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Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)

308 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Ben Cramer, Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, William Alland, Thomas Anderson
  • Directors: Orson Welles, Michael Epstein, Thomas Lennon
  • Writers: Richard Ben Cramer, Orson Welles, Herman J. Mankiewicz, John Houseman, Mollie Kent
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Sept. 25 2001
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CX9E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,929 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special


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.”


Disc One
Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton
Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton
  • 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
Disc Two
  • 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
Disc Three
  • 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
Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane
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.

--This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 4 2007
Format: DVD
Up until recently I had never seen Citizen Kane in toto.I had seen bits of it here and there in arts classes and on TV.After watching this movie and reflecting I can only envision one man that could ever had played this part to perfection and that was Orson Welles himself.This movie is as much autobiographical as it is biographical,that is there is as much Welles in this picture as Hearst.From what little I have read on both subjects over the years it is amazing how much these two men had in common in real life in their personalities and their subsequent dealings in whatever concerns were of most importance to them at any given moment.It was almost art imitating life imitating art.
But in 1941 both came together in one glorious time which would never be repeated.The picture earned Welles and company I believe around 10 OSCARS(if memory serves) of which only one was issued denying Welles his just due.Hearst had won the battle but in the end Welles won the war.
On further reflection another thing that very much jumped out at me as I viewed this film was the cinematograpy.The camera work was phenomenal.The lighting,the angles and the placement of shots added totally to the entire feel and execution of this picture.
And another aspect that I noticed was the editing.Of course as Welles controlled just about every aspect of the picture this,I would assume,could also be laid at his feet.But take for example a scene which involves Kane and his first wife.It lasts about five minutes in all but it shows them sitting at either end of a large table.Through several dissolves we see Kane and his wife going from a newly happily married couple to two distant and cold individuals.Brilliantly done.
Technically this picture has been cleaned to perfection.It is a fine transfer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Beusch on June 23 2004
Format: DVD
So many of the films that critics unanimously pick as the greatest of all time are overrated, confusing, ponderous, overly symbolic art pieces that leave viewers scratching their heads. The collective reaction is, "What in the hell was the director smoking?" Arty camera work and tons of symbolism and metaphors can never take the place of good acting, solid direction and, most importantly, a good script.
Much has been made of Citizen Kane's technical brilliance -- Welles' use of overlapping conversations, Gregg Toland's deep focus photography, set design that incorporates ceilings, etc. However, none of this would really mean anything if the film didn't have a great story and screenplay. Citizen Kane may be a triumph in filmmaking technique, but it is also a deeply engrossing story with characters we can relate to and sympathize with. Welles' Kane is a selfish, unhappy, overly controlling dictator who has everything and yet still manages to make himself more and more unhappy. Most of us know the feeling of not appreciating someone or something good in our lives until he/she/it is gone. We see the promise and idealism in Kane's early life, like him and believe, as Joseph Cotten's Jed Leland does, that Kane is a great man who can do so much good in society. As Kane's life progresses, however, he becomes more and more bitter, alienates everyone who cares about him and dies alone, longing for the simplicity of his early life before he became wealthy. When Kane, as an old man, loses control when his second wife Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore) leaves him, we can't help but feel for him -- even though most or all of his unhappiness is his fault. That the audience feels such empathy for such a flawed character is Citizen Kane's greatest triumph and is the true basis for Kane's reputation as one of the greatest films of all time.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By DML on July 10 2004
Format: DVD
Can you imagine what the perception of RKO was at the time they made this decision? Let's see, how about we give complete control of a major film to a twenty five year old radio voice with zero film experience (whose claim to fame was scaring the life out of the public with a fake story about aliens landing on earth) and even better, let him staff the movie with actors who have little to no screen experience. On top of that, we'll let it become one of the most controversial pictures of its time because it mirrors the life of one of the biggest names in America today. Why, it may never be able to be released because of the lawsuits-- Great idea!
I have just described Citizen Kane. All of the above is true, which makes the fact that it is possibly the greatest film in American Film History even more amazing. Everything is perfect. The script (which Welles co-wrote), the actors (all relative unknowns except Welles and Joseph Cotton), the special effects (listen to Roger Ebert's Commentary on this special edition for details) and finally, the makeup-- You won't believe how great a job they do making 25 year old Welles look 60.
As for the story, it's done in a most interesting fashion. Charles Foster Kane (Welles) dies at the very beginning of the movie and utters his famous last word "Rosebud". A reporter is given the task of finding out just what that one word meant. So he goes and interviews all the people who knew Kane to try to learn the meaning of the word. In the process, we are shown Kane through the eyes of those who knew him. We never see Kane through his own eyes, always what his former associates saw.
This is interesting, because Kane is a tragic figure as seen by just about everyone. He is unhappy and lonely. We as an audience eventually learn the meaning of Rosebud.
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