WAS CITIZEN KANE THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER MADE?

What’s often called the defining film of a generation (and, indeed, a century), makes the leap to a new kind of definition today – high definition – with the Blue-ray release of the 1941 masterpiece, Citizen Kane with Orson Well.

For more than half a century Kane has headed the polls as he greatest film ever made.

Some film critics now qeustion this rating.  David Thompson says younger people now find it boring.

I saw Kane (the story of William Randlolph Hearst) many years ago but i remember very little about it.  Something about a mysterious “Rosebud.”

But I do remember several other great films very vividly:

Bridge  Over the River Kwai with the incomparable Alec Guiness who I met several times in London in the sixties.

Brideshead Revisited, based on the novel by Evelyn  Waugh.  The remarkable performance by John Gilguid, is alone worth the price of admission.

Sadly, I cannot remember the title of my third favourite film.  It was based on  a palatial estate called Manderly and starred laurence Olivier and  Olivia de Havilland.  Does anybody remember the nameof this film?

Did you ever see Citizen Kane?  Would you rate it up there as number one of all time/

What are your three most memorable films?

14 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I never “got” “Citizen Kane” and disagree with the rating

    My three most memorable films:

    1) Nicholas Roeg’s “Bad Timing: a Sensual Obsession” which is the first movie I’d ever seen that I’d describe as “poetry”.

    2) Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” which changed filmmaking forver and I suppose is my generation’s Citizen Kane

    3) Adrian Lyne’s “Lolita” which was far superior to the Kubrick version

    …and, sorry, I gotta add a fourth: John MacKenzie’s “The Long, Good Friday” which made a star out of Bob Hoskins as London mobster Harold Shand. Best British gangster movie ever made. Youtube has not one but two full-length documentaries on it as well as the movie itself. Helen Mirren is portrays the best “mobster’s moll” in cinema history.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for your interesting threesome.

    I plan to get hold of that British gangster film with Helen Mirren.

  3. 3
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    What makes Mirren’s portrayal of “Victoria” so delicious is that she broke the mold for the typical monster’s moll which is, typically, the cynical, streetwise babe (Michelle Pheiffer in “Scarface”), the long, suffering wife (Diane Keaton in “The Godfather”), or the dumb blonde in virtually every other mob movie.

    Mirren’s Victoria is Harold Shank’s equal partner; smart, educated, polite…as they deal with local toughs, the IRA and the American Mafia.

    The final scene of the movie which is just a two-minute close-up of Bob Hoskins’ face made cinematic history.

  4. 4

    Manderly was a Daphne Du Maurier mystery-I remember that, and the haunting story…not the name.
    Citizen Kane was not my era & I had a hard time relating to it.

    My favourite was “Gone with the Wind”, the only movie I have ever watched more than once. In fact at least once every decade.

    I’ve been trying to get my grand daughter hooked on it-She’s 13, and liked it “a bit”. I watched “Sabrina” & “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with her, but they were too passe for her. (& everyone smoked & drank!!!…in every scene) :-)

  5. 5

    “Rebecca” 1st presented as a stage play in 1940!
    Thanks to the Internet!

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:

    littlepatti,

    “Rebecca” it is. Thanks a million. What a film!!!

  7. 7

    Since my own favorite movies tend to shift with my mood, I don’t think anyone can ever say for sure if there even is one greatest movie of all time.

    But if there is, it’s certainly not Citizen Kane…at least, not in the form in which it was released. Perhaps if Orson Welles had not been displaced as editor, and its release had not been rushed, it would have been better, but as it is, it’s not only not a good movie, it’s just plain bad.

  8. 8
    Angela Says:

    I saw your blog about great films. The film you are referring to that you couldn’t remember the name of is “Rebecca.” It did, indeed, star Laurence Olivier but Olivia was not in that film. It was her sister, Joan Fontaine.

  9. 9
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Angela,

    Thanks so much for you informative comment. Indeed it was Joan Fontaine.

  10. 10
    Barbara Says:

    Sorry, I have to cheat and name four favourites. First is The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman and the great Anne Bancroft. Second is Annie Hall with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. Third is a guilty pleasure — The Piano with Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill. My fourth is Shakespeare in Love with Gwenyth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Geoffrey Rush.

  11. 11
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Cornucopia is not cheating.

    The Graduate. Now there’s a real film!!!

  12. 12

    Okay, if, by “great movies” you mean ones I will sit down and watch anywhere, any time, even interrupting whatever else I’m doing, my nominees are: The Lion In Winter, Victor/Victoria, and All About Eve. Also in the running are The Birdcage, The Philadelphia Story (and its twin sister, High Society), The Apartment, and the original Ocean’s Eleven. There are more — as Ko-ko says, “I have a little list…” ;)

  13. 13
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    “Other People’s Money” directed by Norman Jewison stars Danny de Vito as a ruthless capitalist looking to take over a company, fire all the employees and sell off the assets. What distinguishes this film is that, unlike virtuallyall Hollywood movies, it is not automatically anti-capitalist; it provides moving and compelling arguments for both sides of the issue…and kudos to self-described Socialist Jewison for doing it. Also, de Vito’s love interest — the fetching Penelope Ann Miller– and the chemistry between them works, despite the Beauty and the Beast aspect.

    “Death to Smoochy”, like the above, was also a box office dud but is a gem none the less.

  14. 14
    jim Says:

    What affected the popularity of the “Kane” movie, when issued, was that Hearst, who owned many newspapers, refused to accept advertising to promote the film. Other than those already mentioned, I’d like to add “The Wizard of Oz”, “Goodbye Mr. Chips”, “The Grapes of Wrath” and “All’s Quiet on the Western Front”


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