The Worst Film Ever
Beautiful, moving film.
Fun premise, good actors, bad writing. This film seemed to have potential at the beginning but it quickly devolves into a trite action film. Ultimately it's very boring.
It's the kind of movie you'll want to see a second time with someone who hasn't seen it yet, to remember what it was like to watch it for the first time.
Citizen Kane was voted the year's best film by the New York Film Critics. Ford narrrowly defeated Welles for Best Director.
Citizen Kane was also honored as Best Film by the National Board of Review, while Orson Welles shared Best Acting with twenty other players - including George Coulouris for Citizen Kane.
Citizen Kane came in number four on the Film Daily's 1941 poll of American film critics (behind Gone With The Wind, Sergeant York and The Philadelphia Story). A large group of international critics polled by Sight and Sound in 1971 were somewhat more generous. They named Citizen Kane as the Best Motion Picture of All Time.
In 1947 author Ferdinand Lundberg sued Welles, Mankiewicz and RKO for copyright infringement, claiming that Citizen Kane was partly based on his biography, "Imperial Hearst". The trial resulted in a hung jury, the case being eventually settled out of court when RKO paid all legal and court costs and a sum of $15,000 to Lundberg.
Shooting: 29 June 1940 to 30 October 1940. French release title: Le Citoyen Kane First shown in Paris: 3 July 1946.COMMENT: It's a while since I've seen Citizen Kane. Must be nearly 5 years. Admittedly, television is not the best way to view the movie - in fact any movie made before 1970 - but beggars can't be gourmets. (I am speaking of course of public television. It would be unthinkable to watch Citizen Kane sprinkled with commercials). This explains why my recent reactions tend to vary. Sometimes I turn off the set at the finish and I think, Oh Lord! What a movie! And I sit alone in the dark for an hour, too ecstatically exhausted to move. Other times I think, Yes a great movie! Marvelous performances all around (all the more impressive when you are reminded in the film's wonderful end credits reprise that most of the principal players "are new to motion pictures") and some absolutely breathtaking scenes, but... Perhaps a little slow in places, perhaps a little too laborious, forced even? Perhaps Joseph Cotten's scenes could be trimmed? The voice of conscience is always a trifle boring, and Cotten is hardly a sparkling player anyway. Such heretical thoughts! I well remember the first time I saw Citizen Kane. Back in 1956 it was. The rights had been sold. An independent cinema in a distant suburb held a farewell screening of the 16mm print. Even in these far from ideal conditions, the film burst over me. It took months to recover from the shock. Citizen Kane was the most exciting movie ever made. Every single frame was an adventure in pictorial tension. It was so innovatively moody, so overpoweringly bizarre, so enthrallingly daring, so fascinatingly credible, who but a genius could have lit its sets, mastered its script and so admirably coaxed its colorful legion of players? First opinions are often the best!
The Movie Diorama
"The greatest film of all time". "The most influential piece of cinema ever". "Orson Welles is the best actor to have ever lived". "Technically flawless". Can we just take the time to appreciate the praise this film has acquired since 1941. It is undeniably rare for a silver screen picture to stand the test of time, but Citizen Kane has. However, the monumental rave for this classic naturally heightened my expectations to astronomical heights. Chronicling the life of the fictitious tycoonist Charles Foster Kane, a journalist attempts to uncover the meaning of his last word "Rosebud". There's so much to admire about Orson Welles. To have the audacity and confidence to direct, produce, co-write and act in his first motion picture is impressive to say the least. His transition from theatre to screen felt seamless. Technically, this film is masterful. Welles' use of lighting to create shadows, symmetry, long takes and innovative tracking shots have clearly influenced many films since its release. The flashback narrative structure was pristinely incorporated to create a cohesive story about a man who slowly becomes corrupted with money and power. Acting was superb, particularly from Welles, considering this was a screen debut for the majority of cast members. There's nothing much I can add that every critic hasn't already raved about. But. I must profess. I personally do not think this is perfect. The story, for me, just didn't keep me engaged consistently. Several scenes dragged on forever to a point where I started becoming distracted by my own surroundings. The showgirl dance scene, Susan's singing rehearsals and even the introduction which simply slowly zooms in on Xanadu. Maybe it's because I'm fairly new to classic films, or maybe I just found Kane to be an uninteresting character. We could all endlessly dissect this piece of art and write a dissertation on how perfect it is, and it is without a doubt technically perfect. But I shan't give it full marks just because every film critic has.
It's more relevant now that media controlling people.
By far the most amazing camera work I've ever seen