– Citizen Kane..1941

Directed, produced, co-written and co-starring Orson Welles


For those of you who follow Hollywood and its ratings, you already know how this review is going to be like – awesome, amazing, superb, legendary, celebrated etc etc.

Check out any list of greatest movies made and you can bet your life that this movie will be a part of it. Citizen Kane of all the things it’s popular for, screenplay of the film is the most widely talked about and praised aspect of the film.

Charles Foster Kane (played by Orson Welles) is the film’s life blood and also the protagonist. The movie starts with a rather unexpected explanation about the pleasure dome Kane had built for himself, his life and his achievements. After a few minutes you realize that it’s a documentary about Kane’s life being watched by a bunch of news reporters. In this scene itself you will begin to observe the visual capacity of the film with the sunlight coming into to the preview room. citizen_kane_51

Though black and white the movie’s visual is a splendor and a delight to the eyes.

The editor says that he needs something more from Kane’s life, something personal, something about the last word he had said – ‘Rosebud’. So, one of the journalists sets off to meet all the people closely attached to Kane’s personal life. This is where the screenplay’s stroke comes in. The rest of the movie is a series of flashbacks.

First up Kane’s childhood from his manager STOP then his college and his newspaper business from his co-editor Mr. Bernstein and his best friend STOP then his first marriage and break ups from his first wife STOP his political career STOP his downfall because of a relational controversy and  THE End. Attention-grabbing ha mate!!

The best part of the movie is Kane’s newspaper business (The Inquirer). Kane, his friend (Joseph Cotton playing ‘Leland’) who along with Kane got chucked out of a lot of colleges including Harvard and Bernstein (played by Everett Sloane) talk in away which very respectfully offends others. The way they talk is something you just want to keep listening to.

Kane decides to publish all the scams of his own company as in the company from where he inherited his wealth.

Let me give you a touch of the Citizen Kane dialogue:

Kane’s manager: Honestly my boy, don’t you think it’s rather unwise to run this philanthropic enterprise, this ‘Inquirer’ that’s costing you a million dollars a year.

Kane: You are Mr. Thatcher (Kane’s ex-guardian) I realize that I lost a million dollars last year, I expect to loose a million dollars this year, I expect to loose a million dollars next year. You know Mr. Thatcher what’s the rate of a million dollars a year… (with a smirk) I’ll have to close down this place in 60 years.

And Orson Welles people, Orson Welles. Directing yourself in a movie like this – it’s like manufacturing a Ferrari and winning the grand prix driving it himself.

Let me not over do the review lauding every scene and every technical aspect of the film. If you haven’t seen this film you haven’t seen any cinema at all. Watch the film, enjoy its brilliance and enter the world of movie magic.

Rating – √√√√√ – yep, a five on five.


About daskino

trying to use films and lines as an outlet to my disastrous sense of expression.
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3 Responses to – Citizen Kane..1941

  1. Tanay says:

    One interesting fact is that at the time of release the film industry(and the media) knew very well the character was based on Welles’ first wife’s husband; a media baron. So many theaters were apprehensive of showing the movie as the person could file a case against the movie. This did not allow for a grand commercial success of the movie. The Wall Street Journal even accused Welles of making a communist attack on the media baron. But it clearly is not a political take on the media baron at all. It’s a psychological one that shows Kane as being lonely and unsatisfied even after all the acres of land, mansions, and power he holds. Beautifully done.

    Even so the movie was regarded to be way ahead of its time by all critics. This admiration still remains till date.

  2. daskino says:

    hey never knew that side of the story of Welle’s first wife’s husband…thanx for the input

  3. daskino says:

    but, isnt the movie mostly adapted from the buk…

    they did skip a lot of interesting parts of the buk like that of the Ku Klux Klan, but, i thought its mostly from the book.

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