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Citizen Kane (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery | 5 September 1941 (USA)
3:46 | Trailer

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



(original screen play), (original screen play)
1,183 ( 73)
Top Rated Movies #68 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Alland ...
Gus Schilling ...
Mr. Rawlston
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


$839,727 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the violent rampage through Susan Alexander's bedroom, Orson Welles badly gashed his left hand. Luckily, the camera did not capture his injury or else expensive retakes would have been in order. See more »


When Susan Alexander Kane is doing the jigsaw puzzle by the fireplace, in the first wide shot it's clear that the puzzle is almost complete, but in the subsequent close-up the puzzle has hardly been started. See more »


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


Featured in Restoring Citizen Kane (2012) See more »


from RKO's Curtain Call (1940)
Music by Roy Webb
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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Can the "average" modern movie goer fairly evaluate Citizen Kane? DarkLordBrannon
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