January 10, 2012
Warner Home Video
- B&W and Color
- Runtime: 119 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
CITIZEN KANE is quite simply one of the best films ever made. Orson Welles is astounding as both actor and director in this sweeping drama, based largely on the life of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.
Welles's greatest achievement, and a landmark of cinema history. The narrative charts the rise to power of a newspaper publisher whose wealth and power ultimately leave him alone in his castle-like refuge. Every aspect of the production marked an advance in film language: the deep-focus, deeply shadowed cinematography; the discontinuous narrative (in a screenplay by Herman Mankiewicz); the innovative use of sound and score; the ensemble acting forged in the fires of Welles's Mercury Theater. Essential viewing. The laserdisc contains a second audio track with commentary by a noted film historian, and the 50th-anniversary release includes the restored original movie plus the 30-minute documentary Reflections on Citizen Kane featuring the recollections of the actors and editors along with commentary by other filmmakers.
This was the debut film of the 25-year-old Orson Welles, who had formerly made his name as a radio and theatre actor and director. RKO, with great fanfare, had signed him to an exclusive contract, giving him almost total control over his work.
Although Bernard Herrmann received an Academy Award nomination for his score for "Citizen Kane," he actually won the award that year for his music for "All That Money Can Buy."
The Image laserdisc has two audio tracks: one is the original mono soundtrack, the other is an "enhanced" version of the soundtrack.
Copyright 1941 RKO Pictures, Inc.