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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AFI got this one right
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...
Published on July 10 2004 by David M. Lovin

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy this Version
Don't buy this version of Citizen Kane. 1.) Two of the DVDs come stacked on top of each other, something Warner Brothers (the makers of the regular and collector's version) highly do not recommend. 2.) Hairline cracks: my first copy came with hairline cracks in the feature disc and with severe cracks in one of the supplemental discs; my second copy came with hairline...
Published on June 4 2004


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AFI got this one right, July 10 2004
By 
David M. Lovin (Willow Spring, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. I have read reviews that complain that the movie is about this one thing (I won't reveal what it is). But long before we learn the identity of Rosebud, the film has made its point. What is the point? My opinion is that the film shows us basically the worthlessness and despair of materialism. Loving "stuff" or money will ultimately lead to unhappiness.
By the way, this movie almost was never seen. The man I spoke of at the beginning of the review is William Randolph Hearst, former newspaper magnate. He saw too much of himself in the film and sued to squash it. Fortunately he lost. The second disc in the set is a two hour documentary on this topic. It is also excellent and well worth a viewing.
One last thing. Although this movie has been ranked on the AFI list as number one American movie of all time, it did NOT win Best Picture in 1941. That film? "How Green was my Valley"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Citizen Kane-nobody could have played it but Welles-, Nov. 4 2007
By 
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.There are two discs here,one has the movie along with clips from the original trailer and opening night,a short interview with a co-star and two different commentaries.The second contains a special which(again) I only saw part of a few years back on PBS called:"The Battle for Citizen Kane",which was part of the American Experience series.You will notice that this disc alone is for sale so it is worth every penny to be included in this set.
All in all I highly recommend this set to everyone.I have really no complaints in any department.While I don't think this is THE greatest movie ever made,I do believe it is one of the most important and best ever done.And when you compare it to some of the best works ever to come out of any film producing nation in the world it is no small praise indeed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO AMBERSONS FOR CANADA?, Aug. 31 2011
By 
BARRT "Mahleraddict" (Victoria, B.C. CANADA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I contacted Amazon.ca, and it appears that the DVD of "The Magnificent Ambersons" will NOT be available to Canadians as an extra with the Blu Ray set of "Citizen Kane". "Citizen Kane" rates 5 stars. Warner Bros. rates one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good for it's value, Jan. 10 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The movie itself is worth watching. now with blue-ray it looks way better than SD version. Great cinematography it's worth buying if you like to see details.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, May 16 2014
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Great movie, nice to own in BD format, excellent picture and sound!
An all time classic movie to have in the collection
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, Dec 31 2013
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This review is from: Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The whole volume presented everything needed to enjoy all the détails concerning the "making of". I appreciated the DVD with the complete story.
Has to be seen by every movie fan
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy this Version, June 4 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Citizen Kane [Import] (DVD)
Don't buy this version of Citizen Kane. 1.) Two of the DVDs come stacked on top of each other, something Warner Brothers (the makers of the regular and collector's version) highly do not recommend. 2.) Hairline cracks: my first copy came with hairline cracks in the feature disc and with severe cracks in one of the supplemental discs; my second copy came with hairline cracks in one of the supplemental discs; again Warner Brothers themselves warned me not to play a disc with hairline cracks. 3.) Within 5 minutes of buying this version the glue on the box failed and it started to fall apart.
I thought the problem was with Warner Brothers, but they disowned any connection to the gold version. Save yourself the headache and just get the special edition version and not the Gold.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works on the basic levels as well as artistically, June 23 2004
By 
Michael K. Beusch (San Mateo, California United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mythical movie; the film of films, May 25 2004
By 
Hiram Gomez Pardo (Valencia, Venezuela) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Charles Foster Kane; welcome to Xanadu the biggest fortress ever built. That opening sequence in which we feel inmediatly the presence of the purest sense of the german expressionism, gives us one of the multiple clues who will give Orson Welles, this legend name in the cinema story.
Ths story is told brilliantly for Welles; the way Welles introduces to the world of Kane is through a new who informs us about the death. Warning about this point because Kane will never be telling his life in first person, but through all those knew him in a far or close distance. In this sense Welles, cleverly gives us a huige puzzle that you as viewers must arrange , and thanks to all his countless devices, at the end of the film when you finally discover what Rosebud means , you leave your seat convinced you're a private eye; but rememeber what Welles said once about Rosebud: it just was Freud for one dollar.
And this bitter opinion is due the fact that Rosebud means the iodea of something that never reached the complete process of growing up; a flower who never became the best of itself; I mean this point is remarkable because the sense of unfinishness is what Kane means ; nor more either less.
In fact Kane is a man who had everything he wanted; except just one thing; his stolen youth and the dreams contained in this unique stage of the life; the world needed just before he reached his twenty years old and made from him a man before the time comes.
That's why you can understand his outrageous character; and thanks to The Inquirer he can expand his biological time and in a certain way to try to live his lost years.
When he meets to Marian in that funny water accident; he confess her another clue; both of them are surrounded and involved by the loneliness even they are so distant in his respective social status.
And all his efforts walk in this direction. Remember by instance, the smart answer pronounced by Kane in a very special inflexion point of the story: "I'm all what you hate" .
Kane loves challenging the world, in every little detail; he plays with it and "no matter if he losses one million dollars each year , because he would lose all his fortune in Sixty years".
All his life turns around the sophistication, the greatness and above all to be remembered and loved or hated but never pass away by a sense of indifference. And this is an important issue, because there's a shakesperian mood in this point of view.
How can you translate the shakesperian spirit of glory and trascendence into a raising democatric country and also the new raisng empire of the world.
That impplies all his outrageousness; the expensive parties; the employement of the deepness of field which lets you watch the secondary planes just beside the first; remeber that dramatic sequence in which Welles and Cotten walk in the newspaper room.
The camera works at the floor level; another clever device of Welles; I think he wants to give us the sensation of being in a theatre hall , and in many ways that resource let add much more dramatism to every take.
Greg Tolland made an unfirgettable work behind the camera; because this film demands of you that the images through the travellings , dollies and objective use be another actor in this play.
The monumentality all along his achievements is obviously a consequence of his character; that justifies the fact of trying Marian be the greates prima voice female in the Opera ; (however; in the deep of his soul and his mind he knows she'll never reach that goal; but once more he's challenging the world)
Remember what Oscar Wilde said once: "The difference between a caprice and a passion who remains all the time of one life; is the caprice remains for a longer time" .
This film will be always a must for all the viewers of any age and as well as Bach , Mozart or Beethoven music or the Michelangelo works or Vermeer paintings , due his mythical essence; such its own force for transforming every time you watch them; but the question is Who really transforms: you , the work of both of two?
Orson Welles (1915-1985) still continues being a refernce point for many film makers , great or minors ; and to name his contributions would surpass certainly the permitted limit of this review.
A film is really good, when the camera is an eye in the mind of a poet, undoubtly a wise sentence of Orson Welles.
It's time for all those people who still hadn't watched this movie that literally is a must to make it.
A masterpiece in the widest sense of the word.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get rid of the word "arguably", Aug. 27 2003
By 
D. Weisbord (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
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It seems that every review of this film calls it "arguably the best film of all time." Get rid of the first word and you have it right. Ironically, for all the emphasis on Welles' cinematic breakthroughs here, Kane is Welles' most accessible film - it should have been a populist hit - but was suppressed by William Randolph Hearst. Welles and company are young and appear to be having lots of fun with this. The DVD has exceptional extras as befits a film of this caliber.
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Citizen Kane: 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
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