Write descriptive essay about Citizen Kane movie 1941, write an essay of at least 500 words on Citizen Kane, 5 paragraph essay on Citizen Kane, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Citizen Kane
Year:
1941
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.4
Director:
Orson Welles
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
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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Reviews
An Expert On What People Will Think
The problem with writing about a film like Citizen Kane is that with 809 previous comments on the boards here, there is little that hasn't been said already. The best you can do is not look at any others and express your own thoughts your own way.

I've always felt the real reason that William Randolph Hearst so bitterly resented Orson Welles's masterpiece is that it got really too close to his own soul for him to be easy. Most folks who talk about Citizen Kane go for the obvious target, Welles's depiction of Marion Davies (Susan Alexander) as a no talent gold digger. In fact Welles himself in later years said he thought he was unfair to Davies then in Dorothy Comingore's performance.

What Welles showed in Charles Foster Kane was the insincerity of his beliefs. The key line in Citizen Kane I've always thought was what Joseph Cotten said that his friend Charlie Kane had a lot of opinions, but didn't believe any of them. To this day serious biographers of Hearst still wonder exactly what he did believe when the day was done.

Citizen Kane came up with a host of Oscar nominations, but only took home one award for original screenplay for Welles and Herman Mankiewicz. Original it certainly was in concept and execution.

The role that was written by Welles and Mankiewicz and directed by Welles for Welles is one of the greatest roles ever written for any film actor. The technique of Citizen Kane is always discussed, the flashbacks told from many points of view for the audience to get a grasp of what the title character was all about. What's not discussed is Welles himself.

What he does in fact is give several performances of the same man in one film. Welles reinterprets Kane five or six times depending on whose flashback we're seeing. He's a scared child being taken from his parents, he's a rich frat boy and incorrigible scamp as seen by George Couloris the J.P. Morgan like banker, he's an idealist and crusader as seen by his business manager Everette Sloane, a man with no core set of beliefs who will do anything to bend the public to approval by his closest and maybe his only real friend Joseph Cotten, a lonely man with a compulsion for real love by Dorothy Comingore, and as an aging tyrant by butler Paul Stewart. Welles makes every one of these Kanes come alive and each relates to the other.

The names of all those I've mentioned in the cast before were from Welles's Mercury Theater Company, nearly all went on to substantial movie careers. Others from the cast who did are Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, and Erskine Sanford. I don't think any other film comes close to introducing so many talented players to the screen.

The film begins with the aged Kane's death and that single word 'Rosebud' which sends everyone scrambling to find out just what he had on his mind in his final moments on earth. Those searching never do find out, but you the audience does and the unveiling of Charles Foster Kane's inner soul is something once seen and never forgotten.
2007-04-25
The man can not be explained in one word, but...
The fascinating mystery drama, the most ambitious and boldest debut film, with time he got labeled as one of the best and most innovative. I will not engage in, nor even parody comparisons. I am only interested in the "rosebud". The relentless pursuit of power, empathy and proving are not the essence. Things that no one pays attention are the essence. CITIZEN KANE is a dramatic and narrative masterpiece. The work in which all details of biographical mosaic of one man. A man who is after all a "big" except in being true to himself. The man can not be explained in one word, but to man one word can mean almost anything.

The press magnate's only means of stories through which the director demonstrates extremely fresh, innovative and secure access, skillfully guiding the story and the actors, playing with light and shadow, deep personnel and other plans, and creating a whole that attracts maturity. I am delighted by the fact that each average viewer of the film can compose and reconstruct the story of the main character as he wants. The man and the emergence in society. Not many people will find some sort of fund, mainly to raising story to a multitude of disagreements, search and conflict. Man until deep talk with himself will not be able to talk to the world.

Although Kane is incredibly rich and powerful, failing to take advantage of this wealth and power in order to win the election for governor, to promote his second wife as an opera star, or have the love and loyalty of those who surround him. At the end is shown as a lonely old man, imprisoned in his castle, ornate palace which was built to satisfy his ego. His precious things can not replace the emotional loss to the in your life.

The acting is pretty good. I think that . Joseph Cotten (Jedediah Leland), garnered the sympathy of the majority.

Kane is people generally was good fun. Loneliness, visible at the end of the film fulfills the main character throughout his life.
2016-06-02
All That Ballyhoo!
On the Criterion Collection DVD of Orson Welles' classic "Citizen Kane" there is an original theatrical trailer where Welles cleverly advertises the film by introducing us to the cast including the chorus girls, whom he refers to as some nice ballyhoo. That pretty much sums up my opinion of the often over analyzed film that always shows up at the top of the list of greatest films ever made. Even though this was the first time I sat down to watch the film as a whole, I knew everything about it from studying it in film class and from the countless number of essays, homages, and parodies that have come down the pike over the years. It seems impossible now to judge the film against a blank slate, but with great ballyhoo comes great scrutiny.

Released in 1941 by RKO as a Mercury Theater Production, "Citizen Kane" is the tale of an influential and shockingly wealthy newspaper tycoon (Welles) inspired by the life of William Randolph Hearst. The story follows the investigation into the origins of "Rosebud"-the mysterious word Kane utters on his deathbed. Following newsreel footage announcing Kane's death, we are then thrust into a series of flashbacks through interviews with various people who knew Kane that reveal the nature of his character.

From a technical standpoint, Welles' film is as innovative and engrossing today as it was yesterday. Every single piece of cinematic trickery, every dissolve, every long tracking shot, every seamless edit, every play with chronology, every special effect is perfect. Welles was audacious and inventive with his art, and it is for these technical aspects that "Citizen Kane" will always stand the test of time.

However, the story of "Citizen Kane" remains cold and distant. I didn't instantly connect with the characters and the plot the way I did with other classics from the period like "Casablanca" or "The Third Man" or even more recently, "There Will Be Blood." Often, the supporting players over-act, and the flashbacks are tedious (especially the one detailing Kane's second marriage) or emotionless (like the scene showing Kane's snow covered childhood). There's a certain smug arrogance to the whole production that makes it seem like perhaps Welles was secretly making a comedy. It leaves one wondering how it would've come across had Welles actually been allowed to do a straight up biopic of Hearst.

Is it any wonder that so many critics today hail this as THE all time great? Much of today's cinema is geared towards style and technique over substance, and way back in 1941, Welles was the first to author this very modern brand of cinema where the art is not in the story but how it is told and shown to the audience. His "Citizen Kane" is technically rich, layered, and enthralling but narratively vapid. Did I ever really care about Kane or Rosebud? No, but it was fascinating to watch. It's some very nice ballyhoo indeed.
2008-05-05
Citizen Kane (5/5)
"Citizen Kane" has often been called the greatest film in cinematic history, and with good reason: it is a stroke of genius on the part of Orson Welles. He was only 25 when he directed this film, and yet he pioneered some of the most amazing cinematography and production techniques of his day or any other. At a first glance, "Kane" is a rather simple story: a young boy, Charles Foster Kane (played wonderfully by Orson Welles) inherits a large fortune and winds up dying alone and unhappy--his last words being the infamous "rosebud." Although it seems like a rather cut and dry endeavor, it is so much more than that, mainly because the film is done in flashbacks.

We begin with Kane's death and then move backwards and forwards through his life, in an attempt to find out what "rosebud" means. This is brilliant editing on Welles part; he takes a simple story and creates a complex mesh. Through these many flashbacks we slowly but surely begin to learn of Kane and those around him, and this creates quite the portrait. Welles almost always shoots Kane and other strong characters from a low angle, making them appear lager than life--this especially aids in the character development of Kane. Before this film, using camera angles in such a way was scarcely heard of, but here we see a new technique:Welles shows us that angles can do more than just make a movie look"pretty."

Another fascinating technique Welles employs for character development is set design. Whenever Kane is present, it seems that the ceilings are lower, for examples one should look at Kane's publishing house, and some of the rooms in his mansion. This further demonstrates Kane's massive size and power, and at the same time higher ceilings are used when more inferior characters are used. For example, a newspaper reporter interested in solving the mystery of rosebud, is first shown in a great hall looking at some old records and memoirs belonging to Kane's old guardian, Mr. Thatcher. Because of this we recognize that this reporter is not important, but rather only secondary. Also, Kane's second wife is often sitting in the largest rooms the Kane mansion, which makes her look rather small.

However, the best example of how Welles uses set pieces to enforce Kane's power is when he is running for governor. Here, Kane makes a speech to a very large crowd, and behind him is a mammoth picture of himself. Of course, what is also amazing about this scene is that Welles discovers a new technique called deep focus: he is able to simultaneously keep the large picture and Kane in focus, giving the illusion of depth. After this speech Kane is all set to win the governor's race, but through a twist of some dirty politics, he looses, and soon after, his first wife leaves him. Of course, to anyone paying attention this comes as no surprise--we know there has been distance between Kane and his wife for quite some time. However, we do not receive this information through dialog but rather through Welles brilliance use of subtlety. Welles shows us several scenes of the couple sitting together and having breakfast. Each breakfast encounter comes and goes with great speed leading into a dissolve which then takes us to another breakfast meal. We see the couple slightly bickering, but the way Welles shoots the scene it looks as though they are still eating breakfast right next to each other, which does not usually indicate tension. However, the last frame of this breakfast montage shows a wide shot of the couple, and we see them sitting at a much bigger table then they were first sitting at, and they are also sitting directly opposed to each other. This part of the film tells us a wealth of information, and all because of a set piece (a table), the clever use of editing, and the camera placement. No other film maker before or since this movie has used these technical aspects to flesh out so many details, not only about the characters, but about the story.

The amazing thing about Welles is how much information he is able to convey using subtlety and some simple yet poignant dialogs. Welles does not hit the viewer in the face with his film like so many movies in this day and age (i.e. anything done by Michael Bay), but instead he opts for letting the audience come to their own conclusions. And when I had mulled over this film, the conclusion I came to was rather depressing: Charles Foster Kane had all the money and power in the world but this could not buy him love, and like most of us, he never comes to realize that simple fact, which in the end left him bitter and lonely. Thinking about all of this was rather heart wrenching, but what really drove it home was when I came to discover the meaning of "rosebud": it was one of Kane's childhood toys. That to me is most upsetting of all: the only time Kane was ever truly happy was when he was a child--when he was free from his wealth.

Kane could have said or thought of anything in the world on his deathbed, but instead he chose to reflect on his short-lived childhood. Now if that doesn't get you misty eyed, not much else will. I recommend "Citizen Kane" to any mature person looking for a deep and intricate film, in which there is much more than there first appears. However, it is probably wise to watch the movie twice, in order to discover all the little and large things Orson Welles so masterfully paints on his canvas of celluloid. All and all I give "Citizen Kane": 5 out of 5 stars.

Copyright 2006 Imaginist
2006-02-18
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.

10/10
2006-03-11
Tried it, just can't take it!
I have tried to watch this movie 3 times. Each time I promise myself that I will watch it through to see all the facinating camera angles and light shading. I want to see the last ten minutes of the film and be awed and amazed as I realize that Rosebud is something extraordinary. I want to recognize Mr. Wells' genius, daring, and inventivness. I want to feel the passion, emptiness, and all the other powerful emotions that the actors and "unique" cinematography portray in this movie.

I have not been able to make it yet. This is the single most boring hard to watch movie that I have ever tried to watch. I can usually watch about any movie at least once, but not this one.

I don't need exciting special effects, car chases, shoot outs, or sex scenes to keep me interested. I just need the movie to be interesting. This film is not interesting to me. I love history and I watch many older movies and I appreciate most of them for what they are, and in the time frame that they were made. But this one is just very hard to watch. If you have to have a college professor,(who himself has had to read a book about it to understand it) explain a movie to you so that you can appreciate it, then I'm sorry folks but then it just "ain't good".

I have enjoyed thousands of movies, and I have disliked many also, but very few have I never been able to finish watching and this is one of them.

2004-05-05
The Title MAKES it Important Enough!
I was troubled by a lot of aspects of the AFI's 1998 list, but Citizen Kane wasn't one of them; it thoroughly deserved the #1 spot. A magnificent story regarding the search for contentment and happiness among the squalor of cold material things. Kane's search is a paradox in itself; his happiness lies in a single material object - Rosebud - which represents his innocence and carefree happiness of childhood. The irony is that the other material objects he procures in this search only hinder his efforts. Welles' dramatic effects and his symbolic method of storytelling would make Melville proud; he always notes who is in shadow, what music is playing where, what position his characters are in, etc. The best ever.
1998-08-11
why did Citizen Kane create such an impact upon its first release?
Well as a media student myself , i have come across this question many times in books and during lectures. There are simply 3 reasons the film, which was considered as the "Mona Lisa of all films" , created such a legendary appeal upon release in 1941: 1) This was Orson Welles first cinematic debut , even though he had been a huge star in theater , he was given an opportunity few first time directors were permitted to having. He had full artistic freedom and above all power, to direct , produce, write and even star in his own picture. Therefore the film industry and RKO pictures had absolutely no influence in the making of the film and were not to know what was happening on set .Of course this was bound to generate a number of problems as businessmen were curious about the nature and plot of the film , which takes us to the second reason the film caused controversy.

2)One of the main reasons the film posed contentions was because the main character , Charles Foster Kane(Orson Welles), featured a range of similarities with real media mogul and newspaper journalist William Randolph Hurst . Therefore the film was seen as depicting the life , problems and personal relationships of a real person thus fictionalizing his life. Some of the similarities between the two persona's are:

KANE: newspaper tycoon , worked for New York Inquirer , known as the Kubla Khan of Xanadu ,married talentless singer Susan Alexander Kane, he was a political aspirant to presidency by campaigning for governor, bought his wife the Municipal Opera House, Financier Thatcher, and threat Getty's. Hurst: yellow journalist , worked for New York Journal, political aspirant to presidency by becoming governor, married acress Marion Davies, bought his wife Cosmopolitan Pictures, financier JP Morgan , and threat Tammany Hall.

-differences: Susan Alexander Kane( Dorothy Comingdore) leaves Kane later in their life however there was no marriage breakdown for Hurst and Marion.

3) The last reason and most pivotal of all to why the film was regarded the way it was , was due to its technical and stylistic innovations . The film upon its release was misunderstood and unappreciated by critics as they couldn't comprehend many of its elements and were too concerned with its dark and mysterious nature which is one of Welles's characteristics in his films. The film after all was 20 years ahead of its time and was only regarded as a triumphant success upon its second release after the American Film Noir era in the 1950's. His most prominent artistic inventions were: -the low angled camera movements -extreme facial closeups -long uninterrupted shots -chiaroscuro lighting -overlapping dialogue , giving a realistic effect to conversations -subjective camera angles -deep focus shots and depth of field -flashbacks that make up most of the film All the above and more constitute to why the film is so influential to all would be film directors and for why many people regard it as the best film of all time. Lastly we musnt forget the exceptional score by Bernard Herrmann who had collaborated also with the best known director of all time, Alfred Hitchcock , and made him the chillin sounds of strings in Psycho and Vertigo to name a few . In addition the superb photography of Gregg Toland in regards to Welles's unique eye on details. After all he wanted to put in each shot everything the human eye can see if they were present.

There are many areas of the film which are crucial , these are some of the most important , and as you can see there is never too little or too much that you can add to this masterpiece .
2006-08-31
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 answers.how

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.
2011-10-08
Terrible
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.
2009-01-01
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