On Disc

at Amazon

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Semi-true story of the Hollywood murder that occurred at a star-studded gathering aboard William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Cary Elwes, Edward Herrmann
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Disciples of James Dean meet up on the anniversary of his death and mull over their lives in the present and in flashback, revealing the truth behind their complicated lives. Who is the... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Cher, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis
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
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Captain Richard Francis Burton and Lt. John Hanning Speke's expedition to find the source of the Nile river in the name of Queen Victoria's British Empire. The film tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Patrick Bergin, Iain Glen, Richard E. Grant
Dinner with Friends (TV Movie 2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A husband and wife reevaluate their marriage after their closest friends, another couple decide to split up after twelve years.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Greg Kinnear
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two friends try sharing an apartment, but their ideas of housekeeping and lifestyles are as different as night and day.

Director: Gene Saks
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, John Fiedler
Twenty Bucks (1993)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A story about the life of a twenty dollar bill as it weaves in and out of the various lives of several people.

Director: Keva Rosenfeld
Stars: Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue
Fail Safe (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U.S. bomber is accidentally ordered to drop a nuclear warhead on Moscow.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Walter Cronkite, Richard Dreyfuss, Noah Wyle
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Politics and sexual passions threaten to corrupt a young, newly-ordained priest in a small Mexican town.

Director: Carlos Carrera
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Ana Claudia Talancón, Sancho Gracia
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two bumbling private eyes help a man wrongly accused of murder who has become invisible to help clear his name.

Director: Charles Lamont
Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Nancy Guild
Shadowlands (1993)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionless life until he meets a spirited poet from the U.S.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Julian Fellowes
Edit

Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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 »

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

On the script are various other narratives of Orson Welles' work with his Mercury Theatre and his move from New York plays to Hollywood movies (mostly under the supposed "VOICE" character). See more »

Goofs

In the formal dinner in which Welles is a guest of Hearst, Welles reveals his purpose for filming a movie about a famous bullfighter. He says he was a child when he sat on the knee of Manolete, the most famous Spanish bullfighter at that time. Actually, Manolete began his career in 1931, when Orson was age sixteen. See more »

Quotes

George Schaefer: [about Orson] He shot five scenes, two with sound when he was only supposed to be doing a camera test!
See more »


Soundtracks

I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
Written by George Bassman and Ned Washington
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
fascinating film for fans of Welles, who of course will tear it to shreds
9 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Very interesting movie about the battle to get Citizen Kane made has carved out a tricky niche for itself; the movie is going to be most interesting to fans of Welles and Kane, and those people are going to have such specific expectations about what the movie should be that they can't be satisfied.

I see a number of reviews here complaining that this movie doesn't show why Kane was a great movie, but that's not the movie that was being made. It is a short movie about a specific struggle, with brief glimpses into the filming, and unless it had been titled, "RKO 281: The Making of Citizen Kane," you can't fault it for not spending an hour on Welles innovations.

The film is entertaining, Schreiber is a good Welles and Malkovitch is also quite good. I note people also complain that the movie isn't all that accurate. I do wish the film had done a better job with Marian Davies, as one hears her described as fantastically charming and loved by Hollywood (it has been said that Welles' flaying of Davies did more to bring out the knives of the Hollywood press than his portrayal of Hearst). But come on, how can one complain about liberties taking with reality in a movie made about Welles, who loved taking liberties with reality?


28 of 32 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
Big big welles yokurdan
Some Graphic Sexual Content ? witajkt1
Discuss RKO 281 (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?