User Reviews (1,280)

  • Cowman2 May 2004
    CITIZEN KANE may let some people down, but it's still worth seeing.
    It's a difficult undertaking for someone of my generation to watch a film like CITIZEN KANE. Not because it's "too old" or "too boring", but because it has been hailed--almost universally--as the single best motion picture ever made. And while the anticipation of seeing a film with such overwhelming acclaim may be quite exhilarating, actually watching it is ultimately an intimidating and somewhat disappointing experience.

    This isn't to say that I thought CITIZEN KANE was a bad film; in fact, I thought everything about it was downright brilliant. From the enchanting performances right down to the meticulously planned camera movements and clever lighting tricks, there isn't a single element of CITIZEN KANE that isn't a stunning achievement in all areas of filmmaking.

    CITIZEN KANE's storyline is deceptively simple. Even though the plot unfolds by jumping in and out of nonlinear flashbacks, it is surprisingly easy to keep track of. The straightforwardness and relatively fast pace of the story are what make it seem intimidating. Because everything moves smoothly along without any standstill, it feels like we are being fooled-like there is something much greater that we just can't seem to grasp. As a first-time viewer, I knew from its reputation that there must be *something* that separates this movie from all the others; something buried within its simple plotline that everybody else has seen, but that I just could not seem to get a handle on. And then, during those final frames, that something was revealed, and it all began to make sense. To me, it was these moments of confusion and uncertainty followed by a sense of enlightenment and appreciation that made watching CITIZEN KANE such a meaningful experience.

    But no matter how great of a movie CITIZEN KANE really is, it can never live up to one's expectations. Although I do feel that it is deserving of its acclamation, the constant exposure to its six decades worth of hype and praise will invariably set most modern viewers' standards at a height that is virtually unreachable--even if it really *is* the best movie of all time.
  • Mr_Hulot13 August 2002
    The march of time...
    Citizen Kane is majestic, elegant and noble. It begins at the end, we see a man of obvious wealth and power breathe his last, and then the mysteries of his life are unraveled via a series of anecdotes, barely remembered scenes and highly subjective memories. The boldness of this approach cannot be overemphasized. At the time that this film was made Hollywood was for the most part used to creating straight-forward stories with clearly identified heroes and villains. Kane dared to present Man as he is, rife with confusions, internal contradictions and uncertainty.

    As the film progressed, we see Kane, loosely based on William Randolph Hearst, the famous newspaper tycoon slowly sacrifice his ideals in order to build his financial empire, losing his friendships with those who believed in him until ultimately he looses everything he has, his marriage, his friends, and his integrity. Though he is the richest man in the world he lives his remaining isolated in his privately built mountain estate where he has surrounded himself with material pleasures, alone and despairing, one senses that he welcomes death. The film takes the view that wealth and power are inherently destructive of human values. Kane himself states `If I hadn't been born rich I might have been a really great man.

    What is so masterful about Kane is its ambiguity. We never are certain if Kane really did believe in the values that he professed. At the same time that he sets himself up as above the world, he longs for the affection of the common people. This is symbolized by his exploitative, and patronizing love for a chorus girl, Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore). Her character is given a paper-thin characterization, the only obvious flaw in a nearly perfect movie.

    Orson Wells gives a bravura performance as Kane, both identifying with and condemning the man. This film was his first venture into movie making after the infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast that threw America into an uproar. Wells, a child prodigy, had a background in Shakespearian theater, offering modernized adaptations of the Classics, a bold and unusual gesture at the time. He brought that kind of sweeping tragic romantic sensibility to his first film.

    Unconstrained by Hollywood's traditions, he broke all the rules. The deep focus photography that gives Kane its theatrical look was one of his innovations. A mastery of sound, gained from years of working in the radio was another. Kane is an avalanche of technical innovation, unmatched in any other Hollywood film.

    Despite the film's pessimistic outlook, it is studded by moments of joy, beauty and emotional truth. The supporting cast of characters, most of them regulars from Wells' Mercury Theater are also superb. Joseph Cotton is memorable as Jed Leland Kane's close friend who believes in him more then he does. And Everet Slone is wonderful as Kane's would be mentor Mr. Bernstien.

    So many scenes in this movie linger forever in the memory, one is left with a stirring vision of the frailty of the human condition, the film gives us no easy answers and while being fiercely critical of many of it's characters is universal in it's compassion and sympathy, this is perhaps the most vital ingredient for great art.

    Kane was one of the most controversial films ever made. Hearst, offended by his portrayal, offered RKO a small fortune to destroy the film. When that didn't work his newspapers embarked on a campaign of defamation against Wells, thus proving that the film's criticism of the power and corruption of the press were precisely on target. Wells was never given a free hand to direct how he liked again and American Cinema was deprived of the one of the greatest geniuses to adopt it as a medium of self-expression.

    It's influence, was immediate, incalculable and mostly unacknowledged, the film was a box office and critical failure due to Hearst's efforts and it was not until years later that this film got the respect it deserved. Nowadays there is not one living film director of serious artistic intent that has not been deeply influenced by Citizen Kane. It's not just a masterpiece it's a creative touchstone.

    Of course there were other talents at work in making Kane, Hermann Mankiewicz's efforts on the script were indispensable and Bernard Hermann, the composer most famous for working with Hitchcock provided the films beautiful music. Still, the film remains most obviously the work of Orson Wells, a veritable hall of mirrors reflecting the great artist's dreams, obsessions and fears. Citizen Kane is not just one of the great works of cinema it is one of the greatest artistic creations of the century
  • ELLE S.A.31 August 2006
    10/10
    why did Citizen Kane create such an impact upon its first release?
    Well as a media student myself , i have come across this question many times in books and during lectures. There are simply 3 reasons the film, which was considered as the "Mona Lisa of all films" , created such a legendary appeal upon release in 1941: 1) This was Orson Welles first cinematic debut , even though he had been a huge star in theater , he was given an opportunity few first time directors were permitted to having. He had full artistic freedom and above all power, to direct , produce, write and even star in his own picture. Therefore the film industry and RKO pictures had absolutely no influence in the making of the film and were not to know what was happening on set .Of course this was bound to generate a number of problems as businessmen were curious about the nature and plot of the film , which takes us to the second reason the film caused controversy.

    2)One of the main reasons the film posed contentions was because the main character , Charles Foster Kane(Orson Welles), featured a range of similarities with real media mogul and newspaper journalist William Randolph Hurst . Therefore the film was seen as depicting the life , problems and personal relationships of a real person thus fictionalizing his life. Some of the similarities between the two persona's are:

    KANE: newspaper tycoon , worked for New York Inquirer , known as the Kubla Khan of Xanadu ,married talentless singer Susan Alexander Kane, he was a political aspirant to presidency by campaigning for governor, bought his wife the Municipal Opera House, Financier Thatcher, and threat Getty's. Hurst: yellow journalist , worked for New York Journal, political aspirant to presidency by becoming governor, married acress Marion Davies, bought his wife Cosmopolitan Pictures, financier JP Morgan , and threat Tammany Hall.

    -differences: Susan Alexander Kane( Dorothy Comingdore) leaves Kane later in their life however there was no marriage breakdown for Hurst and Marion.

    3) The last reason and most pivotal of all to why the film was regarded the way it was , was due to its technical and stylistic innovations . The film upon its release was misunderstood and unappreciated by critics as they couldn't comprehend many of its elements and were too concerned with its dark and mysterious nature which is one of Welles's characteristics in his films. The film after all was 20 years ahead of its time and was only regarded as a triumphant success upon its second release after the American Film Noir era in the 1950's. His most prominent artistic inventions were: -the low angled camera movements -extreme facial closeups -long uninterrupted shots -chiaroscuro lighting -overlapping dialogue , giving a realistic effect to conversations -subjective camera angles -deep focus shots and depth of field -flashbacks that make up most of the film All the above and more constitute to why the film is so influential to all would be film directors and for why many people regard it as the best film of all time. Lastly we musnt forget the exceptional score by Bernard Herrmann who had collaborated also with the best known director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock , and made him the chillin sounds of strings in Psycho and Vertigo to name a few . In addition the superb photography of Gregg Toland in regards to Welles's unique eye on details. After all he wanted to put in each shot everything the human eye can see if they were present.

    There are many areas of the film which are crucial , these are some of the most important , and as you can see there is never too little or too much that you can add to this masterpiece .
  • gobosox21 April 2004
    7/10
    See it for what it is
    OK look, let me settle something between those who love and hate this film. A lot of people hail this film because it is technically brilliant and ground breaking. Director Orson Welles did a lot of things visually that no one had ever done before. Nearly every film maker was in some way influenced by this movie. This movie also had a great impact in its time. The title character was based on media giant William Randolph Hearst. He was that generations Donald Trump. He opposed this film so much he did everything in its power to stop its release and almost succeeded. Lastly this film contains some of the strongest and most common themes in literature; Life versus death. It is for these reasons why this film is so revered.

    On the contrary people who hate this film mainly complain that it is boring. Which is a legitimate complaint. The story is slow compared to today's standards, and there is no real Hearst character alive today in which to relate. So yes, the story on the surface is outdated. However, this does not make it a bad movie. It was not made as a Matrix/Star Wars type of movie which can be enjoyed even at surface level. This is not pure entertainment. Remember there is more to film than storytelling. This film was designed to be cinematically beautiful and to tell a basic story of love and redemption. There is much more to the story than the thinly veiled attack on Hearst, one just needs to look deeper. Look at Shakespeare or Hawthorne for example, their literary works are universally loved. Yet, many people blow them off because they refuse to look past the outdated language into the beautiful prose and simple ubiquitous themes. Just because something is outdated does not mean it lacks worth in today's world.

    My advice to those who did not like it the first time or have not seen it yet is simple. Watch it again for what it is. Do not expect to be on the edge of your seat for two hours. Watch it for the cinematography that alone makes this film among the best (I don't agree with AFI's number one ranking but I think it still ranks high). Look deeper into the story and try to connect with it on some level. At the very least appreciate how influential this film was and where the industry would be without it. If you can do this, then maybe some of the naysayers will change their minds. Again, you do not have to love Citizen Kane, but at least respect it for what it is.
  • fronteraIX7 February 2005
    tough sledding
    Warning: Spoilers
    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.
  • TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews21 October 2004
    10/10
    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
  • Alexandrspyr17 March 2015
    4/10
    Rate According To Your True Feelings.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, this title is a classic and we can all agree that it has been critically acclaimed by many to be a masterpiece. This movie pops up in so many lists of the greatest movies of all time that watching it at least once in your lifetime becomes a must. So I prepared myself for at the least a good movie. Is it a good movie? Well, yes and no.

    See, it depends on why you are watching movies in the first place and where you derive pleasure from. For me watching movies is a way of entertainment and enjoyment, I want to have fun, I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to think, I want to be engaged, I want to guess what is going to happen, I want characters that I can relate to and be attached to. Now all those things don't mean that I want MINDLESS fun,I do prefer intelligent plot with great characters and development but I want the movie to incorporate entertainment value as well. Citizen Kane was a character study, it was like an assignment for my university where I had to critically evaluate the title to get a good grade.

    Yes, cinematography was amazing and to think it was a movie from 1941 it is just jaw dropping. Yes, the character of Kane was complex and it was a good character study. Yes, the symbolic nature of "Rosebud" and what it represents was brilliantly done, especially when we see that Kane's romantic life with his women was screwed up. But all those things are meaningless to me when I don't enjoy the movie and I am ready to die from boredom. I literally forced myself to not fall asleep, all the time I was thinking "There must be something wrong with me, this is the greatest film of all time. Get your sh*t together, wake up and pay attention. This is awesome, right?". At some points I even thought that I must be stupid for not liking this film, but if people choose to name me stupid I don't care, at least I am honest with my feelings. What matters is that I consider myself to be fairly intelligent and I didn't see the appeal of this movie unless you are watching this for critical purposes.

    Now why this movie is in the top 250 and is considered a classic? That's probably because of the technical aspects of the movie and in this sense it might be a masterpiece, but I just can't see people enjoying this so much to have it so highly rated because of the entertainment factor.
  • b_havag2 February 2009
    7/10
    Why?
    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
  • DaveTheNovelist (WriterDave)5 May 2008
    8/10
    All That Ballyhoo!
    On the Criterion Collection DVD of Orson Welles' classic "Citizen Kane" there is an original theatrical trailer where Welles cleverly advertises the film by introducing us to the cast including the chorus girls, whom he refers to as some nice ballyhoo. That pretty much sums up my opinion of the often over analyzed film that always shows up at the top of the list of greatest films ever made. Even though this was the first time I sat down to watch the film as a whole, I knew everything about it from studying it in film class and from the countless number of essays, homages, and parodies that have come down the pike over the years. It seems impossible now to judge the film against a blank slate, but with great ballyhoo comes great scrutiny.

    Released in 1941 by RKO as a Mercury Theater Production, "Citizen Kane" is the tale of an influential and shockingly wealthy newspaper tycoon (Welles) inspired by the life of William Randolph Hearst. The story follows the investigation into the origins of "Rosebud"-the mysterious word Kane utters on his deathbed. Following newsreel footage announcing Kane's death, we are then thrust into a series of flashbacks through interviews with various people who knew Kane that reveal the nature of his character.

    From a technical standpoint, Welles' film is as innovative and engrossing today as it was yesterday. Every single piece of cinematic trickery, every dissolve, every long tracking shot, every seamless edit, every play with chronology, every special effect is perfect. Welles was audacious and inventive with his art, and it is for these technical aspects that "Citizen Kane" will always stand the test of time.

    However, the story of "Citizen Kane" remains cold and distant. I didn't instantly connect with the characters and the plot the way I did with other classics from the period like "Casablanca" or "The Third Man" or even more recently, "There Will Be Blood." Often, the supporting players over-act, and the flashbacks are tedious (especially the one detailing Kane's second marriage) or emotionless (like the scene showing Kane's snow covered childhood). There's a certain smug arrogance to the whole production that makes it seem like perhaps Welles was secretly making a comedy. It leaves one wondering how it would've come across had Welles actually been allowed to do a straight up biopic of Hearst.

    Is it any wonder that so many critics today hail this as THE all time great? Much of today's cinema is geared towards style and technique over substance, and way back in 1941, Welles was the first to author this very modern brand of cinema where the art is not in the story but how it is told and shown to the audience. His "Citizen Kane" is technically rich, layered, and enthralling but narratively vapid. Did I ever really care about Kane or Rosebud? No, but it was fascinating to watch. It's some very nice ballyhoo indeed.
  • Jem Odewahn9 February 2007
    10/10
    A textbook I would have liked to study in school...
    Warning: Spoilers
    Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE (1941)was perhaps the first American film since the silent era to fully demonstrate the possibilities of the film medium, and the role of the camera. Welles' camera is mobile, no longer the static device used to merely show faces, and Toland's deep-focus cinematography revolutionary. Welles tinkers with traditional filmic narrative conventions to craft a work that is now often termed a 'textbook' of the cinema.

    Welles himself plays Kane in a remarkable acting performance that requires him to age progressively (which Welles does very convincingly) over the decades. Welles draws significant parallels between Kane and media mogul William Hearst in a statement that probes wealth, power figures and what we perceive as 'truth'.

    Kane is presented to the audience as an enigma- we never do get a full-bodied portrait of the man, only snippets of highly subjective memories from those who say they "knew him". In the newsreel, a montage of images that details Kane's life and eventual decline, a variety of viewpoints are established. He could be both a Fascist and a Communist- a megalomaniac manipulating power to his advantage or, indeed, being manipulated himself. It is ironic that the true meaning of 'Rosebud' is never discovered by the on-screen reporters, just as the true essence of the man Kane is never fully revealed to the audience. What is Kane searching for? Is it the untouched youth and innocence symbolized in 'Rosebud', or something he himself is not aware of?

    Kane is never truly sympathetic, yet he is wholly fascinating. He seems to lament the status and power that wealth has given him ("If I hadn't been very rich than I may have been a very great man"), then buys another load of cold statues and ornaments. His cruel treatment of second wife Susan Alexander in his insistence that she train as an opera singer suggest his unwavering persistence, and unwillingness to accept defeat. Kane is willing to stand alone ("I am Charles Foster Kane!") yet seems to crave a filler to his loneliness ("I know too many people. I guess we're both lonely"). Kane is ultimately indefinable; a jigsaw puzzle that both Susan and the audience struggle to piece together into anything whole or real.

    Welles used actors from his Mercury Theatre to populate this story of greed, corruption and vanity. Friend and close confidant Joseph Cotten becomes friend and observer Jebediah, who is a witness to Kane's slide into moral decay. Dorothy Cormingmore portrays Susan Alexander, a thinly veiled take on Hearst's real-life mistress Marion Davies. She possesses a similar honking Bronx whine and limited talent in her master's chosen area of success (For Davies this was dramatic roles in films; her talent lay in comedy). Distinguished actors Moorehead, Sanford and Sloane also feature in support.

    One aspect that is perhaps ignored in favor of focusing on the technical innovations is the truly amazing screenplay, one which offers just as many quotable snippets of dialogue as a 'CASABLANCA' or 'ALL ABOUT EVE'. Welles' understanding of the soundtrack is often overlooked. A memorable scene involves a bored Susan Alexander whining to Kane that she "never gets any fun" because they "live in a castle". The visual portrait is fascinating, with Alexander perched on a seat as a princess, complete with tiara in her hair. The echo of her words and Kane's mechanical replies in the huge, yet empty, room speaks volumes for Welles' understanding of the film as a sum of all parts. Here, the sum adds up to perfect- direction, acting, writing, photography and music.

    The imposing, haunting Xanadu is similar to Hitchcock's Manderlay in REBECCA (filmed the previous year) in that the mansion operates as a both a character and a symbol of the protagonist. Kane's half-finished palace seems to come the closest to suggesting his character- grandiose, larger than life, powerful...yet strangely empty and unfulfilled.
  • Murtaza Ali24 April 2009
    10/10
    Citizen Welles
    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.
  • Tobias_R16 August 2006
    10/10
    The Role of Sheer Chance in Life
    Warning: Spoilers
    One commentator made the original point that Kane may have uttered "Rosebud" as his dying word not because he was nostalgic about his childhood but rather as a symbol of sheer chance in affecting and changing his life. As the commentator pointed out, Kane would never have met Susan Alexander, his mistress and later his second wife, if he hadn't been at a warehouse looking over things from his childhood home. If Kane hadn't met Susan, his life would have turned out quite differently. Indeed, if one looks carefully at the childhood scenes of Kane's life, one would see little that Kane, as an adult, would be nostalgic about. There are strong suggestions his father beat him and that, however caring about Kane's welfare his mother was, she seemed emotionally cold and distant. Indeed, Kane's association of his sled Rosebed with the role of chance in his life would be reinforced by the fact that he was interrupted playing on Rosebud and told by his mother and Mr. Thatcher about the radically different turn his life was taking from that of a poor boy to a quite wealthy one really overnight. Indeed, by subtly showing the decisive role of chance in Kane's life, the filmmakers were undermining the powerful American myth of the self-made man. Hard work didn't make Kane's fortune, it was the result of his mother inheriting the title to a mine thought to be worthless but wasn't.
  • ackstasis12 February 2007
    9/10
    "I don't think any word can explain a man's life"
    Warning: Spoilers
    Orson Welles' debut feature 'Citizen Kane' stands as one of the twentieth century's most revered films, and, indeed, the title of "The Greatest Film Of All Time" has often been bestowed upon it, from as early as Sight and Sound's 1962 rankings, when it indefinitely dethroned De Sica's 'Bicycle Thieves (1948).' After two viewings, I can't say that I find it to be the greatest film of all time, but any work with such a label would find it extremely difficult to live up to impossible expectations. Having said that, however, 'Citizen Kane' is nothing short of masterful. In 1939, in an unprecedented studio contract, RKO offered young prodigy Welles, fresh from his success on the stage and the radio, a two-picture contract with full artistic control (a promise that ultimately wasn't kept). Borrowing elements from the lives of tycoons Robert McCormick, Howard Hughes, and Joseph Pulitzer, but especially American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, Welles and fellow screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz weaved together the tragic story of Charles Foster Kane, poignantly highlighting the inescapable shortfalls of American Dream.

    Charlie Kane (Welles) rises from humble beginnings to become one of the most famous and powerful people in America. At a very young age, Kane's mother inherits a gold mine and becomes suddenly wealthy, sending away her son to live with Walter Parks Thatcher (George Coulouris), his mother's banker. Proving something of a disappointment for Mr. Thatcher, Kane shows little aspirations for success until the age of twenty-six, when he decides to head the 'Inquirer,' for the simple reason that he "thinks it would be fun to run a newspaper." Kane eventually becomes rich and powerful through publishing "yellow journalism," which, though frowned upon by most critics, proves immensely profitable. Decades later, after two unsuccessful marriages and a failed bid for public office, Kane sits alone in his massive, unfinished Xanadu mansion (the most massive, impersonal and even sinister abode ever to grace the silver screen), pining for the lost innocence of his childhood. This is the story of a tragic life, and the ultimate testament that money can't buy happiness.

    The most remarkable thing about 'Citizen Kane' is its narrative structure. The film opens with Kane's death. As the image fades into a large "NO TREPASSING" sign on the gate of Kane's vast and lonely dwelling, we progressively cut to images closer and closer to his house, witnessing the enormity of Kane's wealth, and yet all his riches seem to be in disrepair. A lone lit window stands eerily amidst the snow, before the light inexplicably goes out, the figure hunched within suddenly plunged into darkness. We see Charles Foster Kane's withered hand clasping at a snow-globe, and his lips utter the mystifying words, "Rosebud." With a sudden crash, the snow-globe slips from Kane's hand and shatters on the floor. A maidservant enters the room and covers the dead man's body with a blanket. Following his death, the producer of a newsreel about Kane asks a reporter, Jerry Thompson (William Alland), to uncover the significance behind Kane's final words, a well-meaning but rather naive attempt to encapsulate a man's entire life in a simple seven-letter name.

    A criticism often levelled at 'Citizen Kane' is that it feels less like a warm, involving biopic than a formal masterclass in film-making technique. It's true that Welles was exploring largely unmapped cinematic territory at the time, and there's a certain sense of experimentation about the film. Mankiewicz and Welles constructed the screenplay as a series of fragmented, non-chronological flashbacks, each sequence filling in the missing parts of Kane's life, sometimes even showing the same event from differing perspectives. Greg Toland's elaborate cinematography makes unprecedented use of deep focus, in which everything in the frame – foreground, background and anything in between – is constantly held in sharp focus; the end result is a film that feels far more dynamic and "animate" than anything preceding the French New Wave. All innovation aside, anybody who suggests that the life of Charles Foster Kane is somehow uninvolving really needs to revisit the film; Welles pours his heart and soul into portraying the arrogant, tormented and ultimately lonely millionaire, and it's uncanny how the director's own tragic career drew clear parallels with that of his most memorable character.
  • marolita_718 November 2011
    7/10
    Best sleep of my life !
    OK so you've watched the movie and saw that its terrible and wanted to see what other people think or you're reading reviews before you watch it and you find people giving it 10 stars for the saw called amazing "cinematography" well its not only you who hated this movie i hate it too as well as many others this movie is completely dull and boring !!! I wasted 2 hours of my life, i read reviews before i watched it and saw that some people hated it, i slept when i came to watch it the first time so i said maybe i was tired that day but i gotta admit i slept really good while the movie was still running. Next day i thought that i maybe should watch it again but it was still boring i mean how more pathetic can a movie be !! This movie should never be on the top !! It should be on top of the IMDb's Bottom 100 list !! I regret watching this movie, if you haven't watched it yet i advice you NOT to watch it ! its PATHETIC !
  • Lechuguilla29 June 2008
    6/10
    Wonderful Cinematography
    If ever there was a film that I had a love-hate relationship with, "Citizen Kane" is surely it. Some of the non-script elements are as good as what one would find in any other film. Yet, the story of Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), an early twentieth century newspaper tycoon is terribly dated and painfully boring.

    The film's B&W cinematography is arguably the best in film history. DP Gregg Toland uses high-contrast lighting and murky shadows to create a wonderfully noir look and feel. And in some scenes bright back-lighting puts foreground characters in stark silhouette, creating an authoritarian and oppressive tone to the story. This is true especially in the film's first thirty minutes. Throughout the film, frame compositions are clever and interesting, like one scene in the second half wherein a woman, with her back to the camera, blares out an operatic aria on stage to an audience that we viewers cannot see, amid murky, shadowy lighting; it's like something from a nightmare.

    And the film's visuals are laced with strange optical illusions, as a result of Welles' use of deep focus camera techniques. In one scene, for example, background windows appear normal in size relative to characters in the foreground. But when a character walks back to the windows, we see that the windows are actually much larger and higher than first appeared, and that renders the character small, by comparison. The same optical effects show up in the Great Hall of Xanadu, with a fireplace that appears average in size, until a character walks back to it; at which point the fireplace is seen in its true size; it's so big and high as to overwhelm the human figure.

    Sound effects amplify these optical effects. For example, in the Great Hall, the cavernous, mostly empty, room strongly echoes human sounds, creating the impression of some huge, dark cave. The whole feel is one of oppression and death. Just terrific.

    But the film's story, about a corpulent newspaper tycoon, is so dated as to be largely irrelevant in the twenty first century. Kane starts out with noble intent to help the lower classes. But over time he changes. And throughout, he is egotistical, overbearing, bombastic, loud, and generally too full of himself. His only real belief is in himself. He is fond of possessions, but is emotionally empty. In addition to an unlikeable protagonist, the script's dialogue is very talky.

    The film's acting is generally quite good. I particularly liked the performances of Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, and Agnes Moorehead. Special effects are good too and, when combined with lots of stock footage, create the visual illusion of a cinematic epic.

    Some viewers love this film; others loathe it. I love the cinematography and sound effects, but loathe the story. "Citizen Kane" should have won several Oscars, including especially cinematography. That it did not has caused Hollywood endless guilt, and to compensate, they routinely vote the film as "the number one greatest film in history".

    But it does not deserve that lofty title. Hollywood needs to give the film several postmortem, but well deserved, Oscars, especially for B&W cinematography. Then, they need to let go of the guilt.
  • Carma Simonsen31 January 2008
    3/10
    an over-rated movie
    For the life of me, I have tried hard to understand how and why this movie could possibly be considered the #1 film in the first 100 years of American film-making. The first time I tried to watch it, I got a few minutes and hated it; I couldn't make myself care. I tried again, because it's a "classic" made by a "genius", and I sincerely wanted to understand how it could possibly be voted higher than Casablanca.

    It is boring and noisy and the makeup is horrible. I will never understand why this movie was voted #1. I wouldn't even put it in the top 100.

    It has failed in every way a film can fail. I don't care about the protagonist. I find it cliché, obnoxious and dull. Perhaps in its day it was fresh, but it doesn't stand the test of time the way Casablanca does.

    I don't care what anyone else says about this movie; in my opinion, it is the worst thing a movie can be: boring. I will never force myself to watch it again.
  • Nazi_Fighter_David11 August 2005
    10/10
    Innovative, aggressive, and fascinating, "Citizen Kane" electrified a complacent industry…
    Warning: Spoilers
    "Citizen Kane" was a dazzling movie debut for Welles, a twenty-four-year-old infant terrible whose brilliant work for stage and radio had already made him famous…

    RKO had given him carte blanche, and with the collaboration of writer Herman Mankiewicz and photographer Gregg Toland, he had produced a masterpiece…

    "Citizen Kane" is the story of Charles Foster Kane, a rich young man who decides to build a newspaper empire and in doing so sacrifices his professed high ideals on the altar of yellow journalism… His personal, political ambitions are ruined when his extramarital liaison with a young singer becomes public knowledge and his efforts to make her an international opera star bring him nothing but ridicule… Having alienated his friends and wives and lost a good part of his fortune, Kane spends his last years alone in the enormous art-filled palace he has had created in Florida…

    Told primarily in flashbacks, the film begins with Kane's death: after dropping a paperweight that simulates a snowfall when it is turned upside down, the old man whispers a single word, "Rosebud," and dies… Immediately a strident Mach-of-Time newsreel begins, reviewing the highlights of Kane's career as the camera had recorded them over the years… It is, however, an unsatisfactory record of a man's life, and a group of journalists decide to probe deeper in an attempt to discover the truth about Kane… Perhaps, they speculate, the word "Rosebud" offers a clue... Then ensues a series of interviews with the key people in Kane's life, each of whom relates the man's story as he or she knew it...

    The portrait that eventually emerges is one of a grasping, vain, selfish, and ambitious man... "He never gave you anything," an old friend recalls bitterly, "he just left you a tip." In the film's final moments, workmen in Kane's palace are seen destroying unwanted junk… One of the items they toss into the furnace is a child's sled; as it burns, the word "Rosebud" can be seen painted on it…

    The story of Charles Foster Kane is engrossing but not particularly profound… The movie is a superb piece of film-making, nonetheless, because the techniques employed, although not necessarily new, had never before been used together to such startling effect… Welles and Toland made brilliant use of deep-focus photography and of an arsenal of lighting effects…

    In the course of the film, flashbulbs pop, spotlights play, the sun's rays pour down into darkened rooms, beams of light are emitted by a movie projector, lightning flashes, and smoke, fog shadows, rain, and snow all contribute to the almost tangible atmosphere… Quick, dramatic cuts occur throughout… In one famous sequence, Welles employs six fast scenes to portray the disintegration of Kane's first marriage: each shot shows Kane and his wife at the breakfast table, but in each they are clearly more estranged until, in the final shot, they sit in silence as she reads a rival newspaper…

    Toland's constantly moving camera is somewhat obtrusive, but it is nevertheless mesmerizing… In the famous sequence at the opera house—the occasion of the second Mrs. Kane's disastrous debut—the camera shows the anguished vocal coach in the conductor's box and then moves upward to the flies, where one stagehand expresses his critical opinion of the performance by holding his nose… Welles' use of sound, ranging from thunder to a cockatoo's screech, reflects his experience in radio…

    There had never been a picture like "Citizen Kane." It openly satirized a wealthy and powerful living American, it deliberately antagonized Hollywood's ruling elite, and it bravely ignored conventional cinema technique… Innovative, aggressive, and fascinating, "Citizen Kane" electrified a complacent industry… Welles dominated Kane… He had become, in a single stroke, the most admired, envied, praised and detested man in Hollywood… Unhappily, the movie industry never learned to utilize Welles' quixotic genius, and his career never rescaled the heights it had reached in 1941…
  • dataconflossmoor30 October 2006
    10/10
    Childhood Ultimately makes the Determination
    More movie review lists have awarded "Citizen Kane" the honor of being the best film ever made than any other film whatsoever..Deservedly so!! Why?... The superb character portrayals... Charles Foster Kane (based on William Randolph Hearst) was a character which sparked a lot of controversy in the movie industry back in 1941!! This film did not even win best picture that year, that award was given to "How Green was My Valley". Reluctance to allow a film like "Citizen Kane" to be released, evoked a formidable indication that people had a perception of the silver screen as the purveyor of the stilted panacea which provided glossy entertainment for the movie audience!! The ugly depiction of abhorrent human nature that "Citizen Kane" so succinctly illustrated, left a scar on the manufactured illusions of movies during this era!! So many film's entertainment agenda during the '30's and '40's were fortified by high budget fantasy!! These illusions orchestrated a premise of escapism that the moviegoers grew accustomed to!! (Wizard of Oz is a stellar example)...Nevertheless, "Citizen Kane" hit the big screen, and from there, received unprecedented critical acclaim!!

    What was the attraction?.... Charles Foster Kane was a neglected and irascible man who concocted a myriad of avoidable vulnerabilities in his life. His childhood became a pitfall of doom and despair which left an indelible mark on him!! His empathy for the working class people inevitably translated to his perception of them as chattel, and that he must be the ameliorated recipient of their gratitude!! His fame and fortune was predicated on the idea that the banal proletariat be relegated to the pathetic plight of a marketable commodity!! So many concepts were avant-gard in this movie, this is why they were widely unacceptable!! Concepts such as: The life of a corporate mogul being the culprit to making Charles Foster Kane fall prey to vanity and social entitlement!! He became a victim of megalomania, this was his ultimate downfall!! The dark human emotions and vindictiveness of politicians seeking election and/or re-election manifested themselves through very authentic reactions from the characters in this film!! The perennial egocentric demeanor which afflicted Charles Foster Kane throughout the entire movie, signified a pejorative compassion which was totally self centered!!!

    The character portrayal of Charles Foster Kane by Orson Wells was outstanding..Genuine feelings that were related to selfishness and avarice in this movie simply astounded me!! People have to consider the year this movie was made (1941) to fully appreciate the ideas which were thrown out at the movie audience!! No matter how reprehensible Charles Foster Kane was, he was also NEWS!!! This will always be the way of the world!! This newspaper king wound up being utterly thwarted by a form of convoluted justice!!! Leaving a largess of artwork behind, merely pointed out to everyone that his priorities purported a horrid arrogance!! The onus was on the movie audience to get acquainted with the despicable aspects of negative emotional qualities that Charles Foster Kane masqueraded around like coveted trophies!! Ultimately, his childhood put a lethal spin on his adverse reactions to everything, and played a significant role in this movie!! I strongly recommend to anyone who is interested in movies, that they see this film!! "Godfather" "Shawshank Redemption" "Lord of the Rings" (Fellowship of the Ring) and "Gold Rush" have all been selected as the greatest movie ever made by one critic's list or another, but, not nearly as often as "Citizen Kane" though!!! "Citizen Kane" is an absolutely remarkable movie!!
  • AphroditeVenus9 July 2007
    1/10
    The Great Cinema Swindle
    I know why you're reading this. You're smart, you have great taste, a passion for cinema, and you see CK near the top of every 'Great Movie' list ever compiled. So with great anticipation you borrow a DVD copy and sit down for a real treat, and... you can't get through the first half hour. You fall asleep.

    Surprised, you think, 'It must be me, maybe I'm tired,' so a month later, you try again. But you don't even get as far as before, and wake up drooling out the corner of your mouth as a bloated Orson Welles, with really bad age make-up, groans 'Rosebud, Rosebud'.

    It doesn't make sense. You're perplexed. You've watched other films on the lists... Casablanca made you stand up and cheer, cry, laugh, feel connected to all humanity. You even adore films on the list that some might consider oblique, like 8 1/2, which you reckon reinvented cinema language, weaving in and out of memory, dreams, psyche, reality, putting the human spirit up on the screen, making you cheer, laugh, and feel connected to all humanity.

    So why does CK leave you so cold? You wonder, 'What's wrong with me? Am I stupid or something?'

    Your borrowed DVD copy gathers dust (notice how the lender never asks for it back?), taunting your unquiet mind: "You must watch me: I'm the greatest film of all time!" But you shudder at the thought. Life's too short and, after all, there's more engaging things to do - like scraping plaque off the dog's teeth.

    Years pass. Finally, you can take it no longer. You think, 'To be a serious film lover I MUST watch Citizen Kane! Maybe I was too immature before - yes, that must be it!' So you gird your loins and sit - awake! - through the whole thing. The whole turgid, ponderous, dull, vacuous, plodding, dank catastrophe. It's even worse than you feared. An emotionally and intellectually empty story. Your average six year old can invent a more complex, engaging tale.

    Genuinely puzzled, you ask people who name it as one of the greatest films of all time why they like it, and with barely concealed superiority that phoneys are wont to adopt, they wax lyrical talk about the haunting mystery of the final words, "Rosebud, rosebud". You notice there's no feeling behind what they say. They also talk a great deal about Gregg Toland's cinematography, with liberal references to "deep focus", and you appreciate this, you really do, the cinematography was damned fine, best thing about the movie. That shot which started outside the window then tracked back into the room was really cool. But you just don't believe a movie is made great by cinematography alone.

    In all your inquiries, you never once hear the following phrase, spoken from the heart: "God, I love that film".

    So here you find yourself, reading IMDb comments.

    Well, let me tell you this: There's Nothing Wrong With You! You Are Right! It's Overrated Flashy Unintelligent Rubbish!

    One day, perhaps (one can but dream), the coolest, greatest, most admired film being in the world will point out the bleeding obvious nakedness of this bloated Emperor, and the assorted film critics, film studies teachers, and others who need to be told what to think by an authority figure, shall squirm, and CK shall drop off the lists once and for all.

    Until that great day, don't be afraid to speak the truth.
  • meggs21217 November 2003
    an example of a unique and well done movie
    The movie Citizen Kane was loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst. The movie begins with the death of Charles Foster Kane, who was the editor of the New York Journal. He says the name rosebud and drops a crystal ball, which falls to the ground a shatters. News clips are shown about the different occurrences in Kane's life depicting how Kane acquired his fortune. Throughout the whole movie reporters are trying to figure out what the word rosebud meant and why it was the last word he said before he died. The reporters find people who knew Kane throughout his life trying to get information from them that would put some sense to Kane saying `rosebud' as his last word. Many of the stories told by the people interviewed show the audience a lot about his life through flashbacks. One of the opening scenes is that of Kane's mansion called Xanadu. It has a sign that says `no trespassing' that is hung from the outside gate. The shot is very dark and gloomy, hinting that maybe Kane's life was the same way. He was a very power-hungry man that went from being at the top to rock bottom. Many other movies have definitely taken note to style and effects of this movie. The camera work, lighting, acting a music contributed to making Citizen Kane one of the best American movies of all time. Orson Welles deserves all the credit that he receives from this movie. He was the leading character, producer and director; basically a one man show that still many of us appreciate. I thought that this movie was well done. It had so much symbolism that made the movie unique, although if you didn't know what was symbolic during the different scenes it would be hard to follow, but most of the symbolism is easily recognized. One of the best symbolic scenes that also foreshadows is when Kane is at the top of the stairs and he is told that he lost his position and as he walks down the stairs the camera is shooting from at the top and it looks like a spiral showing that Kane's life and career are out of control. Citizen Kane was very dramatic and all who took part in the movie played their roles well. The characters seemed very real and believable making this movie very memorable. This film has features that every movie should try to incorporate; symbolism, great actors, interesting storyline, excellent camera shots, lighting and sound techniques. I think everyone should see this movie at least once in their life time because it is one of the greatest American movies of all time.
  • guy_r5 May 2004
    1/10
    Tried it, just can't take it!
    I have tried to watch this movie 3 times. Each time I promise myself that I will watch it through to see all the facinating camera angles and light shading. I want to see the last ten minutes of the film and be awed and amazed as I realize that Rosebud is something extraordinary. I want to recognize Mr. Wells' genius, daring, and inventivness. I want to feel the passion, emptiness, and all the other powerful emotions that the actors and "unique" cinematography portray in this movie.

    I have not been able to make it yet. This is the single most boring hard to watch movie that I have ever tried to watch. I can usually watch about any movie at least once, but not this one.

    I don't need exciting special effects, car chases, shoot outs, or sex scenes to keep me interested. I just need the movie to be interesting. This film is not interesting to me. I love history and I watch many older movies and I appreciate most of them for what they are, and in the time frame that they were made. But this one is just very hard to watch. If you have to have a college professor,(who himself has had to read a book about it to understand it) explain a movie to you so that you can appreciate it, then I'm sorry folks but then it just "ain't good".

    I have enjoyed thousands of movies, and I have disliked many also, but very few have I never been able to finish watching and this is one of them.
  • bartvanbenthem8 November 2005
    9/10
    Most important movie ever made
    Kane "Citizen Kane" (1941) was Orson Welles' film debut, and in it he created an enduring masterpiece that is considered by many to be the greatest movie ever made.

    Story:

    Shortly after "Citizen Kane" opens, we see aged newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane (Welles) softly drawl the word "Rosebud" and die. Sensing that there's a story behind Kane's dying word, a magazine editor shows a reporter a newsreel obituary that chronicles how Kane created a business empire, married a U.S. President's niece, ran unsuccessfully for Governor of New York, divorced his first wife and married a second, collected art, built a fabulous estate called Xanadu, and divorced his second wife. The reporter is then assigned the task of ferreting out the significance of "Rosebud." As the reporter's investigation progresses, fascinating details about Kane emerge.

    My opinion:

    Citizen kane is maybe for a lot of people (myselve not included) not a real entertaining movie, But there is no doubt about it that aws one of the most important movies ever made.

    The visual style of "Citizen Kane" looks stunningly fresh and inventive even today, and the unconventional narrative structure of the Oscar-winning screenplay still seems daring. Welles' portrayal of a character who gradually ages from 25 to old age is unexcelled, and the movie's supporting cast, most of whom had worked previously with Welles on stage and radio productions, is superb. In short, everything came together in "Citizen Kane" to make it one of the greatest character studies ever captured on film.

    Citizen kane is also one of my favorites and is listed in my top 5 of all time: 9.5 / 10 Masterpiece !!!
  • QulkSiLvR19 July 2001
    10/10
    Undoubtedly the greatest American film ever created.
    Citizen Kane, the film, is many things. It is a brilliantly crafted series of flashbacks and remembrances. It is an engaging story of a dynamic man in a dynamic world. It is a remarkable statement for the wide range of time periods that it covers. It is a deceptively simple story centering on perhaps the most meaningful word in all of moviedom. Behind all that, Citizen Kane is the American cinema. There is not a major director today who has not been influenced by the genius Orson Welles put forth in his debut masterpiece. The film centers around a group of reporters investigating the origin of the dying newspaper tycoon (loosely based on William Randolph Hearst), Charles Foster Kane's last word: Rosebud. The movie begins with an unforgettable newsreel montage summarizing the man's life.

    From there on, the viewer is thrown into a gloriously chaotic world of flashbacks upon flashbacks, in which the viewer slowly learns just about everything about Charles Foster Kane's enthralling life. From his trying childhood to his rise to power to the pinnacle of his success to his marital difficulties to his fall from grace, the story of Charles Foster Kane is presented for the viewer in a way that few other movies can offer: magically. Citizen Kane, undeniably, is THE triumph of the American cinema, and one of the greatest films every created.
  • Amym-2413 October 2009
    9/10
    A Good Film to Watch.
    Warning: Spoilers
    It's important for all people to explore the world and pursue their dreams and goals for themselves. It's important for people to be happy with their lives and not force people to help them become successful. Money, greed, and selfishness don't bring happiness to someone that was forced to get into a career at an early age or of any age at all. It's important for a person to enjoy their childhood while looking ahead towards a brighter, happy future.

    The actor's portrayal of Kane and his colleagues was shown very well throughout the film. The juxtaposition of the flashbacks and the present time research of Kane's life were used well and made the plot flow through fast and easy for the viewers to understand what was happening in the film. The news reel and the voice narration of providing the back story of Kane's life and death was effective to set up the main idea that the viewers are going to see and find more information about Kane's life and what the meaning of the last word that Kane said at his deathbed was all about. The use of framing and cinematography was used well throughout the film. The lighting on the back of the actors and the front of the actors was really dramatic, sharp in focus in the depth of field, and kept people guessing what was going on inside their minds and the emotions that they're feeling at the present time as Kane and the reporter are searching for success. In other scenes, the use of lighting was soft and sometimes balanced through the film. The double exposures in some parts of the film were used well.

    Overall, it's a good film to watch. It has a great moral story that everybody should follow in their lives.
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