Citizen Kane is considered to be one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. It was named the best film of all times by the American Film Institute. In 1989, Citizen Kane was added to the National Register of films; in 2009, it was pronounced one of the 28 best films of all times by the magazine Empire. It also received nine Oscar nominations and one award for the best screenplay, which to this day stands out for its originality and deep drama.
Citizen Kane is one of the first films, directed by Orson Welles and his full-length debut. This acknowledged masterpiece of cinema tells a story about the life of a man. His biography is totally fictional; this man never existed in real life. After watching the film, the viewers can relate to Kane as if they have known him for a very long time. It is essential to mention that the director of the film plays the main part, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish the difference between real Orson Welles and fictional Charlie Kane, who had no prototypes in real life.
The film tells about the life of a newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, whose biography is transferred to the screen through the eyes of his contemporaries: the people with whom he lived and worked. As the film dates back to the year 1940, its innovative patterns and cinematic style of presentation are being admired to this day.
The story of Kane’s life begins with his death in his own castle, called the Xanadu. Just before his death, he utters his last word “rosebud”. However, none of the Kane’s acquaintances know what this word means to him. The journalists also try to find out the significance of the last word uttered. They all have different versions and theories. Then the friends ponder the meaning over, reflecting on Kane’s life from the time he had to leave his father’s house. The failure of Kane’s political career is the climax of the storyline. Because of it, his first marriage was destroyed. The ending of the film is quite logical and predictable – Kane is left alone with his treasures.
Orson Wells made a film in which the American dream was completely crashed and destroyed. It was not the first film on this topic, and certainly was not the last. However, 70 years later it still manages to top the list of the greatest American movies.