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Citizen Kane (1941)

  Directed by: Orson Welles
Written by: Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles
Starring: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles
Links: Citizen Kane on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Citizen Kane (1941) is also mentioned in em_fiction's review of Ed Wood (1994) and mino's review of Erotic Ghost Story (1987).

"He's just one citizen, after all..." - a review by pearly

It's difficult for a film to live up to the kinds of huge expectations that the acclaim for a film like Citizen Kane gives you. Watching this film for the first time in 2006, some 65 years after its release, I was initially puzzled by the kudos.

Citizen Kane is, well, a little dull. They made movies differently back then, and whilst not all of the advancements are necessarily for the best, there are some things which audiences of today just expect in their films. Colour, for example. (It's a stupid example, but I don't care.)

At two hours in length, it seems, while watching it, a lot longer, but as it draws to a close, you start to realise the charm of Citizen Kane. It takes this journey through the life of the man to come right back round full circle, and the payoff makes it worth the effort.

But is it an effort to watch this film? Should a film that's so highly regarded be so hard to watch? Is the legend of Citizen Kane more about the idea behind the film than it is about the film itself? Is there just too much history to this film to wade through?

Well, I don't rightly know. And I'm not really interested in all of that anyway. For me, watching Citizen Kane was not as much of a joy the whole way through as I expected a film of this calibre to be. But once I'd finished watching it, I could see why people love it. The middle sections are, in a very real way, just a means to an end, and there are many modern films which have taken this idea and gone with it - producing films where all you're really doing whilst watching is waiting for the end, to see where all of this is leading. It's groundbreaking stuff, and though I'm not going to shout from the rooftops that it's the best thing ever, I respect what it's doing enough to give it a pretty decent rating.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 23 Mar 2006

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