Released in 1941, Citizen Kane met with critical success, but slumped at the box office. Nominated for nine Oscars, Kane won for original screenplay. After Citizen Kane, Welles worked on The Magnificent Ambersons, but left the project after RKO studios insisted on editing changes. Thus for the rest of his life Welles depended on his acting to finance his own projects and usually worked outside the system, leaving many films unfinished.
Citizen Kane tells the story of Charles Foster Kane, a media mogul who lived both the American dream - and nightmare. Loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst (and a few other tycoons), the story examines the emptiness of wealth, fame, and the collapse of youthful idealism into hubris and cynicism.
|Kane's guardians plan his future.
Kane marries the niece of the President and seemed predestined to attain the presidency, the end all and be all of the American dream. But wealthy men seldom attain the highest office - Nelson Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Steve Forbes etc... Kane campaigns as a champion for the poor. And yet the speech looks foreboding, almost Fascist. Like many American politicians, a sex scandal undid his political career.
|Running for Office
Images and sequences from Citizen Kane stay with you forever. My particular favorite is "Charles Foster Kane" dance sequence. With Kane at the height of his powers he holds garish party and we see him subtly evolve from idealistic young man to a megalomaniac.
|The "Dance Sequence"
Happy Birthday Mr. Welles!