Director : Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore
Story/Plot: The story of Citizen Kane focuses on the death of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane and a reporter’s mission to find meaning to the last word that Kane uttered: “Rosebud.” The reporter interviews important people from Kane’s life to determine the mystery of his last word that he spoke. The interviews lead to flashbacks of Kane’s life such as when his mother signs a contract that sends him away or his unsuccessful bid for governor. The interviews also tell of a man who rises to fame, then his life becomes a tragic downfall. The power he has takes over his life and starts to drain Kane’s happiness. Kane is losing his relationships with everyone and it ends in a lonesome death. The reporter never determines the true meaning of “Rosebud”, but theorizes that: “Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get or something he lost.”
Why You Need To See Before You Die: Citizen Kane is a film that has influenced films that came after it and the films we see today. The storytelling is fantastic and the story will make you wonder what “Rosebud” meant to Kane and will give you an interesting view into Kane’s powerful and depressing life. Citizen Kane had interesting techniques that were used that helped made the film more emotional and to convey meaning. For example, the moment when Charles’ mom sends him away, Welles uses a frame where you can see young Charles, his parents, and Thatcher ( the man who comes to take Charles) all in one shot. While the three are discussing the matter in the foreground, we can see Charles in the background playing and he has no idea of what’s being discussed. Welles uses lighting to emphasize how Mary Kane (the mother of Charles) feels as she sends Charles away. Welles accomplishes this by dividing the lighting on her face by making one side light and the other dark to emphasize that she is torn. Citizen Kane is a title no one should miss and if you want to know the meaning of “Rosebud”, I would recommend watching and paying close attention. I leave you ladies and gents with a clip from Citizen Kane. The clip focuses on the shot I spoke of above when Charles is given away by his parents. Just click the link below to view.