7.1/10
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51 user 25 critic

RKO 281 (1999)

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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Louella Parsons
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Gregg Toland
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Louis B. Mayer
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Hedda Hopper
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Carole Lombard
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Walt Disney
Simeon Andrews ...
John Houseman
Bill Armstrong ...
Mr. Lewis (as William Armstrong)
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Darryl Zanuck
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David O. Selznick
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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

Taglines:

Orson Welles used all his genius to create "Citizen Kane". William Randolph Hearst used all his power to try and destroy it. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Louella Parsons is shown viewing the film, the actual soundtrack and original dialogue from Citizen Kane (1941) is heard. 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

Orson Welles: We need to change the name.
Herman Mankiewicz: What? The title?
Orson Welles: No, no. It's a grand title, "American". I was thinking more the character name. Charles Foster Craig doesn't have the "knives-out" poetry I was looking for.
Herman Mankiewicz: Okay.
Orson Welles: I was thinking of Kane.
Herman Mankiewicz: As in Abel?
Orson Welles: K-A-N-E. One strong syllable, Kane.
Herman Mankiewicz: Craig is one syllable.
Orson Welles: Yes... But it's not a great syllable.
See more »

Connections

References Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Finale
from Citizen Kane (1941)
Music by Bernard Herrmann
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User Reviews

 
entertaining, but seems too simple
2 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

I didn't know the history of the making of Citizen Kane, and while I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, I still doubt that I know much about it. The movie is attractive, I imagine that it's more or less factually correct, and the cast is generally good, but it doesn't feel "real". Hardly anything is ever as black and white as most of the movie, and even more to the point, the character doesn't manage to capture any of the "zing" that Wells had even as an old man. It's fun, but don't expect too much...


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