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Cinema Connoisseur: Connoisseur expresses disdain for Kane

Allen Gaynor | Interrobang | Lifestyles | October 8th, 2007

Citizen Kane (1941)

Perhaps no film in history has been as adored by the critics as Citizen Kane. It has been hailed by both the American and British Film Institutes as the number one film of all-time.

But that can't be true, you may say. Citizen Kane doesn't even have any robots or monkeys in it.

Well, you are correct. Citizen Kane is not the greatest film of all-time. However, cyborgs and simians aren't the only things Citizen Kane lacks. A competent director, a talented cast of actors, and any semblance of film making fundamentals are also missing from this overrated wreck.

Citizen Kane tells the story of the fictional life of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane. The film begins with Kane passing away, and uttering one word — “rosebud,” After sitting though this mess for two hours, I myself uttered one word — “refund!”

A reporter makes it his goal to learn what exactly Mr. Kane meant with his dying word. If only his dying word had been “aaaahhhhh”, we could have been spared a great deal of time.

Through flashbacks, we learn that Kane was sent away from his family as a youngster, so that he may go to live with a banker. Now that's what I call some serious collateral!

By the time he reaches his twenties, Kane has become a very wealthy man, and begins his rise to becoming the number one newspaper publisher in the city. We see him hiring away his competition's most popular writers, and employing so-called “yellow journalism,” resorting to sensationalism and scandal mongering in order to turn a profit.

We also see his two marriages end, his political aspirations fall apart and his closest friendships come to an end. If all this sounds interesting, you are dead wrong.

My career in the newspaper industry has spanned several decades. I delivered newspapers for a short time in 1987. Then I began writing this column in 2006. So I really wanted to like this film due to its focus on the industry. Unfortunately, director and star Orson Welles really dropped the ball. The biggest issue in the newspaper industry, which is the continuing quest to prevent the black ink from rubbing off on people's fingertips is all but ignored! Unforgivable.

Now I really don't like to give away details about the ending of films in these columns - after having the endings of The Sixth Sense and The Passion of the Christ ruined for me, I am pretty sensitive to that type of thing. However, I must say that “rosebud” is the name on the sled Kane is holding when he is taken away from his parents. I just saved you two hours. You are welcome.

Citizen Kane? More like Shit-izen Kane.
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