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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, (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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George Schaefer
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Simeon Andrews ...
William Armstrong ...
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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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film shows RKO production chief George Schaefer announcing to Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz that he has lost his job on the very day of the opening of Citizen Kane (1941) in May 1941. In fact, Schaefer did not get fired until late in the following year, and this was less because he had promoted the film career of Orson Welles than because almost all the films RKO had made during his tenure had been flops. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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