Orson Welles Citizen KaneAm I the first person to ask what all the fuss is about Citizen Kane? It has been heralded as one of the greatest movies of the 1940s.  I only watched it for the first time this week and I have to say I don’t really get it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly good movie: it has some great acting and a great message about money not making you happy, but I didn’t feel it was really anything special. Is it just me?

This movie is very much the Orson Welles show – it was directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Wells as the title character. It was nominated for 9 Oscars, and won one for Best Screenplay, it also tops numerous polls for the best movie of all time…

The movie centers around a newspaperman’s quest to find the meaning of Kane’s mysterious dying word: Rosebud. We gradually discover his strange life story from his beginnings as a boy from a poor family who was sent away from home to be raised by a bank who then inherits a multi-million-dollar fortune. All things considered it’s no wonder he’s not the most well-adjusted person and finds relationships with other people difficult. I won’t spoil the story by telling you who or what Rosebud was, or what happened during his life, I’ll leave that for you to discover.

All in all it’s an enjoyable movie, a good story, and beautifully made, but frankly is far from the best movie I’ve ever seen (let alone the best movie of all time). The cinema-going audiences seem to have agreed with me too, as Citizen Kane failed to recoup its costs at the box office! I might come across as a total cultural vacuum, but I’d rather watch Star Wars or Cleopatra any day!

Orson Welles Citizen Kane

Image source and copyright: 1, 2, This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.