Airing on TCM: Wednesday, January 4th @ 12:30 am CT.
Director: Orson Welles
Writer: Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Agnes Moorehead
Studio: RKO Radio Pictures
Release Date: May 1, 1941
Runtime: 119 minutes
The investigation of a publishing tycoon’s dying words reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life.
Smith’s Sentiment: (Excerpts from my review of the film, originally posted on January 2, 2013)… Citizen Kane is widely considered by many to be the greatest film ever made, and it’s certainly noteworthy for a number of reasons. It was the motion picture debut of Orson Welles, already a noted theater performer. Welles starred in, directed, produced, and co-wrote the movie, and as director he brought a number of innovative techniques to the film. The camera angles he used, the way he staged scenes, and the lighting, amongst other things, were all innovative. More importantly it all worked out well…
Is Citizen Kane the “greatest film ever made?” No, I don’t think so. It’s a very good film, great even, but not something I could watch again and again, over and over. The acting is mostly good; Orson Welles gave a fantastic performance as the title character in his first film (in a film career that would span decades) but other performances like Dorothy Comingore’s portrayal of Susan Kane were okay at best.
The directing and cinematography though is all top notch, and that’s saying something since this was really Welles’ directorial debut as well. The story is also a good one (not great), although its saved in the way that it is presented (I particularly enjoyed the beginning and the ending and the mystery of it all). I don’t usually care for movies made up of flashbacks, but in this instance I think the movie is all the better because of it.