Citizen Kane

“It’s terrific!” blazed the 1941 RKO posters for Orson Welles’s first movie, Citizen Kane (1941). You’ll think so, too, when this pseudo-bio film noir unspools during CineMark’s Classic Films Series.

The one person who didn’t think the movie was terrific was newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who bellowed that he and his lover, silent-film superstar Marion Davies, had been betrayed by Welles’s mocking treatment of them in the film. Hearst had been done wrong, true, but not by Welles, who hardly knew him. It was scriptwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, a close personal friend of Davies, who was to blame. Kane’s mystery hinges on Rosebud, the old man’s dying word and the name of the sled forgotten at home, buried under falling snow in that iconic image of lost youth. Only Mankiewicz, Hearst and Davies knew that Hearst called Davies’s private parts Rosebud. It’s info like this that scandalized and enraged Hearst, who unsuccessfully colluded with MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and other studio heads to buy the negatives and prevent the film from being seen.

The movie is thoroughly terrific, a magic lantern of German expressionism and studio craftsmanship of the highest caliber. Film mavens usually place it very near the top of the Best Films of All Time. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. CineMark Memorial City Mall, 310 Memorial City Mall. Also screening at CineMark Katy and CineMark Woodlands. For information, call 713-467-9749 or visit
Wed., June 13, 2 & 7 p.m., 2012


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