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Citizen Kane (1941)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  5 September 1941 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 242,986 users  
Reviews: 1,126 user | 216 critic

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

Citizen Kane (1941) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Top 250 #65 | 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
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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:

The classic story of power and the press. 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

The opera in which Susan Alexander Kane stars was, originally, to have been based upon, and titled, "Thaïs", after the novel by Anatole France--a choice that would have been highly significant: the novel is the bitingly satirical story of a beautiful (and successful) Alexandrian courtesan who is converted to holiness and sainthood by a fanatical monk (who eventually dies without having achieved the salvation he had sought for himself by having denied himself sensual love). For unspecified reasons, the opera was changed to be based on the novel "Salammbô" (by Gustave Flaubert), which is a much more straightforward sword-and-sandals story of a princess, barbarians and that sort of thing. Ultimately, though, all verbal references to the opera by title were deleted in the completed film, and the name "Salammbo" appears only within texts on various editions of the Inquirer. However, it seems likely that, during some stages of filming, references to a "Thaïs" title were still expected to appear during certain scenes, as Bernstein's line that he "still can't pronounce [the opera's] name" seem more likely to refer to such a word as that than to 'Salammbo'. See more »

Goofs

You can see through the eyes of the shrieking bird to the scenery behind it. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The film's opening title card is presented in complete silence, briefly with no music. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Citizen Ruth (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(uncredited)
from RKO's Five Came Back (1939)
Music by Roy Webb
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Great Cinema Swindle
9 July 2007 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

I know why you're reading this. You're smart, you have great taste, a passion for cinema, and you see CK near the top of every 'Great Movie' list ever compiled. So with great anticipation you borrow a DVD copy and sit down for a real treat, and... you can't get through the first half hour. You fall asleep.

Surprised, you think, 'It must be me, maybe I'm tired,' so a month later, you try again. But you don't even get as far as before, and wake up drooling out the corner of your mouth as a bloated Orson Welles, with really bad age make-up, groans 'Rosebud, Rosebud'.

It doesn't make sense. You're perplexed. You've watched other films on the lists... Casablanca made you stand up and cheer, cry, laugh, feel connected to all humanity. You even adore films on the list that some might consider oblique, like 8 1/2, which you reckon reinvented cinema language, weaving in and out of memory, dreams, psyche, reality, putting the human spirit up on the screen, making you cheer, laugh, and feel connected to all humanity.

So why does CK leave you so cold? You wonder, 'What's wrong with me? Am I stupid or something?'

Your borrowed DVD copy gathers dust (notice how the lender never asks for it back?), taunting your unquiet mind: "You must watch me: I'm the greatest film of all time!" But you shudder at the thought. Life's too short and, after all, there's more engaging things to do - like scraping plaque off the dog's teeth.

Years pass. Finally, you can take it no longer. You think, 'To be a serious film lover I MUST watch Citizen Kane! Maybe I was too immature before - yes, that must be it!' So you gird your loins and sit - awake!

  • through the whole thing. The whole turgid, ponderous, dull, vacuous,


plodding, dank catastrophe. It's even worse than you feared. An emotionally and intellectually empty story. Your average six year old can invent a more complex, engaging tale.

Genuinely puzzled, you ask people who name it as one of the greatest films of all time why they like it, and with barely concealed superiority that phoneys are wont to adopt, they wax lyrical talk about the haunting mystery of the final words, "Rosebud, rosebud". You notice there's no feeling behind what they say. They also talk a great deal about Gregg Toland's cinematography, with liberal references to "deep focus", and you appreciate this, you really do, the cinematography was damned fine, best thing about the movie. That shot which started outside the window then tracked back into the room was really cool. But you just don't believe a movie is made great by cinematography alone.

In all your inquiries, you never once hear the following phrase, spoken from the heart: "God, I love that film".

So here you find yourself, reading IMDb comments.

Well, let me tell you this: There's Nothing Wrong With You! You Are Right! It's Overrated Flashy Unintelligent Rubbish!

One day, perhaps (one can but dream), the coolest, greatest, most admired film being in the world will point out the bleeding obvious nakedness of this bloated Emperor, and the assorted film critics, film studies teachers, and others who need to be told what to think by an authority figure, shall squirm, and CK shall drop off the lists once and for all.

Until that great day, don't be afraid to speak the truth.


601 of 1,119 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Boring jonathonanthonygraham24
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
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