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.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Herman J. Mankiewicz (original screen play), Orson Welles (original screen play)
Popularity
1,360 ( 45)
Top Rated Movies #72 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Cotten ... Jedediah Leland / Screening Room Reporter
Dorothy Comingore ... Susan Alexander Kane
Agnes Moorehead ... Mary Kane
Ruth Warrick ... Emily Monroe Norton Kane
Ray Collins ... James W. Gettys
Erskine Sanford ... Herbert Carter / Screening Room Reporter
Everett Sloane ... Mr. Bernstein
William Alland William Alland ... Jerry Thompson
Paul Stewart ... Raymond
George Coulouris ... Walter Parks Thatcher
Fortunio Bonanova ... Matiste
Gus Schilling Gus Schilling ... The Headwaiter / Screening Room Reporter
Philip Van Zandt ... Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus ... Miss Anderson
Harry Shannon ... Kane's Father
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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:

It's Terrific! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the opening shot of the "El Rancho" sequence where the camera appears to move through a gap in the neon sign, a collapsible sign had to be built that could be split in two to allow the camera to pass through. See more »

Goofs

At the end of her interview with the reporter Thompson, Susan Alexander Kane says, "Come around sometime and tell me the story of your life," but as she says this her mouth is not moving. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charles Foster Kane: Rosebud...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Orson Welles's name is listed last and among the list of featured roles, instead of leading roles, saving his name as best for last. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Chick Flick: The Miracle Mike Story (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(uncredited)
from RKO's Music for Madame (1937)
Music by Nathaniel Shilkret
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why?
2 February 2009 | by b_havagSee 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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