Ruth Warrick

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The Battle Over Citizen Kane Review


Good
In case your cinematic history only extends as far as the first American Pie, you might be surprised to learn that Citizen Kane is based on the life and times of William Randolph Hearst. Of course, if you didn't know that, you wouldn't know who Hearst was anyway, so you might as well quit reading this, turn off your computer, and get back to your reality TV programming.

In this two-hour documentary, made for PBS and feeling a lot like... it was made for PBS, there's surprisingly little content germane to its title. Mostly, the film talks about the life of Hearst and the life of Orson Welles, separately. It isn't until the last half-hour when Citizen Kane is actually made and discussed, particularly as it relates to Hearst's hatred of it. And rightly so -- Welles was skewering the media magnate in the film; who could blame him for doing everything in his power to stop its release?

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Citizen Kane Review


Essential
I first watched Citizen Kane in 1997. For me 1997 was the year I actually buckled down and decided that I wanted to be a critic, and that I had better take this job seriously. With that in my mind, I switched my focus from new releases to retrospectives, designing myself to be able to do what I had at first loathed in critics: make obscure references to movies I had never heard of.

As a point of fact, when I actually got into the business I heard of those movies. And I heard more about those movies. And more. And, when the AFI named Citizen Kane as the best film of all time, I decided that it might just be a good idea to see it.

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Citizen Kane Movie Review

Citizen Kane Movie Review

I first watched Citizen Kane in 1997. For me 1997 was the year I...

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