Citizen Kane
Year:
1941
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Orson Welles
Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland
Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander Kane
Agnes Moorehead as Mary Kane
Ruth Warrick as Emily Monroe Norton Kane
Ray Collins as James W. Gettys
Erskine Sanford as Herbert Carter
Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein
William Alland as Jerry Thompson
Paul Stewart as Raymond
George Coulouris as Walter Parks Thatcher
Fortunio Bonanova as Signor Matiste
Gus Schilling as The Headwaiter
Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus as Bertha Anderson
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.
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Reviews
Quite frankly the most intelligent film ever made
Citizen Kane is a marvelous piece of cinema. It transcends all efforts made before and after it. What we have here truly is the great American film. The black and white cinematography is to die for. Kane is by far the most visually appealing film ever made. I find something new in it's shadows with each viewing and it takes a really great film to offer that to a viewer. American movie making really owes it all to Kane. It really is the only film I can think of that fails to break into a sense of monotony.

And of course Welles' performance must be praised. Here we have a twenty six year old man fresh off of a lucrative stage career make a seamless transition into film. To see Charles Foster Kane is to see the perfection of characterization. There are no loose ends with this character he is wrapped perfectly. Of course he is a metaphor for the joys and evils of capitalism. We must ask and why did he become what he did? The great thing about Kane is that it still proposes questions that require answers.how

In each viewing of Kane I just think to myself what bias cinema come to? There was a time when motion picture making was a challenge and it meant something. Kane should be studied because it is a perfect film. It gives the viewer something to think about and yet offers dynamic characters. And to think the lobotomized masses of American cinema goers would rather be watching a Transformers film. Now there's a series I would care to forget about. I mean what kind of movie has stupid robots? And that isn't even the problem with those poor excuses for celluloid. Each film in that series is a blood curdling experience. I absolutely hate the parent characters and Shia whatever his name is. The racial stereotypes are offensive and the idea of a Transformer heaven where Shia goes to in the first sequel is beyond ridiculous. I mean come on! And what about that stupid government organization? Really? You expect me to believe that they were able to keep a giant robot within the Hoover dam without nobody knowing about it? Or how about the fact that they actually had the transformer ship crash into the moon? You might infer that some telescope would catch wind of it. And the actor they got to play John Kennedy in the beginning of the film was doing the worst stereotypical Massachusetts accent ever. Transformers is dumbing down America pure and simple. All it exists to do is sell toys to idiot kids. Michael Bay makes millions of dollars while Orson Welles was abandoned by the Hollywood system. Really! It infuriates me.
2011-10-08
Much duller than expected.
Considering how critically acclaimed this movie is I expected something that wasn't difficult to watch; then again Orson Welles is a bit droll. When looking at the way that the passage of time was shown off as, a time lapse, along with the slow camera move through the neon sign and through the glass of a skylight it makes you wonder just how that was managed by Welles. The character Charles Foster Kane was extremely two dimensional, granted that is more likely than not, the point, but he was a man set up for failure right from the beginning. He started with his heart in the right place but that was it. By the end everyone that has initially loved this man hated him with a passion due to his incessant need for self preservation. Overall I can appreciate this movie for what it is to the film world, but the title "greatest movie of all time" is extremely undeserving.
2016-11-16
Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane was an incredible film. I was sort of mesmermized by it, more so the camera work with the unusual angles than with the story. I liked the way Orson Welles played with time and the beginning was really the end and the film was told through flashbacks which were really told by different characters. There were a few grand, grand scenes that I really enjoyed-the party at the newspaper with the dancers, ice sculptures, and the rousing song. I was overwhelmed by the scene when Charles Kane was giving his campaign speech. I did start to lose interest in the story somewhere in the middle and really felt no sympathy connection with Charles Kane. Maybe I wasn't supposed to connect with him, as his character was larger than life and because we learn about him through others recollection of him, making him mysterious and unknown. We can only infer from his last word that he was forever impacted by being torn from a place that he held such dear memories of. This film made you realize that you were looking at a film and not someone's real story.
2009-11-10
A cinematic landmark, and an achievement in any aspect of life
Citizen Kane (according to the American Film Institute) is the greatest film ever made. Though I cannot comment fairly on that (I haven't even seen half of the nominated 100) I can assure any readers one thing: Citizen Kane is marvellous. I am not simply following the crowd, as I thought one to many official movie reviewers were doing. I agree with them; Citizen Kane lives up to the hype, just about.

I heard from a few average (but movie-loving) people that they thought Citizen Kane was good, but not superb or as good as it was supposed to be. I read so many great reviews, and really did think the reviewers were simply afraid to put this historic film out of place. I apologise: Citizen Kane is nearly perfect, and were it not for some small details in the second half of the film, it would be.

Nearly everything is spot on. The musical score, in particular, is the best I've ever seen. The film has charisma, charm. The acting is impeccable. The script fantastic. It's epic. And all done by a 25-year-old, which really gives it full marks.

And especially for the time, it must have been incredible. The cinematography, the landmark qualities, everything was so original and new. But in the final half hour, deeper insight is necessary. We are left hanging on a thread, wondering especially after some incidents how the newsroom is going. We know little of Kane newspapers, though the dilemmas in his personal life are particularly well played out.

Top banana, this is.

**** out of **** (4 out of 4)
2005-06-03
A masterpiece
"Rosebud" marked the last words of Orson Welles' character in his debut motion picture Citizen Kane one of the best movies ever made. The movie stars Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane a newspaper tycoon who recently passed away and a whole lot of reporters scramble to find out what the last words "Rosebud" really meant, not only that it also tells the major events that happened in his life. The movie stars Orson Welles in a superb performance as Kane a man who not only wanted to become a newspaper tycoon but also wanted to become the governor of New York state but unfortunately for him lost the election. The movie combines a lot of genres such as drama, romance, comedy, mystery and suspense. Writers Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles made a screenplay that was very suspenseful and interesting and the most important part was what Kane's last utterance "Rosebud" really meant. There was a lot of other good performances throughout Joseph Cotten (in his film debut), Agnes Moorehead, Dorothy Comingore, and especially the director, producer and star Orson Welles. the movie may seem a little confusing at times but it still is a great movie.
2014-06-16
Perhaps it was the best movie 60 years ago.
Citizen Kane is about the life of a notorious media mogul. Based on the life of an actual person, this film takes us through his life as he finds love, power,etc. Considered as one of the best motion pictures of all time and granted the tittle of technically brilliant.

To me this film was bad. It might have been brilliant in terms of art, direction and on a technical level but, all of those aspects make a movie great? The answer is no. I think most people pretend to like this film just because is supposed to be great. Don't get me wrong, I think I can appreciate its achievement in the aspects I mentioned above, but the merits of this self-indulgent film end there. It was really boring, the plot was just average and the acting was terrible. I really hated Kane's wife. Comingore was a lousy actress, her accent was bad and all the emphasis she put when her character asked questions was like torture.

As I said before, this movie is so self-indulgent that it almost feels like Welles knew beforehand all the praise he would receive in the future. What I can't believe is that this film is often compared to Casablanca (Well, compete would be more accurate) when people talk about classics. That was a great movie and there's no way this film can compete with it.

I don't recommend this title to anyone, unless you claim to be a film lover. In that case you should see it just because it is "the best movie of all times". You will judge if that is correct or not after you saw it.
2010-06-23
most important film of the 20th century
the reason this film is so revered is not because it is an outstanding story with awesome special effects and lots of guns n stuff. true, it is to be appreciated for its morals and storytelling, but if you look at how it was filmed and compare it to other movies of and before its time then you can really see just how impressive "Citizen Kane" is. It uses a lot of deep focus, which required a decent amount of skill and was an out-of-the-box thing to do. one indoor scene stands out particularly for its beauty and play with light. the only light coming into the room is natural sunlight streaming in to a dark, smoky room from small windows high on the wall. other scenes were shot from ground level, also an unusual way of filming. "Citizen Kane" is really different, really clever, and and excellent film to watch for those who appreciate more than just an interesting story.
2009-10-21
Citizen for all Ages
What do you say about a movie more analysed than is enjoyed, more envied and despised than any other piece of cinema: well documented for its perceived portrayal of William Randolph Hearst, and his efforts to have it destroyed....It has survived and now stands at number one on the AFI's top 100 list, for a movie that didn't even win the Oscar for its year of release.

What can you say about the cinematography and direction and acting, that hasn't already been said? The lighting, the camera angles, the new visual techniques and trick photography used for the first time in an American movie to great effect. Special mention has to go to the acting of a 25 year old Orson Welles, an aspect the least highlighted.

The grand-daddy of the American Soap Opera, it tells the life of Charles Foster Kane, from his humble beginnings, his mother's giving him up to a wealthy guardian, and his building of a newspaper/radio empire. It sees Kane go from an idealistic journalist to a powerful mogul able to manipulate history through his media empire.

Despite all his money and power, Kane is not immune to the hand of destiny, and oh how she slaps Kane the old American way. A married Kane is caught through pure "innocence" with a "singer" and a scandal erupts, costing Kane the state governorship; you can guess the instigator of the scandal-mongering: the incumbent governor.

In the first part of the movie, we see a Kane adored by the public and employees but we don't see the reason why his relationship with his wife deteriorated, shown in a powerful film sequence of spouses drifting apart through the years. In the second part we see his relationship with the "singer" whom he took as his second wife, and how he uses her to try and manipulate public opinion of himself, just as he had used the media empire previously. The only problem is that his second wife isn't as competent as the media empire was in gaining respect or adoration; she is just terrible as an opera singer. But Kane wants to prove to the public that the "singer" who he was caught with, was more than "whore" and that he had the power to shape public opinion; she even told kane that she didn't want to be a singer. It is the cruelest thing any man could have done to another human being; manipulated for his own ends. William Randolph Hearst was said to have been less angry about his own portrayal than that of his mistress, Marion Davies.

The movie broke new grounds for cinema also, in its story-telling: we see first the death of a recluse Kane in his old age, and then there are flashbacks from newsreels and investigations and interviews of reporters piecing together the life of Charles Foster Kane and his dying word "rosebud".

The reporters never found out what his dying word meant, but the audience is shown what it "is". No single word can describe a man's life after all, so what does it mean??? lost childhood innocence and happiness??

This movie bred a bunch of copycats like "The Carpetbaggers" and "Valley of the Dolls", and inspired the great TV soapies like Dallas and Dynasty. Many other movies from different genres have copied and perhpas bettered the camera work and lighting and yet this movie has stood up well through the 60 years from its sheer brilliance and originality.

Despite its greatness, Citizen Kane seems to have taken some victims along the way. At age 25, Orson Welles starred, wrote and directed his masterpiece, but because of various reasons, political, envy, hatred, he was never able to match it. The other victim seems to have been Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander, mirroring the career of Marilyn Monroe who came after her.

A great movie thats stood the test of time. See it for what it is: a fantastic piece of story-telling firstly, only then can you see its greatness.
2005-02-11
A great piece of cinema, a magnificent example of storytelling
I've heard so much told about Citizen Kane and Orson Welles, so I finally decided to get the film, and find out if it really is all that it's cracked up to be... I must say, it's great. The plot is great, and the way it's told is amazing. The story is first summed up in a matter of minutes, about 15, to be more accurate, and then the rest of the film has characters telling the story through flashbacks and retelling. We hear just about every opinion about Charles Foster Kane, apart from his own. The story is told after his death, and we see everything important that leads up to it, and only in the very end do we understand him, only then do we fully understand who he was, and what made him so. The ending also reveals one of the very most important things in any man or woman... one thing that everyone needs and knows of. I won't reveal it here, as it would almost be a crime to spoil the experience of this film to anyone. The acting is excellent; Welles himself is stellar as Kane, and his impressive appearance, along with his commanding voice, makes the character a forceful sight, nay, experience. The characters are well-written and credible. The character of Kane is probably the most well-rounded and perfectly built up I've seen in a movie, ever. The cinematography is excellent... the editing is great. I can't praise the angles, pans, zooms and transitions enough... it just has to be experienced. Now, for the one thing I can criticize in the film; the pacing. It's only two hours long, but it feels like much, much more. There were portions of the film where it felt like it didn't move at all. When there weren't great dialog or something equally as good in the film, it dragged terribly. There were too many scenes where the dialog seemed pointless, as well, I think. It didn't seem to be leading to anything. However, this criticism is so minor, due to the ending more than making up for it, that I still give this film a perfect score. I can't do anything but agree with its placing at the top of the top #250 films of all time, here on IMDb. As I'm writing this, it's #11. That's pretty much what it deserves, in my opinion. Not higher, not lower. Not the greatest film of all time(that pretty much still belongs to The Godfather, I think... at least, I haven't seen a better film than that, yet), but definitely far up there. I recommend this to any fan of film in general, and anyone who thinks they can understand it; it has a truly profound point that any man(and woman) should know of(preferably through seeing the film for themselves). Don't let the fact that it's old and black & white deter you from seeing this masterpiece. A true cinematic masterpiece, in every sense of the word. 10/10
2004-10-21
tough sledding
I have an observation concerning Rosebud (and I don't mean that story about Marion Davies). Everyone seems to assume that Kane saying "Rosebud" means he was thinking of the one time in his life when he was totally happy and had what he wanted. For years I have also assumed that. The other day something occurred to me and I am curious to know if it has occurred to anyone else.

When Kane first meets Susan Alexander he says he is on his way to (or coming from? I don't recall which) a warehouse where his childhood belongings are stored which he has not seen in many years. He doesn't mention the sled, but presumably that is the one thing which drew him to the warehouse. Kane is splashed and Susan laughs at him and one things leads to another. But my point is this: Kane would never have met Susan but for Rosebud. If Kane never met Susan he would never have been caught in the "love nest" with her and lost the election for governor. Kane might have had another mistress, but this seems unlikely. Kane is not very interested in sex - perhaps because he feels he is making love to the whole world. His interest in Susan is primarily idealized and not physical. So but for the meeting Susan, Kane would likely not have had a scandal and would have been elected governor. We are told he would then have almost certainly been elected President. Also he would not have lost his wife and his son would not have been killed in the car accident. As President, Kane could have been the most powerful man in the world. Instead he loses this chance, loses his wife and loses his son - all because he happened to be on a certain street at a certain moment. And the reason he was on that street at that moment was Rosebud!

So maybe when Kane says "Rosebud" he is not thinking of when he was a carefree lad playing in the snow. Maybe he realizes that because of Rosebud his whole life went spinning in a completely different direction from what it otherwise would have taken. By pure accident Rosebud ruined his life and shut him off forever from everything he otherwise could have been and could have accomplished. And maybe that is why "Rosebud" is the last word he speaks.

But if this is true (and it seems quite logical to me) then why does no one else comment upon it? Why has no one spotted it? Or has someone I just don't know it? Or could it be that this is the kind of truth that no one wants to face? That all of our lives are determined more by blind, idiot accident than by design or purpose.
2005-02-07
See Also
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