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Citizen Kane (1941)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  5 September 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 274,111 users  
Reviews: 1,166 user | 229 critic

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



(original screen play), (original screen play), 3 more credits »
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Top 250 Movies #66 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Erskine Sanford ...
William Alland ...
George Coulouris ...
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Gus Schilling ...
Philip Van Zandt ...
Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus ...
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


$686,033 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Susan's singing voice was provided by a professional opera singer who, under Orson Welles' direction, sang outside of her vocal range. She agreed to having her voice used this way on the condition that her identity never be revealed, fearing it would harm her career. She was Jean Forward of the San Francisco Opera. See more »


The Russian newspaper lists Charles's first initial as C. In Russian, that letter is pronounced S. There is another letter in Russian, that looks like an upside-down lowercase h, that is pronounced CH. Either that letter, or K for the Russian form Karl, should have been used as his first initial. 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 »


Referenced in Archer: Placebo Effect (2011) See more »


from RKO's Mother Carey's Chickens (1938)
Music by Roy Webb and Frank Tours
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Undoubtedly the greatest American film ever created.
19 July 2001 | by (Princeton, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Citizen Kane, the film, is many things. It is a brilliantly crafted series of flashbacks and remembrances. It is an engaging story of a dynamic man in a dynamic world. It is a remarkable statement for the wide range of time periods that it covers. It is a deceptively simple story centering on perhaps the most meaningful word in all of moviedom. Behind all that, Citizen Kane is the American cinema. There is not a major director today who has not been influenced by the genius Orson Welles put forth in his debut masterpiece. The film centers around a group of reporters investigating the origin of the dying newspaper tycoon (loosely based on William Randolph Hearst), Charles Foster Kane's last word: Rosebud. The movie begins with an unforgettable newsreel montage summarizing the man's life.

From there on, the viewer is thrown into a gloriously chaotic world of flashbacks upon flashbacks, in which the viewer slowly learns just about everything about Charles Foster Kane's enthralling life. From his trying childhood to his rise to power to the pinnacle of his success to his marital difficulties to his fall from grace, the story of Charles Foster Kane is presented for the viewer in a way that few other movies can offer: magically. Citizen Kane, undeniably, is THE triumph of the American cinema, and one of the greatest films every created.

140 of 256 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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