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Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst.



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



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


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


The true, behind-the-scenes story of the making of the greatest movie of all time, Citizen Kane. See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

RKO 281: The Battle Over Citizen Kane  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


The film depicts Orson Welles meeting William Randolph Hearst whilst a guest at the latter's home, San Simeon. In reality, Welles never went there, and never met Hearst until after Citizen Kane (1941) had opened. (Their one, brief meeting was in a San Francisco elevator, according to Welles; there were no others present, and it may be that Welles made up the story and never actually met Hearst). See more »


When Welles and Mankiewicz are discussing the origin of the word "Rosebud", it is clear that both actors are mouthing the word "vagina", but in the audio, they both say "pussy". See more »


Orson Welles: [Referring to San Simeon] So how big is this monstrosity?
Herman Mankiewicz: The estate? Half the size of Rhode Island.
Orson Welles: You're kidding?
Herman Mankiewicz: No, it's the place God would have built if he had the money.
See more »


References Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) See more »


By the Fireside
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell and Reginald Connelly (as Reg Connelly)
Performed by Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Castle Music Ltd. by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, Inc.
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User Reviews

Fresh look of Citizen Kane
30 May 2000 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Near perfect movie about the making of CITIZEN KANE does not succeed 100% on document accuracy but for a movie, this is really good! Liev Shreiber plays surprisingly good for Orson although it is hard to detach him from the SCREAM trilogy. If you loved the masterpiece of CITIZEN KANE than maybe the movie is not meant for you. A surprise that this movie would not make it to the larger screen, probably because the target audience is too narrow. Anyone under 18 and/or has not watched the classic may need some guidance as to what the characters are actually saying. If you want a further look into CITIZEN KANE, this is your best bet unless you like the library!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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