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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   4,792 votes »
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Director:
Writers (WGA):
John Logan (written by)
Richard Ben Cramer (documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane") (in part) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for RKO 281 on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 November 1999 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The true, behind-the-scenes story of the making of the greatest movie of all time, Citizen Kane. See more »
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
Won Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 27 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(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:
I want more from this film! See more (49 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Directed by
Benjamin Ross 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
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
 
Stunts
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)
 
Thanks
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 »
MPAA:
Rated R for language and some graphic sexual images
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The title refers to the production number given by RKO Radio Pictures to Citizen Kane (1941).See more »
Goofs:
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 »
Quotes:
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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Chattanooga Choo ChooSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
I want more from this film!, 8 February 2003
Author: YesAlphaDiva from Chicago

The key to enjoying this film is in being able to divorce yourself from the idea that this is an accurate representation of the making of Citizen Kane. RKO 281 as a stand-alone film is not bad, though the short running time left me feeling like I'd only seen the primary colors of what could've been a rich piece of fiction.

And it does feel more like fiction than truth.

Watching RKO 281 as a Welles enthusiast was a struggle. Welles himself was such a unique *presence*, a magician in more ways than one, and Liev Schreiber just doesn't evoke the god-like charisma and fury that were manifestations of Welles' particular genius. I would've preferred Vincent D'Onofrio (who pulled off an excellent Welles in Ed Wood after only two weeks of preparation) or even Oliver Platt. It is important to get the "character" of Welles RIGHT in a movie about his masterpiece. If RKO 281 failed egregiously on any level, it's this one.

Though this film is about the MAKING of Citizen Kane, it doesn't address why Citizen Kane had such an impact later in its life. We know that Welles had to fight very hard to save his picture against a variety of political agendas. However, a hard-won battle does not a classic film make...on its own. The only clues we get from RKO character Welles are his passionate and other-worldly exclamations along the lines of, "I just KNOW this is the MOMENT for this story!--Everything I AM is in this film!", etc. It's too mystical for me, and I think it does an injustice to the efforts of Welles and his collaborators to suggest that it was simply the luck (and maliciousness towards Hearst) of a spoiled boy wonder that made what is widely considered to be the best movie of all time.

Welles was in a unique position during that era. He had carte blanche in the movie studios--a status unprecedented before or since--and had the means to create his vision fully to his specifications. Getting the picture *released* was nothing short of a miracle, however, and I think it would've been interesting to dive into yet another layer of what Citizen Kane represents: Art for Art's sake. It's heartbreaking to note that Welles' subsequent film The Magnificent Ambersons was butchered beyond recognition by the studio--those who were fortunate enough to view Welles original (and now lost) cut thought that Ambersons was his true masterpiece, that Citizen Kane was merely a warm-up (!!!). Can you just imagine what this man could've accomplished if only...?

Which brings me to William Randolph Hearst. RKO 281 barely scratches the surface of how powerful Hearst was at the time. The residual effects of his attempt to stop Citizen Kane's release were felt by the film industry (and by Welles in particular) for many years after, and I would've liked to see the nature of this confrontation more clearly.

I've often said that Citizen Kane was Orson Welles' bane and salvation, for we see in hindsight that he sacrificed himself (and ultimately his future)

to earn a beautiful and tragic place in cinematic history. Overall, I wanted an edgier, darker, and more complex account of RKO 281. If I remove all pre-conceived notions and expectations, I find that this docudrama is interesting and fun to watch, but ultimately, I cannot help being drawn back to what made this 1999 film possible: the tumultuous triumph of a long-shot movie as envisioned by a temperamental, inexperienced genius. There are many shadowy folds to the real story of Citizen Kane, and RKO 281 feels like a bowl of plastic fruit in comparison.

Was the above review useful to you?
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