Genre Guesstimation – Citizen Kane (1941)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre was chosen by Steven of Past, Present, Future in TV and Film and he chose Black and White movies as the Genre for August.

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of B&W movies…

citizen kane“Old age. It’s the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don’t look forward to being cured of.” – Mr. Bernstein

Number of Times Seen – 2 (5 Sep 2007 and 23 Aug 2015)

Brief Synopsis – After a newspaper tycoon’s death, a reporter is sent to try and discover the mystery of his final word…Rosebud

My Take on it – This is a movie that has been named by so many people, societies and movie lists as the best movie ever made.

Is it?

I avoided watching this movie for years because I was scared that I would not enjoy it at all and finally 8 years ago, sat down to watch it.

I actually fell asleep halfway through it.

Apparently I found it extremely boring and didn’t acre for the any aspects of it.

I decided that this was a great candidate for me to rewatch now because of this month’s GG and I didn’t have high expectations at all as to whether I’d like it…I just hoped and prayed that I’d make it thru without dozing off again.

The truth is, that I extremely enjoyed this movie and cannot understand for the life of me what happened 8 years ago that caused me to sleep thru it.

I found the story to be so engaging and interesting because it was done as a mock biopic trying to explain what really happened during the life of such a powerful man.

Roger Ebert apparently loved this movie because of all the wonderful and innovative technical achievements that help the movie come to life.

For me, I have never understood the technical aspects of movies and probably never will.  I watch movies to be entertained by the story being told and eventhough I understand the importance of lighting and angles in telling a story, I honestly pay little attention to these details while watching a film (eventhough I’m sure that they affect me subliminally).

I haven’t seen many of Welles’ movies, but I understand that this was his crowning achievement because making this movie caused him much pain and anguish that he never fully recovered from it in order to try and top this.  William Randolph Hearst tried to ruin him because much of the main character’s traits were supposedly based on him.  There is even a rumor that Rosebud was Hearst’s pet name for his mistresses private parts.

I found the narrative to be told amazingly and thoroughly enjoyed the way the whole story plays out (despite knowing the ending).

This may not be the best movie ever made, but it deserves to be very high on that list.

Bottom Line – Such a great film that is told so well.  Welles really had the flair for making great movies, but his overenthusiastic approach in life didn’t help him recover from the bruises of making this film.  Perhaps it’s the best movie by technical standards, but not understanding the technical aspects enough, I am not one to judge this. Very enjoyable narrative and story makes this a definite candidate to be among the best movies ever. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Despite all the publicity, the film was a box-office flop and was quickly consigned to the RKO vaults. At 1941’s Academy Awards the film was booed every time one of its nine nominations was announced. It was only re-released to the public in the mid-’50s. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Most definitely. This is such a great movie. It may not be the best ever, but it is most definitely among them.

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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15 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Citizen Kane (1941)

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