By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
This is arguably one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) movies of all time. The title Citizen Kane is iconic, but sadly, there is no “cane” in this film (pun intended), which was a joke used in an episode of The Simpsons. Originally ridiculed during initial theatrical release, this film is now considered a landmark in cinematic history.
This is one of the first major films that is largely the product of one person, meaning that it was co-written for the screen, directed by, and starred the same person, who in this case was Orson Welles. Welles himself remains one of the best filmmakers the world has ever known, and he made Citizen Kane at the relatively young age of 25. This “Best Picture” nominee definitely deserved its Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” because its compelling narrative is one of the most dramatic stories ever conceived by the human imagination. It must have been embarrassing to hear this film being “booed” at the Academy Awards, which was exactly what had happened because of the intense criticism of this motion picture within the real-world drama of World War II. In spite of such negative backlash, Citizen Kane is now widely considered as possibly the best movie ever made.
This film remains a classic that has directly impacted pop culture. Many lines from the Oscar-winning screenplay are now iconic sayings, and the word “Rosebud” has been referenced in countless parodies. There is no need to “make fun” of this film, though, because it really is a seminal and timeless masterpiece. Not bad for the first film that had Agnes Moorehead’s film debut, who would later gain notoriety for playing the mischievous “Endora” on the TV series Bewitched.
Citizen Kane (1941) Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time newspapers and the press play an important role in the plot
Drink a Shot: every time the surname “Kane” is spoken or appears as written text
And Maybe Try to Have a Drink that is New and Mysterious: for the enigmatic quality of the word “Rosebud”