Citizen Kane and Orson Welles are, according to director Martin Scorsese, “responsible for inspiring more people to be film directors than anyone else in the history of cinema.”
This classic story of power and the press starring, produced, directed and co-written by then 25-year-old Orson Welles captured nine Academy Award® (1942) nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director, and won for Best Writing and Best Original Screenplay. The American Film Institute (AFI) later chose it as the #1 film of all time.
Welles himself played Charles Foster Kane in a role that spanned the publisher’s life, moving from a boyish, ambitious young man to the embittered recluse he became in later life. Joseph Cotten made an impressive screen debut as Jedidiah Leland, newspaper reporter and Kane’s longtime friend, from whom he had become estranged over the issue of journalistic integrity. Other actors included Everett Sloane, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Paul Stewart and William Alland as the investigative reporter who delves into Kane’s life and his mysterious “Rosebud.”
The legendary Gregg Toland was the film’s cinematographer and Robert Wise, later a two-time Academy Award-winning director, edited the picture.
After remaining out of circulation for many years, in the early 1960s Citizen Kane was selected by a panel of film critics as the greatest film of all time. During the ensuing years, in poll after poll, Citizen Kane has been consistently ranked as the highest embodiment of film art. Said Roger Ebert, “This towering achievement is as fresh, as provoking, as entertaining, as sad, as brilliant, as it ever was. Many agree it is the greatest film of all time.” And one-time dean of American movie reviewers, Pauline Kael, noted, “Citizen Kane is perhaps the one American talking picture that seems as fresh now as the day it opened. It may seem even fresher.”
EXTRAS! EXTRAS! READ ALL ABOUT THEM!
- Orson Welles’ 1941 classic remastered for maximum picture and audio clarity with audio commentaries by Roger Ebert and Peter Bogdanovich
- Opening: World premiere of Citizen Kane vintage featurettes
- Interviews with Ruth Warrick and Robert Wise
- Premiere newsreel gallery of storyboards, rare photos, alternate ad campaigns, studio correspondence, call sheets, and other memorabilia
- Audio-only bonuses: Welles’ Legendary 1938 War of the Worlds Mercury Theatre broadcast and the 1940 Radio Program “H.G. Wells Meets Orson Welles”
- Theatrical trailer
- The 1995 Best Documentary Feature Oscar® Nominee The Battle over Citizen Kane chronicling the clash between Welles, RKO Studios and Publishing Magnate William Randolph Hearst
- The Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-Winning 1999 movie RKO 281
- 48-page book with photos, storyboards and behind-the-scenes info
- 20-page 1941 souvenir program reproduction
- 10 reproductions of studio memos and correspondence
- 5 one-sheet/lobby card reproductions
About The Battle over Citizen Kane
The Battle over Citizen Kane is a two-hour Oscar®-nominated (1995) documentary that chronicles the titanic struggle between filmmaker Orson Welles and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who claimed Citizen Kane was a thinly veiled and slanderous account of his own life. The documentary reveals the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of how Hearst used his formidable power to try to stop production and distribution of the film, and how he ultimately sought to destroy Welles himself.
About RKO 281
The 1999 HBO film, RKO 281 (titled for the production number given to Citizen Kane by RKO), won three Emmys® (with 13 nominations), and the Golden Globe® for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (2000). Directed by Benjamin Ross and written by John Logan, this dramatic depiction of the making of Citizen Kane stars Liev Schreiber as Welles, James Cromwell as William Randolph Hearst, Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies, John Malkovich, Roy Scheider and Brenda Blethyn as Louella Parsons.