38. 'Citizen Kane'
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"Citizen Kane" — it's such a titan, a face on the Mt. Rushmore of film that
it's almost taken for granted. Nothing can remain perched on that pedestal
forever, and indeed, it didn't. Last year, after sitting for 50 solid years at
Sight & Sound's number one spot on their list of greatest films, Orson
Welles' seminal classic dropped down to number two. Now, that's not saying
"Vertigo" didn't deserve top spot, and maybe the only reason Kane dipped was
because critics had heard "Stairway to Heaven" one too many times, but it's
interesting to note when the tide turns.
Watch: See clips from 'Citizen Kane'
It's not even on my top ten of favorites, but there's no discounting it --
the movie is a masterpiece. The first film from 25-year-old Welles, the picture
lays out the life of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (played by Welles)
with such radical and entertaining innovation that it's inspired filmmakers and
writers since 1941. It's also infuriated some, including the picture's
inspiration, William Randolph Hearst. From its inventive storytelling (script by
Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz), experimental camerawork, brilliant use of deep
focus (by cinematographer Gregg Toland) and, of course, "Rosebud," the picture
has been explicated, debated and discussed to death. But it should be and it
will be. Long live Kane. - Kim MorganWhat's your favorite
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(Orson Welles in "Citizen Kane"/Keystone/Getty Images)