The Legacy of Citizen Kane: A Financial Failure Turned Cinematic Masterpiece

TLDR Despite being a financial failure upon its release, Citizen Kane has since been hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. Orson Welles, with no prior experience in filmmaking, took on multiple roles in the production, resulting in a groundbreaking and innovative film that faced opposition from powerful figures but received critical acclaim.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Citizen Kane, released in 1941, was a highly acclaimed film that received numerous awards and critical acclaim, despite being a financial failure at the time of its release.
02:09 Orson Welles, after achieving success in theater and radio, signed a groundbreaking contract with RKO Radio Pictures that gave him complete creative control and the right to approve the final cut of his films, leading him to choose a fictional retelling of the story of media mogul William Randolph Hearst as his first film.
03:39 Orson Welles, with no prior experience in filmmaking, took on the roles of writer, director, producer, and actor in Citizen Kane, recruiting inexperienced actors from the Mercury Theater and utilizing the help of veteran screenwriter Herman J. Mankowitz and cinematographer Greg Toland, ultimately bringing a sense of ignorance and innovation to the production.
05:03 The film Citizen Kane, despite being groundbreaking and innovative, faced significant opposition and suppression from powerful newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, leading to financial losses but positive critical reception.
06:34 Citizen Kane received overwhelmingly positive reviews upon its release, with critics praising its narrative, technique, and photography, and it held a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes until an 80-year-old negative review was discovered, dropping its rating to 99%.
08:11 Citizen Kane has consistently been ranked as one of the greatest films of all time in various polls and lists, including being named number one in multiple instances.
09:44 Citizen Kane is often ranked as the greatest film ever made because it is widely regarded as a great film, despite not being everyone's personal number one, and Orson Welles, its director, was considered one of the greatest actors and directors of the 20th century.
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