8.3/10
394,765
1,475 user 251 critic

Citizen Kane (1941)

Trailer
3:46 | Trailer
Following the death of publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, reporters scramble to uncover the meaning of his final utterance; 'Rosebud'.

Director:

Orson Welles

Writers:

Herman J. Mankiewicz (original screen play), Orson Welles (original screen play)
Popularity
472 ( 33)
Top Rated Movies #97 | 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 ... 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:

Radio's Most Dynamic Artist . . The Man At Whose Voice A Nation Trembled . . . Now the screen's most exciting NEW star ! ORSON WELLES in the picture Hollywood said he'd never make See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is widely believed that Ted Turner had plans to colorize the film, but that wide public outcry led to his decision not to. The rumor came from a tongue-in-cheek comment from Turner that he would colorize the film in order to bait critics of the process. In actuality, Orson Welles had the rights to the film, and Turner couldn't have colorized the film even if he had wanted to. Nonetheless, the controversy over the potential alteration of this film was one of the catalysts that eventually led to the film industry requirement that all future video and TV releases of films that have been altered in any way - including the standard conversion from widescreen to "pan and scan" - must carry a disclaimer indicating the film has been "modified from its original version." It is also widely believed that when he heard about it, Welles supposedly roared, "Tell Ted Turner to keep his crayons away from my movie!" However, being that he owned the rights to the film, it is highly unlikely that he ever made any such statement. See more »

Goofs

During the picnic scene towards the end, Welles had to shoot against a back-projection because a location shoot was too costly and time-consuming. The stock footage used for the exterior was taken from King Kong, hence on closer inspection the four birds that fly by are in fact very definite pterodactyls. RKO told Welles to take the pterodactyls out of the shot, but he liked them, and decided to keep them. See more »

Quotes

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

The end credits show previous scenes from the film showcasing the Mercury Theatre performers. See more »

Alternate Versions

Some of the Turner prints have the famous RKO logo removed and replaced with the Turner logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in NewsRadio: The Secret of Management (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme
(uncredited)
from RKO's Curtain Call (1940)
Music by Roy Webb
Performed in a "News On The March" sequence
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User Reviews

 
Love The Cinematography; Story Not That Appealing
13 December 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Hey, make no mistake: this film does deserve lofty status. It is a good film, fantastically photographed.....but the greatest of all time? I question that, but that kind of question - Who's number one? - is impossible to answer.

I would think to be number one you would have to have a great technical film, great story, great acting, great camera-work as this has, AND have it generally loved by the public. Then you have a true number one picture of all time. I'm not a fan of "Gone With The Wind," but that was a technical marvel, too, for its day and was universally loved by millions of people....so I can see that being listed number over Citizen Kane. The same goes for Casablanca, Ben-Hur and a number of wonderful films.

Anway, concerning this movie, I enjoyed it best for the cinematography. Orson Welles, the "genius" behind this film, was ahead of his time with his inventive camera-work. The acting is good and it's interesting to note that this was Welles' first acting role. Yes, he was an amazing talent, behind or in front of the camera. The story is pretty unlikable and, in this day and age would be too boring for most people under 50, sad to say. However, even older, more "mature" folks find this hard to get through sometimes from what I have read.

The unlikable part mainly comes from the lead character, "Charles Foster Kane," played by Welles. He is simply a selfish egomaniac. Other unpleasant parts of the story include several scenes with his second wife, in which she berates him in this shrill hysterical voice; the fact there is very little humor in here and the ending is anything but uplifting.

For those who find this a confusing story, I suggest giving it another chance. I found this film better the more chances I gave it. It also looks fabulous on the latest special-edition DVD. In summary, it was a great technical achievement but remember professional critics usually have the same mindset and are afraid to be their own person, so don't feel stupid or inadequate if this film doesn't do it for you. You are hardly alone. But, yet, that camera-work has to be seen and appreciated if you really love movies.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

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)

Gross USA:

$1,585,634

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,598,168
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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