Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

Orson Welles (1941)

114min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Acclaimed by critics and film-makers alike, Citizen Kane has topped Sight and Sound's decennial "all-time top ten" since 1962 (and was only toppled in 2012 by Hitchcock's Vertigo). Not bad for the feature film debut of 25-year-old Orson Welles, whose experience up to that point lay in theatre and radio (most of the actors in Kane were colleagues from his Mercury Theatre company), and who claimed his sole preparation was to watch John Ford's Stagecoach 40 times. In fact, Welles considered a movie studio (his contract at the time was with RKO) to be the biggest train set a boy ever had. Unhindered by preconceptions, he proceeded to experiment with sound, camera angles and movement, and deep focus in a way few had even conceived of. Aided by cinematographer Gregg Toland, he brought visual drama to every shot, brilliantly disguising the picture's shoestring budget (it required a record 116 sets). In addition, Welles turned in a magnificent performance as Charles Foster Kane, the press baron whose torrid life was so similar to that of real-life newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst that the latter broke the film at the box office through negative publicity. Utterly unmissable.

Summary

After the death of an influential newspaper magnate, an inquisitive reporter begins piecing together the details of his life, discovering an epic tale of ambition and conflict - all the while trying to discover the meaning behind the millionaire's enigmatic last word. Oscar-winning drama, written, directed by and starring Orson Welles. With Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore and William Alland.

Cast & Crew

Charles Foster Kane Orson Welles
Jedediah Leland/Man in projection room Joseph Cotten
Susan Alexander Kane Dorothy Comingore
Jerry Thompson William Alland
Mary Agnes Moorehead
Mr Bernstein Everett Sloane
Emily Monroe Norton Kane Ruth Warrick
Jim W Gettys Ray Collins
Raymond Paul Stewart
Director Orson Welles
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: BFIAvailable on: video, DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 30 Oct 2009
Drama