Citizen Kane Research Paper

1099 Words5 Pages

Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film by Orson Welles, its producer, co-author, director and star. The picture was Welles 's first feature film. Nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories, it won an Academy Award for Best Writing by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles. Considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane was voted the greatest film of all time in five consecutive Sight & Sound polls of critics, until it was displaced by Vertigo in the 2012 poll. It topped the American Film Institute 's 100 Years ... 100 Movies list in 1998, as well as AFI 's 2007 update. Citizen Kane is particularly praised for its cinematography, music, and narrative structure, which were innovative for …show more content…

Holding a snow globe, he utters a word, "Rosebud", and dies; the globe slips from his hand and smashes on the floor. A newsreel obituary tells the life story of Kane, an enormously wealthy newspaper publisher. Kane 's death becomes sensational news around the world, and the newsreel 's producer tasks reporter Jerry Thompson with discovering the meaning of "rosebud".
Thompson sets out to interview Kane 's friends and associates. He approaches Kane 's second wife, Susan Alexander Kane, now an alcoholic who runs her own nightclub, but she refuses to talk to him. Thompson goes to the private archive of the late banker Walter Parks Thatcher. Through Thatcher 's written memoirs, Thompson learns that Kane 's childhood began in poverty in Colorado.
In Kane 's childhood, after a gold mine was discovered on her property, Kane 's mother Mary Kane sends Charles away to live with Thatcher so that he may be properly educated. The young Kane plays happily with a sled in the snow at his parents ' boarding-house and protests being sent to live with Thatcher. After gaining full control over his trust fund at the age of 25, Kane enters the newspaper business and embarks on a career of yellow journalism. He takes control of the New York Inquirer and begins publishing scandalous articles that attack Thatcher 's business interests. After the stock market crash in 1929, Kane is forced …show more content…

Thompson interviews Kane 's estranged best friend, Jedediah Leland, in a retirement home. Leland recalls Kane 's marriage to Emily disintegrates over the years, and he begins an affair with amateur singer Susan Alexander while he is running for Governor of New York. Both his wife and his political opponent discover the affair and the public scandal ends his political career. Kane marries Susan and forces her into a humiliating operatic career for which she has neither the talent nor the ambition. Susan consents to an interview with Thompson, and recalls her failed opera career. Kane finally allows her to abandon her singing career after she attempts suicide. After years spent dominated by Kane and living in isolation at Xanadu, Susan leaves Kane. Kane 's butler Raymond recounts that after Susan left him Kane began violently destroying the contents of her bedroom. He suddenly calms down when he sees a snow globe and says "Rosebud".
Back at Xanadu, Kane 's belongings are being cataloged or discarded. Thompson concludes that he is unable to solve the mystery and that the meaning of "Rosebud" will forever remain an enigma. As the film ends, the camera reveals that Rosebud was the name of the sled from Kane 's childhood in Colorado — a time when he was happy. Thought to be junk by Xanadu 's staff, the sled is burned in a furnace.
Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, a wealthy newspaper publisher.
Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland, Kane 's best friend and a

Open Document