Citizen Kane (1941) Review


The dying word of “Rosebud” from Charles Foster Kane makes reporters scramble to discover the meaning of it. He was a publishing tycoon and we then get to look at the life he had.


Citizen Kane is often touted and voted the greatest film ever made. Now that makes for a very tough first time viewing doesn’t it! Eventually catching up with this film was never going to be an easy task given the hype and talk surrounding it. I might as well start by saying the film is outstanding because it was released in 1941 and now in 2020 so many of the issues are still evident to this day. Which really shows that people and problems have never changed and will always stay the same. Something that is quite frankly terrifying. Oh how we wish an affair would still end a political career now though as so many countries would have very different leadership!

Charles Foster Kane was an incredibly wealthy newspaper publisher and his death sparks news around the world. Jerry Thompson is a reporter who is tasked with interviewing his friends and family to find out the true meaning behind his final word “Rosebud”. Thompson was not going to have an easy task though starting with Susan Alexander Kane his wife who is now an alcoholic running her own nightclub.

His childhood began in poverty and his mother always tried to protect him, even sending him away to get a better education. Everything would work out with the gold mine discovery on their property something which he would be able to use turning 25 when he was allowed full control over his trust fund. THis is when he gets into the newspaper business and embarks on a tabloid journalism. Now this is where it shows that things have never changed for this type of reporting, looking for sensational headlines that actually have no real story or substance behind it. Tabloid press or yellow journalism as it is known in America is something that has caused so many problems for so many people for years now.

The manner in which the story is told manages to be engaging as it allows us the viewer to feel as though we are Thompson reporting and attempting to find out the truth about Kane. Then you have so many perfect and outstanding shots from start to finish all creating this incredible story.

Public scandal of his affair with Susan while married to Emily is something that ends his political career. Don’t we so wish that this could still happen and be a thing now, when you see the state of so many of our politicians. In both marriages he is not a nice man at all. Baring in mind the things he did with the sensational headlines in the different newspapers.

Orson Welles really was a force to be reckoned with in this film and I have eventually witnessed why so much hype surrounds him as an actor he really is very impressive. Not only taking on the role of Kane but directing it as well, certainly showed that he had a lot of passion for this film something that you can see in his performance.

Eventually able to understand why this film is held in such high regard, not many films from the 40s could easily be remade with exactly the same script in 2020 and still carry the same power and meaning!

2 thoughts on “Citizen Kane (1941) Review

  1. Incredible film. I remember watching it for the first time late at night on a BBC2 airing and it blew me away- I was absolutely shocked by the final revelation regards Rosebud, I just didn’t see that coming, although I was much younger and less jaded back then. There is so much Truth in that film. The bigger tragedy of the film is how Orson Welles never equalled it, and his career (haunted by the fallout from Kane) never lived up to all the promise. We should revere Welles as one of the greatest film-makers of that century with a filmography as large as that of Hitchcock or Spielberg, but it never happened. How much of that was him being destroyed by Hollywood or his own ego I do not know, but whenever I watch Kane I always have a feeling of loss, of what might have/should have been.

    Liked by 1 person

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