With that mysterious (and now iconic) word, Orson Welles’s acclaimed CITIZEN KANE opens and the rest of the movie is a quest for the characters and viewers to determine the significance.
Often hailed as the best movie ever made, this 1941 classic is part of the “Cinema Essentials” film series at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. The screening starts tonight at 7:00pm.
Viewed at the time as a Roman à clef of sorts of the life of William Randolph Hearst (who did everything he could to keep it from being released or viewed by people after it was released), the movie was directed, produced, and starred Welles, who also co-wrote the script with Herman J. Mankiewicz.
Joining Welles in the cast were Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ruth Warrick, Erskine Sanford, and William Alland.
The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and was a favorite to win several. However, block voting from some branches apparently stymied that. It only won the Original Screenplay Oscar for Mankiewicz and Welles. The other nominations were for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Score, and Sound.