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Citizen Kane (1941)

 -  Drama | Mystery  -  5 September 1941 (USA)
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 256,179 users  
Reviews: 1,146 user | 220 critic

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

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(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:
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...
...
...
...
Erskine Sanford ...
...
William Alland ...
...
George Coulouris ...
Fortunio Bonanova ...
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

One subplot discarded from the final film concerned Susan Alexander Kane having an affair that Kane discovers, said to be based on Marion Davies' rumored affair with Charles Chaplin. There were scenes written and storyboards designed for this sequence, though as rumors of Hearst's ire grew, Orson Welles ordered the sequence deleted from the script. He refused to discuss the real reasons for its removal in any public forum throughout his life, even long after Hearst's death, as he claimed elements of the subplot were so scandalous they could cost him his life. Privately, however, he did discuss the subject with his close friend Peter Bogdanovich. According to Bogdanovich, the danger of the subplot stemmed not from the affair, but of its result: Welles claimed that Davis did in fact have an affair with Chaplin, and Hearst learned of it while on a trip on Hearst's yacht with Davies, Chaplin and a number of other celebrity guests. Welles asserted that Hearst walked into a room and saw Davies and Chaplin having sex. He pulled a gun, and Chaplin ran out of the room onto the deck. Hearst fired at Chapln, but accidentally shot pioneering producer/director Thomas H. Ince, who shortly afterward died from the wound. An elaborate cover-up followed (supposedly, columnist Louella Parsons was on board and witnessed the killing, and Hearst promised her a job with him for life if she kept her mouth shut. She did.).The legend became the basis for Bogdanovich's own film The Cat's Meow (2001). See more »

Goofs

In the first shots of the Breakfast table sequence, Emily's dress covers her shoulder in long shots, but is lower, leaving her shoulders bare, in close-ups. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Orson Welles's name is listed last and among the list of featured roles, instead of leading roles, saving his name as best for last. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.8 (2011) 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

an example of a unique and well done movie
17 November 2003 | by (Troutdale, OR) – See all my reviews

The movie Citizen Kane was loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The movie begins with the death of Charles Foster Kane, who was the editor of the New York Journal. He says the name rosebud and drops a crystal ball, which falls to the ground a shatters. News clips are shown about the different occurrences in Kane's life depicting how Kane acquired his fortune. Throughout the whole movie reporters are trying to figure out what the word rosebud meant and why it was the last word he said before he died. The reporters find people who knew Kane throughout his life trying to get information from them that would put some sense to Kane saying `rosebud' as his last word. Many of the stories told by the people interviewed show the audience a lot about his life through flashbacks. One of the opening scenes is that of Kane's mansion called Xanadu. It has a sign that says `no trespassing' that is hung from the outside gate. The shot is very dark and gloomy, hinting that maybe Kane's life was the same way. He was a very power-hungry man that went from being at the top to rock bottom. Many other movies have definitely taken note to style and effects of this movie. The camera work, lighting, acting a music contributed to making Citizen Kane one of the best American movies of all time. Orson Welles deserves all the credit that he receives from this movie. He was the leading character, producer and director; basically a one man show that still many of us appreciate. I thought that this movie was well done. It had so much symbolism that made the movie unique, although if you didn't know what was symbolic during the different scenes it would be hard to follow, but most of the symbolism is easily recognized. One of the best symbolic scenes that also foreshadows is when Kane is at the top of the stairs and he is told that he lost his position and as he walks down the stairs the camera is shooting from at the top and it looks like a spiral showing that Kane's life and career are out of control. Citizen Kane was very dramatic and all who took part in the movie played their roles well. The characters seemed very real and believable making this movie very memorable. This film has features that every movie should try to incorporate; symbolism, great actors, interesting storyline, excellent camera shots, lighting and sound techniques. I think everyone should see this movie at least once in their life time because it is one of the greatest American movies of all time.


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Boring jonathonanthonygraham24
If message boards were around in 1941... Just_Alex
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
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