7.1/10
5,170
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.

Director:

Writers:

, (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Live from Baghdad (TV Movie 2002)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

CNN producer Robert Wiener, his colleague and their crew venture to the Iraqi capital to cover the Gulf War.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Michael Keaton, Helena Bonham Carter, Joshua Leonard
Drama | Romance
    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
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A look at the life and work of the great theatre, radio and film artist.

Director: Chuck Workman
Stars: Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Christopher Welles
Hysterical Blindness (TV Movie 2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two friends lament their unhappy single lives while searching for Mr. Right in 1980s New Jersey.

Director: Mira Nair
Stars: Uma Thurman, Juliette Lewis, Gena Rowlands
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
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

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

Welles claimed that he did indeed meet Hearst in an elevator, although many historians doubt this actually happened. In addition, and adding to doubts of the story's veracity, Welles had different versions of the story, neither of which precisely matches the scene in the movie. In one, Hearst recognized Welles but did not say a word; at the end of the trip, Welles stated that "Kane would at least have said 'Hello,'" buy Hearst still did not respond. In another version, Welles offered a silent Hearst tickets to see Citizen Kane (not on opening night, as depicted here, perhaps leading to Hearst suspecting the offer was not genuine) and got no response, leading to Welles' comment as shown in this movie. See more »

Quotes

Herman Mankiewicz: What about Marion?
Orson Welles: She's just another piece in his collection. Another animal in his zoo.
Herman Mankiewicz: Well to Hearst, that is love. "I love you, I built you a beautiful cage."
See more »

Connections

References The Long Voyage Home (1940) 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

 
entertaining, but seems too simple
2 October 2001 | by (United States) – 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...


15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page