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22,563 Ratings

Citizen Kane

Directed by Orson Welles
United States, 1941


Citizen Kane, written, produced, directed and played by Orson Welles, follows the rise and fall of a publishing tycoon. The story is told through the research of a newsreel reporter seeking to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate’s final dying word: “Rosebud”.

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Citizen Kane Directed by Orson Welles

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1942 | 8 nominations including: Best Actor in a Leading Role

1942 | Winner: Best Writing, Original Screenplay

National Film Preservation Board

1989 | Winner: National Film Registry

The pictorial variety of the film is, I think, unprecedented. The “News on the March” sequence becomes a virtuoso exercise in all the techniques that the rest of the film won’t be using. For perhaps the first time in history, Welles artificially distresses his staged scenes to make them match archival footage. He adds scratches and light flares.
May 06, 2016
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It is a stylistically shape-shifting masterpiece of cinematic high modernism, and a scandalously gossipy melodrama. It is a Proustian consideration of time and consciousness and a grab-bag of often hilariously quotable lines. It is a story that is about storytelling, especially those we tell about ourselves – from the capitalist Thatcher’s self-important pomposity to Jed Leland’s bitterness to Bernstein’s sagacious ruefulness and regret. It is a tragedy, a comedy, at times a hallucination.
July 20, 2015
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The camera eye that seeks also deforms, sprawling tracking shots and depth of focus side by side with shock cuts and warped vantages and the most astonishingly dissonant of soundscapes, the myth assiduously erected is inevitably dismantled. “I know I’ve played at the game, like a moth in a blue flame, lost in the end just the same…” An endless fountain of inspiration for Resnais, Ruiz, Coppola, Roeg and innumerable others; for Welles, just a beginning.
May 11, 2015
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