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RKO 281 (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In 1940, Disney was not the major studio it was today. It had few major releases by that date, all animated and all of which were released through other distributors. The meeting of studio chiefs depicted in the movie probably did not take place- certainly not in the form shown- but even if it had, Walt Disney would probably not have been invited. (Samuel Goldwyn, also shown as present, had sold his share in MGM to Louis Mayer years earlier, but was still a major producer.)
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

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".
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Character error 

In the formal dinner in which Welles is a guest of Hearst, Welles reveals his purpose for filming a movie about a famous bullfighter. He says he was a child when he sat on the knee of Manolete, the most famous Spanish bullfighter at that time. Actually, Manolete began his career in 1931, when Orson was age sixteen.
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When Welles stops George Schaefer in the bar, he says he wants to go to New York and talk to "the stockbrokers". He means the stockholders of RKO Radio Pictures.
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Continuity 

When Orson is sketching a picture in front of Manks, he draws a semi-circle around the head of a lone figure on his sketch pad. When the scene cuts to the next part, the circle is not there.
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When Orson is sketching a picture during the orchestra scene, he draws a semi-circle around the head of a lone figure on his sketch pad. When the scene cuts to the next part, the circle is not there.
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Factual errors 

Louella Parsons storms out of a screening of "Citizen Kane" before it's finished. However, she later tells Hearst that "Rosebud" is a sled, even though that fact is only revealed in the last moment of the film.
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Cinematographer Gregg Toland instructs Orson Welles about lenses, camera settings, and filming techniques in a screening room. He tells Orson that he used a certain technique in his movie, "Long Voyage" (at 0:27:54). Toland's movie is actually titled, "The Long Voyage Home".
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Both Hearst and Louella Parsons make veiled anti-Semitic threats in the movie. The claim may be made that these comments (which were reported on but, contrary to the film, did not actually appear in print) were intended as a tactic, but Hearst has not been accused of anti-Semitism. In fact, his newspapers were among the few, a couple of years later, to expose the Holocaust while it was ongoing and demand that action be taken.

The movie also claims that Walt Disney had fascist sympathies. This movie is not the first to make that claim, but it is based on very weak evidence. Disney was a conservative (although he largely became one after 1940), but hardly a fascist.
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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.
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Revealing mistakes 

Just before Welles throws the drink in Mank's face and he falls into the pond, the camera angle changes, and Mank's shirt switches from neatly pressed to severely wrinkled, showing that he had already fallen into the pond in previous takes.
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When the "Citizen Kane" score is being recorded, the conductor's movements have nothing whatsoever to do with the music being played.
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When Welles is shown crossing out dialogue in the "Citizen Kane" script, he is actually marking up pages from the "RKO 281" script!
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