MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 223 this week

RKO 281 (1999)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama  -  20 November 1999 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 4,631 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 28 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

, (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane"), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: August

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they recommend for August 2014.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 26 Jun 2011
 
a list of 45 titles
created 25 Jan 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 49 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "RKO 281" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: RKO 281 (TV Movie 1999)

RKO 281 (TV Movie 1999) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of RKO 281.
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Truman (TV Movie 1995)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Biographical account of America's President for the latter part of WWII. Shows Truman's rise from small-town nobody to leader of the USA, his decision to use the Atomic Bomb against Japan, ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Gary Sinise, Diana Scarwid, Richard Dysart
Pirates of Silicon Valley (TV Movie 1999)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

History of Apple and Microsoft.

Director: Martyn Burke
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Noah Wyle, Joey Slotnick
Warm Springs (TV Movie 2005)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Franklin Roosevelt, left a paraplegic from polio at 39 years of age, seeks out a miracle cure in the backwoods of Georgia.

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Cynthia Nixon, David Paymer
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The last days of Frankenstein director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes' career, from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After a brilliant but asocial mathematician accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Pollock (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A film about the life and career of the American painter, Jackson Pollock.

Director: Ed Harris
Stars: Ed Harris, Marcia Gay Harden, Tom Bower
Nixon (1995)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The feature adaptation of Roger Lewis' book about the actor best remembered as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies.

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Charlize Theron, Emily Watson
Chaplin (1992)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A film about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on writer Susanna Kaysen's account of her 18-month stay at a mental hospital in the 1960s.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
George Schaefer
...
...
...
Anastasia Hille ...
...
Simeon Andrews ...
William Armstrong ...
Mr. Lewis
Jay Benedict ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Coming to Hollywood as a celebrated boy genius featuring a spectacular career arc in New York including his "War of the Worlds" radio hoax, 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 Hearst, Welles decides to do a movie about Hearst. It takes him some time to convince co-writer Herman Mankiewicz and the studio, but Welles eventually gets the script and the green light, keeping the subject very hush-hush with the press. 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

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

RKO 281: The Battle Over Citizen Kane  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

16:9
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was originally planned as a theatrical film. The original cast consisted of Edward Norton as Orson Welles, Marlon Brando as William Randolph Hearst, Madonna as Marion Davies, Dustin Hoffman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, Meryl Streep as Louella Parsons. Ridley Scott was slated to direct. But studios passed on the film because of the projected $40 million budget. Scott dropped out as director. Brando and Hoffman also dropped out. Gene Hackman was considered to replace Brando and Al Pacino was considered to replace Hoffman. Eventually, the project was scaled down to a TV-movie and the entire cast was replaced. See more »

Goofs

When Welles is shown crossing out dialogue in the "Citizen Kane" script, he is actually marking up pages from the "RKO 281" script! See more »

Quotes

William Randolph Hearst: There is nothing to understand. Only this: I am a man who could have been great, but was not.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Song Of India
Written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (as Nicholas A. Rimsky-Korsakoff)
Arrangement by Tommy Dorsey and Red Bone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A brave attempt
21 June 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Orson Welles was just twenty-six years of age when he made "Citizen Kane." A film regarded by many to be one of the best films ever made. As Welles quipped: "I started at the top and worked down." There is no doubt that Orson Welles was a genius (child prodigy), and that he never made a better film than "Citizen Kane." "RKO 281" (the original production number given to "Kane" by the studio), is the story of the trials and tribulations of making "Citizen Kane." By rights, a film about the making of "Citizen Kane", should pack more of a wallop than this one does. The subject has all the ingredients of high melodrama that's for sure; only this film doesn't quite live up to it. This is not necessarily the fault of the director: it's just that the topic is a far too complex one to be portrayed in a mere eighty three minutes. Still and all, "RKO 281" is not a bad little film about how one of the true geniuses of the cinema, who was treated so abysmally by the system that allowed him to make the film in the first place. Under pressure from William Randolph Hearst (whom "Kane" is a thinly disguised version), the heads of the other major studios devised a plan to ensure the film would never ever be seen again. Thankfully, George Schaeffer at RKO didn't go along with this idea. The film had its premier, but failed to engage cinema audiences, and effectively sank without a trace, no doubt helped by a total ban on advertising by the Hearst organization. Praise should go to Liev Schreiber as Welles, Roy Scheider as RKO boss, George Schaeffer, John Malcovich as Herman Mankiewicz, John Cromwell as Hearst and Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies. A special mention should also go to Brenda Blethyn as Hearst columnist Louella Parsons. In addition, Orson Welles second feature, "The Magnificent Ambersons", suffered the ignominy of having the editing of the film taken away from by RKO, who not only removed an hour of footage, but also shot a new, happier ending and tacked it onto the film. Although the extensive notes left by Welles on how the film was to be cut have survived, the excised scenes have not.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Poor acting and a poor script sunsetparade
Randy Orton? josh-davey
another movie about orson wells... jumpinjosh49
citizen kane roscoe911
Some Graphic Sexual Content ? witajkt1
Big big welles yokurdan
Discuss RKO 281 (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?