IMDb > RKO 281 (1999) (TV)
RKO 281
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RKO 281 (1999) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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RKO 281 -- Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane, despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst.


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
John Logan (written by)
Richard Ben Cramer (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") (in part) ...
View company contact information for RKO 281 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 November 1999 (USA) See more »
The true, behind-the-scenes story of the making of the greatest movie of all time, Citizen Kane. See more »
Orson Welles produces his greatest film, Citizen Kane (1941), despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 27 nominations See more »
(39 articles)
R.I.P. Edward Herrmann
 (From Dark Horizons. 31 December 2014, 10:02 AM, PST)

R.I.P. Edward Herrmann
 (From Dark Horizons. 31 December 2014, 10:02 AM, PST)

Sean Bean to star in TV’s ‘Frankenstein Chronicles’
 (From SoundOnSight. 17 November 2014, 11:27 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
fascinating film for fans of Welles, who of course will tear it to shreds See more (49 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Benjamin Ross 
Writing credits
John Logan (written by)

Richard Ben Cramer (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") (in part) and
Thomas Lennon (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") (in part)

Produced by
Su Armstrong .... producer
Diane Minter Lewis .... co-executive producer
Ridley Scott .... executive producer
Tony Scott .... executive producer
Chris Zarpas .... co-executive producer
Original Music by
John Altman 
Cinematography by
Mike Southon (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Alex Mackie 
Casting by
Lora Kennedy 
Joyce Nettles 
Production Design by
Maria Djurkovic 
Art Direction by
Lucinda Thomson 
Set Decoration by
Tatiana Macdonald  (as Tatiana Lund)
Costume Design by
Stewart Meachem 
Makeup Department
Elaine Browne .... senior hair artist
Elaine Browne .... senior makeup artist
Lesley Noble .... makeup artist/hair stylist
Demelza Rogers .... hair stylist: dailies
Demelza Rogers .... makeup artist: dailies
Roseann Samuel .... chief hair designer
Roseann Samuel .... chief makeup designer
Aileen Seaton .... hair artist: Ms. Griffith
Aileen Seaton .... makeup artist: Ms. Griffith
Karen Z.M. Turner .... hair artist
Karen Z.M. Turner .... makeup artist
Christina Webster .... makeup artist: dailies
Production Management
Stephen Barker .... post-production supervisor
Tracey Gibbons .... post-production supervisor
Nigel Gostelow .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Daniels .... first assistant director
Toby Ford .... second assistant director
Barney Hughes .... co-third assistant director
Jo Schotting .... third assistant director
Art Department
Mark Adams .... chargehand painter
Brian Aldridge .... dressing props
Matt Amos .... painter
Alan Bailey .... prop master
Alan Briant .... dressing props
Anthony Caron-Delion .... draughtsman
David Chappell .... carpenter
Liliana Cifonelli .... art department runner
Nick Connor .... art department runner
John Davies .... stand-by painter
Neil Dickson .... stagehand
Judy Ducker .... production buyer
Billy Edwards .... stand-by propman
Dave Fisher .... stand-by chargehand
Martin Foley .... art department assistant
Anthony Hill .... painter
Peter Hodge .... stand-by stagehand
Clare Holland .... scenic painter
Tony Hoskins .... carpenter
Paul Inglis .... stand-by art director
Graham Jones .... carpenter
Josh Jones .... stand-by carpenter (as Joshua Jones)
Mark Keene .... carpenter
Tony Knight .... props runaround
Clifford Lay .... stagehand
Nicholas Lloyd .... carpenter
Karen Long .... storyboard artist
Goggi Lund .... signwriter
David Martin .... stagehand
Sarah Millar .... construction accountant
Clive Mitchell .... carpenter
Nick Mollo .... dresser (as Nicholas Mollo)
Nick Mollo .... storeman (as Nicholas Mollo)
Eddie Murphy .... carpenter
Matthew Parsons .... painter (as Matt Parsons)
Brian Pickett .... stand-by rigger
Stelios Polychronakis .... graphic artist
Ian Ritchie .... carpenter
Stuart Rushbrook .... carpenter (as Stewart Rushbrook)
Russell Sargent .... carpenter
Geoff Stainthorp .... chargehand carpenter
Robin Thistlewaite .... construction manager (as Robin Thistlethwaite)
Keith West .... props runaround
Chris White .... carpenter
David Williams .... carpenter
Sound Department
Nick Adams .... supervising sound editor
Gordon Brown .... dialogue editor
Sophie Cornet .... assistant sound editor
Jonathan Cronin .... adr editor
Clive Derbyshire .... sound recordist
Mike Dowson .... sound re-recording mixer
Diane Greaves .... foley artist (as Dianne Greaves)
Michelle Greaves .... foley artist
John Griffith .... foley editor
Eddy Joseph .... additional supervising sound editor
Peter Margrave .... sound maintenance engineer
Ted Swanscott .... foley mixer
Mark Taylor .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul Wrightson .... sound effects editor
Roberto Cappannelli .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Stuart Murdoch .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Steven Begg .... visual effects supervisor (as Steve Begg)
Steve Boag .... optical crew: Cine Image
Martin Bullard .... optical crew: Cine Image
Angus Cameron .... digital effects supervisor: The Magic Camera Company
Rob Dunbar .... visual effects
John Goodinson .... designer: Cine Image
Charles Green .... optical crew: Cine Image
Robin Huffer .... 3D animator: The Magic Camera Company
Antony Hunt .... executive producer: The Magic Camera Company (as Anthony Hunt)
Rick Mietkowski .... effects cameraman: The Magic Camera Company
Rick Mietkowski .... rostrum cameraman: The Magic Camera Company
Lynn Perez .... Domino operator: The Magic Camera Company
Daniel Pettipher .... 2D digital supervisor: The Magic Camera Company
Ed Plant .... 2D digital artist: The Magic Camera Company
Matthew Symonds .... designer: Cine Image (as Matt Symonds)
Angie Wills .... digital effects producer: The Magic Camera Company
Gabe Cronnelly .... stunt performer
Sarah Franzl .... stunt performer
Steve Griffin .... stunt performer (as Steve 'Street' Griffin)
Richard Hammatt .... stunt coordinator
Paul Herbert .... stunt performer
Lee Sheward .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Kaiser Azim .... camera trainee (as Qaiser Azim)
Stuart Barell .... clapper loader: "a/b" camera (as Stuart Barrell)
Geoff Brown .... electrician
Micky Brown .... gaffer
Peter Casey .... generator operator
Giles Christopher .... focus puller: "a" camera
Alfie Emmins .... electrician
Danny Espey .... electrician
Jon Euesden .... electrician
Ian Jackson .... camera operator
Andy Kendall .... crane grip
Dean Kennedy .... electrician
Sam McCourt .... video assistant
Steve Mcleod .... best boy (as Steve McLeod)
Stephen Morley .... stills photographer
Michael O'Donoghue .... focus puller: "b" camera
Malcolm Sheehan .... key grip (as Malcolm J. Sheehan)
Casting Department
Louise Cross .... casting associate: UK
Brendan Donnison .... adr voice casting: Lyps Inc.
Kristy Sager .... casting associate: US
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Amanda Derby .... costume assistant
Ali Goss .... costume supervisor
Tim Guthrie .... wardrobe master
Editorial Department
Iain Erskine .... first assistant editor
Bruce Everett .... post-production consultant
Allan John .... laboratory liaison
Helen Paszyn .... cutting room trainee
Mike Stainer .... color timer (as Michael Stainer)
Music Department
John Altman .... conductor
John Altman .... orchestration
Matt Barr .... music assistant
P.J. Bloom .... music coordinator
Chris Dibble .... recording engineer
Andrew Glen .... music editor (as Andy Glen)
Isobel Griffiths .... music contractor
The John Altman Big Band .... music performer: big band music
Evyen Klean .... music consultant
Tony Lewis .... music assistant
Richard Mather .... assistant engineer
Graham Read .... music preparation
Toby Wood .... score recording engineer
Transportation Department
Gary Birmingham .... transportation captain
Lia Bourne .... driver: artiste's trailers
Colin Bressington .... driver: standby props
Ravi Dube .... transportation coordinator (as Ravi Dubé)
Denis Greening .... unit driver
David Gwyther .... unit driver
Colin Jeffrey .... driver: camera truck
Townsley Knott .... driver: wardrobe truck (as Townley Knott)
John Morris .... driver: make-up bus
Enyo Mortty .... unit driver
Sean O'Connor .... unit driver
Simon Saunders .... unit driver
James Shawyer .... driver: construction
John Smith .... unit driver
John Tiny Topping .... driver: dining bus (as Tiny Topping)
Tony Wadsworth .... stand-by driver: construction
Other crew
Betty Ainslie .... assistant accountant
Colette Appleby .... stand-in
Tex Avery .... security personnel
Sam Breckman .... location manager
Roger Charles .... assistant accountant
David Church .... stand-in
Ginger Corbett .... unit publicist
Bob Corff .... voice teacher
Richard Ben Cramer .... consultant
Piers Dunn .... unit location manager
Penny Dyer .... dialogue coach
Michael Epstein .... consultant
Tracey Gibbons .... assistant to producers
Julia Hallawell .... unit publicist
Ruth Halliday .... stock footage researcher
Ann Hummel .... archive consultant
Paul Jackson .... health and safety advisor
Bryan Jacobs .... stand-in
Carrie Johnson .... unit nurse
Ed Kashiba .... production associate (as Edwin Kashiba)
Debbie Kaye .... animal supplier
Thomas Lennon .... consultant (as Tom Lennon)
James Linton .... stand-in
Sharon Moran .... assistant production coordinator
Tom Moran .... assistant: Mr. Scott
Duncan Muggoch .... location manager
Hugh O'Conor .... assistant: Mr. Ross
Debbie Pelham .... catering assistant
Stefano Priori .... production accountant
Deborah Ricketts .... stock footage researcher
Megan Roberts .... floor runner
Quinny Sacks .... choreographer
Dominic Sakakini .... catering manager
John Sargent .... post-production accountant
Rob Seager .... assistant accountant
Paul Smith .... production assistant
Emily Stewart .... production assistant
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Duncan Trillo .... magic consultant
Thomas A. White .... representative: The Estate of Orson Welles, Beverly Hills, California
Rob Wicks .... security personnel
Suzie F. Wiesmann .... production coordinator (as Suzie [Ford] Wiesmann)
Danny Wilde .... chef
Catherine Charlton .... dialect coach: adr (uncredited)
Anne Koch .... acknowledgment: excerpts from the radio play 'War Of The Worlds' by Howard Koch, copyright 1940, copyright renewed, courtesy of
Shelgren Kyra .... the producers wish to thank for their assistance (as Kyra Shelgren)
Don Ray .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"RKO 281: The Battle Over Citizen Kane" - USA (video box title)
See more »
Rated R for language and some graphic sexual images
86 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This was originally planned as a theatrical film. The original cast consisted of Edward Norton as Orson Welles, Marlon Brando as William Randolph Hearst, Madonna as Marion Davies, Dustin Hoffman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, Meryl Streep as Louella Parsons. Ridley Scott was slated to direct. But studios passed on the film because of the projected $40 million budget. Scott dropped out as director. Brando and Hoffman also dropped out. Gene Hackman was considered to replace Brando and Al Pacino was considered to replace Hoffman. Eventually, the project was scaled down to a television movie and the entire cast was replaced.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When the "Citizen Kane" score is being recorded, the conductor's movements have nothing whatsoever to do with the music being played.See more »
Orson Welles:I expected better of you, Mank.
Herman Mankiewicz:Me too, but I got used to it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Stagecoach (1939)See more »
Chattanooga Choo ChooSee more »


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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
fascinating film for fans of Welles, who of course will tear it to shreds, 9 December 2004
Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States

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?

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Big big welles yokurdan
Poor acting and a poor script sunsetparade
Comment On Mankiewicz Character joshL1
Randy Orton? josh-davey
Music in film? dom_oreilly
another movie about orson wells... jumpinjosh49
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