Synopsis ~ Orson Welles’ masterwork (#1 in the American Film Institute’s list of Best American Movies) dazzles anew in a superb 70th-anniversary digital transfer. It’s grand entertainment, sharply acted (starting many of Welles’ Mercury Players on the road to thriving film careers) and directed with inspired visual flair. Chronicling the stormy life of an influential publishing tycoon, this Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winner (1941) is rooted in themes of power, corruption, vanity – the American Dream lost in the mystery of a dying man’s last word: “Rosebud.”
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 119 minutes
Number of Disks: 3
– Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich
– Commentary by Roger Ebert
– Opening: World Premier of Citizen Kane Vintage Featurettes
– Interview with Ruth Warrick
– Interview with Robert Wise
– Still Photography with Commentary by Roger Ebert
– Deleted Scenes
– Ad Campaign
– Press Book
– Opening Night
– Theatrical Trailer
– The Battle over Citizen Kane Documentary
– RKO 281 (HBO Feature)
Able to captivate and inspire even after seventy years, Orson Welles’ tour-de-force finally receives its commanding update to Blu-ray, encompassing both the true virtues of Welles’ triple-threat talent – he directed, wrote and was the incomparable star of the film – and in the process earning the enviable top spot on the American Film Institute’s – and most film buffs – top 100 list.
As the above long list of extras alludes to, this ultimate edition is filled with some of the best supplements around. Two stellar commentaries by Roger Ebert and Peter Bogdanovich start the segments off right, affording anyone wanting to learn more about cinema and is vast facets some great material from Ebert, and anyone wanting to learn more about Welles himself from Bogdanovich. Of course both do cross over from time to time, but the generality is fairly accurate.
Ebert also lends himself to another strong commentary covering the production side of things in regards to Still Photography, Storyboards, and Call Sheets. The “Deleted Scenes” segment is just a tad misleading to mainstream extras browsers in the fact that the “scenes” themselves are made up of still photographs and not actual footage, but there is still plenty of allure there for some worthwhile viewing. The Ad Campaign, Press Book and Opening Night sections are also well worth your time and made up of the same materials.
Moving on to the DVD extras, “The Battle over Citizen Kane” documentary is a marvelously comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at both the production of the iconic film as well as Welles himself, Kane and the Kane inspiring William Randolph Hearst. Whatever Ebert and Bogdanovich may have missed in their commentaries, you can bet will be in this smart and shocking doc.
The last film related supplement no doubt took major cues from the aforementioned documentary, and while HBO absolutely gave it the grand treatment – slyly naming the feature after Kane’s original RKO 281 studio production number – the much more grounded Doc inspiration seems like a far more reliable source for accurate information.
Poster and paper collectors like myself will also find a wonderful array of mini-marketing materials including a collectible hardback production booklet, reproductions of key art, studio and Welles letters as well as an opening night souvenir program reproduction.
So whether it’s the film’s wonderful cast, creative style or pioneering cinematic spirit that makes your heart both soar and thud, you’ll be hooked on Citizen Kane from Welles’ singular “Rosebud”.
*Purchase this title and other recent releases locally HERE
Cast: Orson Welles | Joseph Cotten | Dorothy Comingore | Agnes Moorehead | Ruth Warrick | Ray Collins | Erskine Sanford | Everett Sloane
Director: Orson Welles
Central Writers: Herman J. Mankiewicz | Orson Welles
Theatrical Release: September 5, 1941
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: September 13, 2011
Genre: Drama | Mystery
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE