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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
855 ( 111)
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

After production wrapped, William Randolph Hearst forbade any advertisement of the film in any of his newspapers--or indeed any other RKO movies--and offered to buy the negative from studio head George Schaefer with a view to destroying it. Fortunately Orson Welles had already previewed the film to influential industry figures to rave reviews, so it was granted a limited theatrical release. Critics from non-Hearst newspapers fell over themselves praising the film. The film itself was not reviewed in any Hearst newspaper until the mid-1970s, when the film critic for Hearst's "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner", Ray Loynd, finally reviewed it. See more »

Goofs

When Kane returns from Europe, he enters the Inquirer news room and rushes towards the camera, which dollies back. At this point, and when he subsequently leaves, the dolly track is visible on the floor. See more »

Quotes

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

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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Rebel Set (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theo. A. Metz
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Citizen Welles
24 April 2009 | by murtaza_mmaSee all my reviews

Citizen Kane is probably the best that American Cinema has ever offered, nigh perfect from the start till the end. Often competing with The Godfather, to be numero uno, Citizen Kane is in a league of its own and nonpareil on countless number of fronts. The creative innovation and the technical advancements implemented, can be least regarded as incredible and astonishing, for a 1941 movie. The movie pioneered the phenomena of time switching and special effects in the world of cinema.

Citizen Kane has stood the test of time for well over six decades, serving as a benchmark and source of inspiration to the film-makers of different era. Citizen Kane is an obituary about a fictitious Charles Foster Kane, a business magnate and a newspaper tycoon. Through this movie, Orson Welles, not only immortalized Charles Foster Kane but also proved his mettle, as a writer, director, actor and most importantly as an auteur. The scenes presented as flashbacks, not only display his versatility as an actor (taking care of the nuances and the subtleties needed to portray the different stages and aspects of Kane's life), but also his story-telling brilliance. Kane's murmuring of the word 'rosebud' at the time of his death and him publicly annihilating his election opponent, Jim Getys, represent the two extremes of human life, the very low and the very high, respectively.

The scenes between Welles and Joseph Cotton are an absolute treat to watch, the latter being at his sarcastic best, depicting contrasting emotions of sympathy and disgust towards his childhood friend, owing to the dichotomy that he suffered, simultaneously taking care of his duties as a journalist, and his friendship with Kane. The movie is studded with numerous mesmerizing and unforgettable scenes and moments, which immensely contribute to the apotheosis that it so deservedly enjoys. A true cinematic magnum opus, without an iota of a doubt and a must for every cinema lover.


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