8.4/10
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Citizen Kane (1941)

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Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

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Writers:

(original screen play), (original screen play)
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1,155 ( 151)
Top Rated Movies #71 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Alland ...
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Gus Schilling ...
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Miss Anderson
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Storyline

A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud". The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world. Written by Zack H.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

365 days in the making - and every minute of it an exciting NEW thrill for you ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$839,727 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$216,239, 5 May 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,585,634
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 1970s, film critic Pauline Kael wrote an essay called "Raising Kane". In it, she credited co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz for writing the entire script for this film, while alleging that Orson Welles "didn't write one line of the shooting script." However, this conclusion has very little factual basis, and was largely based on hearsay. Kael, for her part, tried to distance herself for the controversy later in life, insisting that the whole issue had been blown out of proportion, and that her essay, written as an introduction to a published copy of the "Kane" screenplay, was taken out of context. Subsequent writers examined internal studio memos, telegrams and drafts enough to conclude that both Welles and Mankewitcz had contributed significantly to the final script, though Welles had, at one point tried to bribe Mankewitcz into ceding his credit to Welles. Frank Mankiewicz, son of Herman J. Mankiewicz maintained that Welles' effort resulted more from anxiety than greed: as his contract stipulated that he would direct, produce, act in and write the film, Welles feared RKO would refuse to pay him in full. The final consensus among critics holds that the shooting script was actually based on an idea conjured by the two men, and that an initial draft by Mankiewicz was heavily altered by Welles. Both men continued to contribute to the script throughout shooting combining their work into the final version. Nevertheless, the controversy continues to the present day. See more »

Goofs

The Russian newspaper lists Charles's first initial as C. In Russian, that letter is pronounced S. There is another letter in Russian, that looks like an upside-down lowercase h, that is pronounced CH. Either that letter, or K for the Russian form Karl, should have been used as his first initial. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Foster Kane: Rosebud...
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Crazy Credits

The film's opening title card is presented in complete silence, briefly with no music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Thorn (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Una voce poco fa
(1816) (uncredited)
from opera "Il barbiere di Seviglia"
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Arranged by Nathaniel Shilkret
Sung by Dorothy Comingore (dubbed by Jean Forward)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why?
2 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Okay. First of all, I DO like many old movies. 12 angry men, Casablanca, Where Eagles Dare, Psycho, The Treasure of Sierra Madre, The Great Dictator, Some Like it Hot and more. They're all brilliant and I enjoyed them throughout.

But Citizen Kane...I just can't see what's so great about it. It made no impression on me whatsoever. When it comes to plot, camera-angles, themes, characters, acting and such, it seems like few movies are as praised as this. Still, when I read reviews on other classics, for example Casablanca, it feels like they say many of the same things.

I'm not an expert on what makes some films objectively better than others, but if the other classics with most of the other "greatnesses" actually ARE interesting and fun to watch, then Citizen Kane should also be able to entertain as well as just being "great".

You can say what you want about movies, but no matter how well they're made, they should also entertain in some way or another to be classified as great. And I'm not one of those guys who only like action movies. An example of a great movie is Requiem for a Dream. It's disturbing, repulsive and scary as h*ll, but I couldn't keep my eyes from it, and it made a brutal impression. Other examples of movies that are deep, makes an impression AND are entertaining could be One flew over the Cuckoos Nest, The Visitor, American Beauty and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.

But entertainment isn't all. I see that. If Citizen Kane had made an impression it wouldn't fail no matter how uninteresting. Taxi Driver is another movie I bored me through, and don't want to see again, but still I find it good because I couldn't stop thinking about it afterwards. It made an impression. Citizen Kane doesn't do that either.

And to all you die-hard-fans who hate me, wants to disgrace me, and finds it horrendous to call a classic "not entertaining" I'll just quote the great Ingmar Bergman: "Citizen Kane is a total bore!" To call me retarded or something like that would be to call one of the greatest directors of all time the same. In addition it's clear that many more agree as well. It's not long since the feature was in the top 3 on IMDb. Today it's number 29.

So all in all, I may not know how to judge objective qualities of movies, but I'm certain that movies that doesn't leave any impression whatsoever AND isn't entertaining at all aren't great no matter what. And that's why "the greatest movie ever made" fails for me. 3/10


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