Citizen Kane

1941, Orson Welles

Orson Welles' virtual one-man show, which he co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in, has had whole books written about its troubled production, in particular how William Randolph Hearst, upon whose life the story was based, did his best to ruin Welles. Nothing, however, could discredit a work that's been declared the most influential film of all time; it invented many filmmaking techniques in use today, from overlapping dialog to parallel scene cutting and a host of others. It's easy to dismiss the acting as dated, but in fact the performances are much better than those of the film's contemporaries. Curiously, while it's almost exactly two hours in length, it feels longer owing to the scope and density of the material it covers.

       

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