Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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George Schaefer
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Anastasia Hille ...
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Mr. Lewis
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Storyline

Coming to Hollywood as a celebrated boy genius featuring a spectacular career arc in New York including his radio hoax War of the Worlds, Orson Welles is stymied on the subject for his first film. After a dinner party at Hearst Castle, during which he has a verbal altercation with William Randolph Hearst, Welles decides to do a movie about Hearst. It takes him some time to convince co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz and the studio, but Welles eventually gets the script and the green light, keeping the subject very hush-hush with the press. The movie is about an aging newspaper publisher who controlled his enemies as ruthlessly as he controlled his friends; and whose mistress was destined for fame. When a rough cut is screened, Hearst gets wind of the movie's theme and begins a campaign to see that it is not only never publicly screened, but destroyed. Written by Greg Bulmash <greg@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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What went on the screen was nothing compared to what went on behind the scenes. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some graphic sexual images | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

20 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

RKO 281: The Battle Over Citizen Kane  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the film starts, John Malkovich as Mankiewicz is berating Welles because of his doomed ideas for movies: '"Heart of Darkness"? Million-dollar budget? No-one wants to see that!' A few years earlier, Malkovich had starred as Kurtz in Heart of Darkness (1993), an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel. See more »

Goofs

When Welles stops George Schaefer in the bar, he says he wants to go to New York and talk to "the stockbrokers". He means the stockholders of RKO Radio Pictures. See more »

Quotes

Marion Davies: [to Hearst] I swear, you and that guy Disney, in love with the damn rats.
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Connections

Features Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Get Started
Written by Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke
Performed by Bunny Berigan
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
strong lead performances make RKO quite good
18 January 2005 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

i really liked this movie, even the bits with Melanie Griffith's which is something. I appreciate that people who are familiar with wells work might be a little bit more critical of the piece but i thought it was super. Liev Screiber was outstanding in the lead because he chose to play Wells as a man as opposed to simply doing an impression of an already famous face. He made Wells sympathetic and compelling even though lets face it, as the movie presents it hes not really that likable a man. Id definitely recommend it to any Liev Schreiber fans. Hearst is also presented as an unlikeable character, but Cromwell plays him with great dignity that you almost feel sorry for him.


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