033 (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

Carole Lombard was offered the lead role in a proposed melodrama, "Smiler with a Knife," to be directed by a newcomer at RKO named Orson Welles. She turned it down, opting to return to screwball comedy in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941). Welles refused to make "Smiler" without her. After briefly considering Lucille Ball for the lead role, he began work on Citizen Kane (1941). See more »

Goofs

During the picnic scene towards the end, Welles had to shoot against a back-projection because a location shoot was too costly and time-consuming. The stock footage used for the exterior was taken from King Kong, hence on closer inspection the four birds that fly by are in fact very definite pterodactyls. RKO told Welles to take the pterodactyls out of the shot, but he liked them, and decided to keep them. 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 Enak (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(uncredited)
from RKO's Nurse Edith Cavell (1939)
Music by Anthony Collins
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
See it for what it is
21 April 2004 | by (Morgantown, WV) – See all my reviews

OK look, let me settle something between those who love and hate this film. A lot of people hail this film because it is technically brilliant and ground breaking. Director Orson Welles did a lot of things visually that no one had ever done before. Nearly every film maker was in some way influenced by this movie. This movie also had a great impact in its time. The title character was based on media giant William Randolph Hearst. He was that generations Donald Trump. He opposed this film so much he did everything in its power to stop its release and almost succeeded. Lastly this film contains some of the strongest and most common themes in literature; Life versus death. It is for these reasons why this film is so revered.

On the contrary people who hate this film mainly complain that it is boring. Which is a legitimate complaint. The story is slow compared to today's standards, and there is no real Hearst character alive today in which to relate. So yes, the story on the surface is outdated. However, this does not make it a bad movie. It was not made as a Matrix/Star Wars type of movie which can be enjoyed even at surface level. This is not pure entertainment. Remember there is more to film than storytelling. This film was designed to be cinematically beautiful and to tell a basic story of love and redemption. There is much more to the story than the thinly veiled attack on Hearst, one just needs to look deeper. Look at Shakespeare or Hawthorne for example, their literary works are universally loved. Yet, many people blow them off because they refuse to look past the outdated language into the beautiful prose and simple ubiquitous themes. Just because something is outdated does not mean it lacks worth in today's world.

My advice to those who did not like it the first time or have not seen it yet is simple. Watch it again for what it is. Do not expect to be on the edge of your seat for two hours. Watch it for the cinematography that alone makes this film among the best (I don't agree with AFI's number one ranking but I think it still ranks high). Look deeper into the story and try to connect with it on some level. At the very least appreciate how influential this film was and where the industry would be without it. If you can do this, then maybe some of the naysayers will change their minds. Again, you do not have to love Citizen Kane, but at least respect it for what it is.


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Is it possible for a film to be great - but not good? pantonx
Favorite line in Citizen Kane fmc002
This is my take on this highly respected film jrl0726
What's the deal with all the nagetivity directed towards this movie? yesman876
Why do you like it? Nolegirl97
Why is this film considered to be so great? NotScumbagSteve
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