Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A to Z Challenge - C is for Charles Foster Kane

Realistically there isn't much choice for letter C than picking the Best Picture nominee* of 1941, Citizen Kane.

*Nominee is only because the Academy made one of the greatest mistakes in the history of motion pictures and awarded the Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley.  A nice film, but no Citizen Kane.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, Citizen Kane is pretty much the best film ever made.  It is a perfect film.  There are very few of them out there, this is one of them and the best.  Every scene is so well done.  The acting is perfect.  The cinematography is perfect.  The script is perfect.  There are so many memorial lines from this movie.  The makeup, the costume design, everything is perfect.

If you have seen this movie you know what I am talking about.  Now, if you have seen Citizen Kane and did not think it was a good movie, not necessarily the best film ever, just flat out think it's a bad movie, you either:

   a) Have horrible taste in movies and don't know anything about what is good;
   b) Have no soul;

There could be the rare circumstance that you may have had to watch the film a la A Clockwork Orange style with toothpicks holding your eyes open.  Or maybe the first time you watched it a motorcycle gang broke into your house, tied you to their bikes, took you on a two day journey with a bag on your head and then barricaded themselves inside a Denny's and got into a violent shootout with the police. If one of these two incidents occurred while watching Citizen Kane, I will accept that you don't like the film.

While the film itself is fictitious, it is rather obvious that he was aping William Randolph Hearst with many of the hidden items in the film.  And some not so hidden, such as the rumors of what Rosebud really meant.  Either way, this film created a firestorm in Hollywood, mostly pushed by Hearst.  And as a result for many years the film was not known.  Years later as it appeared on television it started to gain new life and moved from cult status to American classic.

When people say, "this is a movie you have to see", usually you don't need to see it.  This is one of the exceptions, see this movie.  Watch it again.  While Hollywood wasn't kind to Orson Welles, time has been and over seventy five years later we can still see perfection in movie making.


  1. I am embarrassed to admit that I have not watched this movie but I intent to remedy that right away.

    1. Hope you're not kidnapped and taken to Denny's, because you'll really enjoy it. :-)

  2. This is, rightly, a great masterpiece in film-making. Greg Toland's mastery in cinematography is breathtaking to behold just from that opening scene. I am sorry but personally, it is not my favourite film (It's a Wonderful Life is), but I know why this film receives all the accolades. I always feel bad for Marion Davies who was actually a great comedienne but Hearst often put her in historical flicks.I, too, will not mention what Rosebud actually is....:)