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Teen Movie Critic

Citizen Kane


Roger Davidson

Citizen Kane
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This is Orson Welles' first motion picture and probably his best. Director, writer, producer and star of one of Hollywood's greatest films. The movie follows the rise and corruption of tycoon Charles Foster Kane (a thinly disguised version of William Randolph Hearst). The story of Kane's life is told to a reporter (Mercury theater player William Alland), trying to find out the meaning of Kane's last word "Rosebud". Alland talks to some of Kane's closest friends and family, searching for the truth about his life and times.

Welles made a true masterpiece when he was only 25. Not many people make their masterpieces when they were young. Welles strong performance in the title role is rounded out by a fine supporting cast. Joseph Cotten as Kane's partner, Dorothy Comingore as his floozy wife (based on Hearst mistress, actress Marion Davies), Everett Sloane as Kane's assistant and Agnes Moorehead as Kane's domineering mother. I must not forget the stunning technical achievements: The editing by future director Robert Wise, the use of sound by John Aalberg, the chilling score by Bernard Herrmann, the surrealistic art direction and the excellent black-and-white cinematography from Gregg Toland. True artists all!

Hated and booed when first released, this has become the influence of countless filmakers, actors and cameramen as well as a celebrated film in it's own right. Hearst tried to destroy this amazing piece of work, but it has lived on as the film that could not be killed.

My Rating = Four Stars

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