MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,039 this week

RKO 281 (1999)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  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 4,763 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 23 critic

Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), 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...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

Related News

R.I.P. Edward Herrmann
| Dark Horizons
R.I.P. Edward Herrmann
| Dark Horizons

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 07 Mar 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 23 Oct 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 26 Oct 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 39 titles
created 8 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.

User Polls

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 7 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Tornado! (TV Movie 1996)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

An accountant sent to produce an evaluation of a tornado research project, and the scientist running the project pursue tornadoes and each other.

Director: Noel Nosseck
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Shannon Sturges, Ernie Hudson
Buffalo Girls (TV Movie 1995)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Wild. Untamed. Legendary. Buffalo Girls celebrates the bold escapades of tough-talking Calamity Jane Canary and her illustrious cohorts. It's the waning days of the Wild West and Jane, the ... See full summary »

Director: Rod Hardy
Stars: Anjelica Huston, Melanie Griffith, Gabriel Byrne
Ladies Room II (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

In an ethereal, high-ceilinged room, women stand, waiting. Perhaps it's Purgatory and they're dead. In the room, two young women, one an actress and the other a psychologist, watch the last... See full summary »

Director: Gabriella Cristiani
Stars: Molly Parker, Veronica Ferres, Lorraine Bracco
Bats (1999)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  

Genetically mutated bats escape and it's up to a bat expert and the local sheriff to stop them.

Director: Louis Morneau
Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Dina Meyer, Bob Gunton
Citizen Kane (1941)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore
The Last Debate (TV Movie 2000)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four members of the media are chosen as moderator and panel for the single televised debate of presidential candidates one week before the election. These four use the debate forum as never... See full summary »

Director: John Badham
Stars: James Garner, Peter Gallagher, Audra McDonald
The Good War (2002)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Based on a true story its the untold story of Italian World War II POW"S in Jan 1946. Luca Zingaretti stars as one of over 50,000 Italian Prisoners of War detained at POW camps in the U.S. ... See full summary »

Director: Giorgio Serafini
Stars: Robert Farrior, Roy Scheider, Luca Zingaretti
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Benjamin Ross
Stars: Hugh O'Conor, Antony Sher, Tobias Arnold
Savage Souls (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Ruiz
Stars: Laetitia Casta, Frédéric Diefenthal, Arielle Dombasle
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Orson Welles, a reporter with a love noncorresponded, creates the panic in the U.S.A. when relaying the impact of a meteorite against New York.

Director: Robert Figueras
Stars: Carsten Hayes, David Weinberg, Rufus Graham
Money Play$ (TV Movie 1998)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

When a money mule has a fatal heart attack at a Nevada brothel, the contents of the money vest is hidden by Irene. Her regular customer Johnny is her best bet to be able to retire early.

Director: Frank D. Gilroy
Stars: Roy Scheider, Sonia Braga, Jon Polito
A Likeness in Stone (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A thriller about dark secret of three old college friends brought to the surface after divers find a body secreted in a house at the bottom of a reservoir.

Director: Charles Beeson
Stars: Liam Cunningham, Jonathan Firth, Andrew Lincoln
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

In the shot of Orson cutting the Citizen Kane script, one of Kane's lines is "Who knows what lurks in the hearts of evil men? The Shadow knows!" This was the classic introduction played at the beginning of every episode of Welles' famous radio program, "The Shadow". See more »

Goofs

When Orson is sketching a picture in front of Manks, he draws a semi-circle around the head of a lone figure on his sketch pad. When the scene cuts to the next part, the circle is not there. See more »

Quotes

Marion: Did you need any of them?
William Randolph Hearst: I wanted them.
Marion: And there is the difference between want and need.
See more »

Connections

References King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
from Citizen Kane (1941)
Music by Bernard Herrmann
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:
?