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Friday, November 3, 2017

Citizen Kane (1941)

A wealthy newspaper publisher (Orson Welles) and a legend in his own time dies with the word "Rosebud" on his lips. A reporter (William Alland) attempts to reconstruct the tycoon's life by those who knew him best and to discover what his last words meant. What can one say about such an iconic film that is justifiably considered one of the greatest sound films ever made that hasn't already been said? Where does one start? Well, there's Gregg Toland's remarkable cinematography (his use of deep focus here is legendary), Bernard Herrmann's uniquely different (for 1941) score, Robert Wise's editing, the superbly structured screenplay by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz to start. Attempts have been made in certain quarters that KANE is overrated or that it's boring but I've invariably found that those who claim it's boring are usually boring people. The film seems as fresh today as ever and one can only imagine its impact on adventurous 1941 audiences. The cast, the majority of them making their film debuts, is perfect. Among them Joseph Cotten, the underrated Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Everett Sloane, Ruth Warrick, Ray Collins, George Coulouris and Paul Stewart.    

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