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Download Citizen Kane 1941 Movie Legally
Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Orson Welles


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Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland
Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander Kane
Agnes Moorehead as Mary Kane
Ruth Warrick as Emily Monroe Norton Kane
Ray Collins as James W. Gettys
Erskine Sanford as Herbert Carter
Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein
William Alland as Jerry Thompson
Paul Stewart as Raymond
George Coulouris as Walter Parks Thatcher
Fortunio Bonanova as Signor Matiste
Gus Schilling as The Headwaiter
Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus as Bertha Anderson
Citizen Kane Storyline: A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world.
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Why the viewers of Citizen Kane are an essential part of the film
Famously in the film Citizen Kane the title character Charles Foster Kane dies in his bed, muttering "Rosebud" and dropping a snow globe, without anybody other than Kane being visible in the room. Yet the whole film is based on the premise that "Rosebud" was Kane's last word and a reporter tries to find out the meaning of the word by interviewing people who knew him. So how could he do this if nobody heard him say the word? Towards the end of the film the butler claims that he was in the room when Kane died. We never saw him in the bedroom but not the whole room was shown to us, so it is very much possible. But why is it that he wasn't shown to us being in the room when Kane died? Given how extremely well thought through the film is it is more than likely that this wasn't only done intentionally, but with a purpose.

The film mostly is told to us (quite literally) from a subjective point of view and through opinions of people who knew Charles Foster Kane. And Kane was a different kind of person depending on who told the story. A main message of the film - so to speak - is that there is no actual picture of a person, there are just many different fragmented pictures of which none are true or false.

In the very first scene of the film we see a sign that says "No Trespassing". This sort of makes us the intruders to Xanadu and to Kane's life. The camera goes through his garden around the castle leading into the castle. So in the beginning we, like, become another one of those subjective witnesses who try to get the "full picture" and who eventually will form an opinion about this person. And to include the viewer into this bunch of unreliable witnesses and to manifest the concept that we are in the same position as all of those characters who told us THEIR story of Kane's life, the viewer obviously (for now) is the only witness to the first act of 'Citizen Kane' and the last chapter of Kane's life. It is this very event that gets the stone rolling. It makes us a witness and now the investigation of Kane's past life can begin.

Now if you think of the interviewer/reporter who asks the people for Kane's story, we mostly see him from behind with the camera looking over his shoulders. Or he is obscured by shadows, a hat and (observating) glasses. Often he simply is off-screen altogether and we apparently are the interviewees' only listeners. The poor man is pretty much faceless. One could say that the interviewer, who never is fleshed out as a character - if you can even call him a character with an own identity - is taking the position of the viewer who witnessed his last word and who wants to find out what it means.

You could look at it as an inside joke by Welles, that the very premise of the film is based on what initially looks like a goof. He waits until the last interview to tell us that the butler was actually in the room to witness the word, and now the film doesn't need us as witnesses anymore. We are done being witnesses, as now we have created our own individual image of Charles Foster Kane in our mind, based on everything we saw and heard. Maybe soon another viewer will trespass the the barriers of Xanadu, wondering who this man was. And this time he will walk up to us and ask us who Charles Foster Kane was, and we will be glad to tell him.
Citizen for all Ages
What do you say about a movie more analysed than is enjoyed, more envied and despised than any other piece of cinema: well documented for its perceived portrayal of William Randolph Hearst, and his efforts to have it destroyed....It has survived and now stands at number one on the AFI's top 100 list, for a movie that didn't even win the Oscar for its year of release.

What can you say about the cinematography and direction and acting, that hasn't already been said? The lighting, the camera angles, the new visual techniques and trick photography used for the first time in an American movie to great effect. Special mention has to go to the acting of a 25 year old Orson Welles, an aspect the least highlighted.

The grand-daddy of the American Soap Opera, it tells the life of Charles Foster Kane, from his humble beginnings, his mother's giving him up to a wealthy guardian, and his building of a newspaper/radio empire. It sees Kane go from an idealistic journalist to a powerful mogul able to manipulate history through his media empire.

Despite all his money and power, Kane is not immune to the hand of destiny, and oh how she slaps Kane the old American way. A married Kane is caught through pure "innocence" with a "singer" and a scandal erupts, costing Kane the state governorship; you can guess the instigator of the scandal-mongering: the incumbent governor.

In the first part of the movie, we see a Kane adored by the public and employees but we don't see the reason why his relationship with his wife deteriorated, shown in a powerful film sequence of spouses drifting apart through the years. In the second part we see his relationship with the "singer" whom he took as his second wife, and how he uses her to try and manipulate public opinion of himself, just as he had used the media empire previously. The only problem is that his second wife isn't as competent as the media empire was in gaining respect or adoration; she is just terrible as an opera singer. But Kane wants to prove to the public that the "singer" who he was caught with, was more than "whore" and that he had the power to shape public opinion; she even told kane that she didn't want to be a singer. It is the cruelest thing any man could have done to another human being; manipulated for his own ends. William Randolph Hearst was said to have been less angry about his own portrayal than that of his mistress, Marion Davies.

The movie broke new grounds for cinema also, in its story-telling: we see first the death of a recluse Kane in his old age, and then there are flashbacks from newsreels and investigations and interviews of reporters piecing together the life of Charles Foster Kane and his dying word "rosebud".

The reporters never found out what his dying word meant, but the audience is shown what it "is". No single word can describe a man's life after all, so what does it mean??? lost childhood innocence and happiness??

This movie bred a bunch of copycats like "The Carpetbaggers" and "Valley of the Dolls", and inspired the great TV soapies like Dallas and Dynasty. Many other movies from different genres have copied and perhpas bettered the camera work and lighting and yet this movie has stood up well through the 60 years from its sheer brilliance and originality.

Despite its greatness, Citizen Kane seems to have taken some victims along the way. At age 25, Orson Welles starred, wrote and directed his masterpiece, but because of various reasons, political, envy, hatred, he was never able to match it. The other victim seems to have been Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander, mirroring the career of Marilyn Monroe who came after her.

A great movie thats stood the test of time. See it for what it is: a fantastic piece of story-telling firstly, only then can you see its greatness.
most important film of the 20th century
the reason this film is so revered is not because it is an outstanding story with awesome special effects and lots of guns n stuff. true, it is to be appreciated for its morals and storytelling, but if you look at how it was filmed and compare it to other movies of and before its time then you can really see just how impressive "Citizen Kane" is. It uses a lot of deep focus, which required a decent amount of skill and was an out-of-the-box thing to do. one indoor scene stands out particularly for its beauty and play with light. the only light coming into the room is natural sunlight streaming in to a dark, smoky room from small windows high on the wall. other scenes were shot from ground level, also an unusual way of filming. "Citizen Kane" is really different, really clever, and and excellent film to watch for those who appreciate more than just an interesting story.
Where do I begin?...
and how do I end a review of this film? Well bear with me while I try.

Why is Citizen Kane a great film and yet so hard to review? Because it is like a big ball of yarn with the ends of many threads sticking out. You can just yank on any thread, start writing, and go on forever. Let me start with its style, which is discussed in great detail in the late Roger Ebert's excellent commentary on the DVD of the film. Its unusual photography, editing, scene transitions, etc. are why it is shown in film school.For example, the lap dissolves in the scene with Joseph Cotten in the old-folks home were very unusual. The scene of Cotten talking dissolves into a flashback scene with Kane, and half-way through the dissolve, we see Cotton on the left side of the screen and the Kane flashback on the right side, and that is held for several seconds. It is a dissolve into a split screen by means of very clever lighting. The lights fade out on the right side of the Cotten scene, and they fade up on the right side of the Kane scene. That technique had never been done before, and I've seen it in only one or two movies made after that.

Then there is the story, the theme of which seems to be uttered by the reporters near the end of the film, as they give up searching for the meaning of Kane's last word - "Rosebud". They say Kane was a man who, though one of the wealthiest men in the world ,lost everything he ever had, even though he died rich. And so the story we have been watching is, on the surface, just that. The final scene showing you Kane's possessions that are considered of no value by auditors being tossed into the flames of an incinerator - one happening to be a sled with the name "Rosebud" on it, the sled Kane was playing on the day he became a rich man - as a child through a quirk of fate.

I used to be in the camp that believed that the snow globe was representational of Kane's nostalgia for his boyhood home and maybe for the sled. I no longer believe his attachment to the piece has anything to do with his pre-wealth youth. I think it reminds him of a time much later than that. That snow globe actually was a possession belonging to Susan Alexander before Kane ever met her, sitting on her dressing table in her small apartment. Kane picked up the globe during his rampage in her bedroom in Xanadu when she left him. Holding that globe abruptly put an end to his destruction of her bedroom. Why? I think it links back to the evening when they met and Alexander had no idea who he was. That night Charles Foster Kane was just a "schoolboy" who could wiggle his ears and do shadow puppets to impress a thoughtful and attractive young lady. This courtship was a period in their relationship that we can assume was not influenced by his money. For that one evening, he wasn't the richest man in the country. No other relationship that Kane had, once he was wrested from his sled as a child, began in that same manner. All the other people surrounding Kane as an adult were near him because of, or with full knowledge of, his wealth and power. Jed Leland was a friend from his college days. Mr. Bernstein was an employee. The first wife, who was met and courted on a buying tour of Europe, would know who Charles Foster Kane was when they met. Only Susan Alexander came into his life completely carefree of his wealth. And she brought with her that snow globe.

While holding the snow globe as he lay dying, Kane isn't thinking about the cabin in Colorado or his sled - even if that is the scene depicted in the snow globe. (What an odd coincidence that she would own a snow globe with a cabin and sled in it when they met. That is a bigger "huh?" than who heard Kane's last words.) Kane is thinking about this very personal artifact that belonged to Susan Alexander, the woman who, in spite of a toothache, offered some kind assistance to a stranger one night long ago.

Why does Kane whisper "Rosebud" on his death bead and not "Susan."? I don't know. Perhaps it is just where his mind wandered while reminiscing about that evening in a young woman's apartment when he was detoured from going to the warehouse that stored the artifacts of his youth.

What are the other threads you could pull on and write paragraphs about? Kane's parents and why his mother did what she did, apparently never seeing her son again once she turned him over to be raised by bankers, somehow seeing this as an act of love. Then there is the issue of memory and how people are not what they seem to be - the apparent sycophant Mr. Bernstein seeming to have a great deal of wisdom and depth in his old age that you would not have foreseen when he was young - he talks about a girl he saw on a ferry 40 years before and how a day hasn't passed that he hasn't thought of her. How Kane liked being "the voice and defender of the masses" but maybe didn't like the idea that maybe someday those masses would organize and demand their rights, as Jed Leland had said on his way out of Kane's life. And on it goes.

I'm sorry if this review is a bit disorganized, but "Citizen Kane" is not linear storytelling, or any other kind that I can identify with one word, yet it is storytelling at its best.
Quite frankly the most intelligent film ever made
Citizen Kane is a marvelous piece of cinema. It transcends all efforts made before and after it. What we have here truly is the great American film. The black and white cinematography is to die for. Kane is by far the most visually appealing film ever made. I find something new in it's shadows with each viewing and it takes a really great film to offer that to a viewer. American movie making really owes it all to Kane. It really is the only film I can think of that fails to break into a sense of monotony.

And of course Welles' performance must be praised. Here we have a twenty six year old man fresh off of a lucrative stage career make a seamless transition into film. To see Charles Foster Kane is to see the perfection of characterization. There are no loose ends with this character he is wrapped perfectly. Of course he is a metaphor for the joys and evils of capitalism. We must ask and why did he become what he did? The great thing about Kane is that it still proposes questions that require

In each viewing of Kane I just think to myself what bias cinema come to? There was a time when motion picture making was a challenge and it meant something. Kane should be studied because it is a perfect film. It gives the viewer something to think about and yet offers dynamic characters. And to think the lobotomized masses of American cinema goers would rather be watching a Transformers film. Now there's a series I would care to forget about. I mean what kind of movie has stupid robots? And that isn't even the problem with those poor excuses for celluloid. Each film in that series is a blood curdling experience. I absolutely hate the parent characters and Shia whatever his name is. The racial stereotypes are offensive and the idea of a Transformer heaven where Shia goes to in the first sequel is beyond ridiculous. I mean come on! And what about that stupid government organization? Really? You expect me to believe that they were able to keep a giant robot within the Hoover dam without nobody knowing about it? Or how about the fact that they actually had the transformer ship crash into the moon? You might infer that some telescope would catch wind of it. And the actor they got to play John Kennedy in the beginning of the film was doing the worst stereotypical Massachusetts accent ever. Transformers is dumbing down America pure and simple. All it exists to do is sell toys to idiot kids. Michael Bay makes millions of dollars while Orson Welles was abandoned by the Hollywood system. Really! It infuriates me.
Yet another movie that people pretend to like just to be like sheep and follow everybody else. The story is terrible and boring. I honestly nearly swallowed my tongue and died when i saw this was in the top 30 movies of all time. Some of the movies it is rated above is just ridiculous. People need to start making their own minds up instead of following others. The Dark Knight was a great movie, but come on people, do you really think its the 3rd best movie of all time. Thats another example of people rating it highly based on other peoples views. Its got nothing on The Shawshank Redemption. I wish they could sometimes re-release movies and erase their history, so everyone can have a blank slate and see what it really gets.
Rate According To Your True Feelings.
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.
AFI #1 but not mine
Peter Griffin of the Family Guy said it best "It was his sled. It was his sled from when he was a kid. There, I just saved you two long boobless hours". Kane was about the only movie I have never been able to finish, maybe I'll try again some day. I can think of many better ways to spend 2 hours like watching the "Godfather" or "Shawshank". I just could not relate to the story. It is about a tycoon who becomes a recluse, it sounds like a good story but it was so long and drawn out I fell asleep and had to stop watching. I was disappointed mainly because the first time AFI came out with the top 100 movies of all time I wanted to see the best of the best. Many of the top 100 films I had seen, many more I hadn't (seen) and a few of the ones I hadn't seen were films in AFI's top ten. "Casablanca" is good I can see that, it is not in my top ten but its good. The "Godfather" is a masterpiece but for all the talk about the "Kane" I was extremely disappointed.
Give Welles due credit as actor
Enough has been said in the comments about the use of lighting, directorial and editing techniques, etc. I love this movie and each time watch it enthralled. The plot moves along brilliantly, and while many of the techniques have been applied by countless filmmakers since, there's still something about seeing the trailblazer in all its glory - especially as it still holds up. But I just want to give Welles due credit for his acting. I think part of the absolute magic and impact of this film is Welles' ability to transmit a sense of someone larger than life in every way. When he's caught up in the chase of a great story - or the creation of it - his intelligence and vision and sheer conniving brilliance emanate from his every gesture and word. He is expansive and dynamic, he was incredibly handsome, and he seemed to burst from the screen when playing the young Kane. The figure of Welles himself creates a powerful internal tension within the film because he lights up an otherwise dark, morose palette. In many ways, his character has nothing to do with Hearst - Welles himself was a force of nature, and in some ways Citizen Kane is a prophetic vision of his own fate in Hollywood. Welles was a great actor, as was his co-star, Joseph Cotton, one of the great understated actors of the screen. Cotton is a perfect foil for Welles - as he is in that other absolute masterpiece (not directed by Orson), "The Third Man" - because he hints at his own uneasy depths which are always being stirred up by Welles, whether as Kane or Harry Lime. I also see the end of Apocalypse Now, with Brando's dark, isolated, ruminating semi-madman as an homage of sorts to Welles alone in Kane's castle at the end of Citizen Kane. The two greatest burn-out male geniuses of the American silver screen, both gorgeous in their time and both expanding into bloated ruins, their "potential" often seen as unrealized - but both perhaps having transcended even those expectations of themselves.
Why don't they make films like this any more?
I recently watched the Oscars, and my mom also told me how it was one of the worst audiences, like it was the 2nd least watched Oscars of this history of the awards. We were talking about what could be the possible problems, in my opinion, the movies that are nominated, people really haven't either heard of or didn't enjoy that much. But in general, movies just don't have the same magic they used too.

Watching Citizen Kane for the first time was a relief for me because I almost forgot that there were terrific movies out there. Citizen Kane is a brilliantly made political drama with terrific acting and excellent cinematography. I almost forgot how amazing the classics can be. I think my favorite part about this film is just how the people never figured out what Kane's last word was before he passed, "Rosebud", meant. I felt like some things should just be left in peace and you'll always have at least one piece of the puzzle missing.

What a terrific and perfect movie that should be watched by all. To those who feel the same way about cinema recently, take a chance to watch one of the classics. I think that's the only way we can just get a good view on Hollywood once again.

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