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CITIZEN KANE

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Poll Question: Is Welles' 1941 "Masterpiece" The BEST Movie EVER Made??
Vote Poll Choice Poll Statistics
[12.36%]
[61.80%]
[19.10%]
[6.74%]

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HeadRAZZBerry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: CITIZEN KANE
    Posted: September 08 2011 at 7:59am


WITH ORSON WELLES' CLASSIC NOW AVAILABLE on BLU-RAY as WELL as DVD (and BEING SHOWN REGULARLY on TCM) WE THOUGHT WE'D ASK a QUESTION FEW (BUT US!) WOULD DARE TO:  

IS CITZEN KANE REALLY the #1 BEST MOVIE of ALL TIME??  

WITH an IMPRESSIVE 9 ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINATIONS (BUT ONLY 1 WIN - LINK), a RARE 100% APPROVAL RATING at ROTTEN TOMATOES (LINK) and PLACEMENT AT or NEAR the TOP of NEARLY EVERY ALL-TIME BEST MOVIE LIST COMPILED for the LAST 30 YEARS (LINK) CITIZEN KANE HAS EARNED a LEVEL of RESPECT ACCORDED BERRY FEW FILMS. 

BUT IT's ACTUALLY NOT YE OLDE HEAD RAZZ-BERRY's #1 of ALL TIME (THAT WOULD BE BILLY WILDER's SUNSET BLVD). AND I'M NOT EVEN SURE I'D INCLUDE IT AMONG MY TOP 10. TOP 100, YES -- TOP TEN...MAYBE NOT. 

IF YOU THINK I'M SPEAKING BLASPHEMY, IF YOU FIND MY CANDOR REFRESHING...or IF YOU'D PREFER WE NOT EVEN BRING UP a 72-YEAR-OLD, BLACK-and-WHITE MOVIE RELIC...FEEL FREE to EXPRESS YOUR OWN THOUGHTS BELOW. 

PLEASE ALSO INCLUDE YOUR OWN PERSONAL CHOICE as BEST MOVIE of ALL TIME in YOUR POST -- AFTER VOTING in OUR POLL, of COURSE! 





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Post Options Post Options   Quote davecampbell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 8:19am
Just because film critics insist Kane is the classic movie of all time, I as a movie-goer needn't feel obligated to concur with them. Yes, it is an impressive achievement for its time, and belongs among the greatest films. But THE greatest??  I voted for "You'd have to convince me." 

By the way, my #1 all-time favorite movie is Singing in the Rain, a movie about the sheer joy of movies...  


RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (IMDb LINK) would certainly make my Top Ten List. Here's a LINK to the film's R.T. Page (where it's rated 100% Positive) to read more about it... 


 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kenjifujima Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 8:26am
Maybe it's because the film is so specifically "American," but I have never been able to fully appreciate KANE -- It leaves me cold and disinterested. My personal favorite American movie is CASABLANCA, and my favorite Japanese movie is SEVEN SAMURAI... 


RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: CASABLANCA (IMDb LINK) is another movie that appears on almost every Best Of All Time list. Although I think it's a fine film, I have never really appreciated it as much as so many others (including some of my best friends) seem to. As for SEVEN SAMURAI (IMDb LINK) I think it also deserves a place among any list of the best ever...  




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 9:09am
People often disagree if certain movies deserve to be called classics. Many classics were technical achievements in their time, but were also somehow ejoyable.

CITIZEN KANE wowed me for the first 30 minutes because, even though I'm not an expert on how movies were technically back then, I could still tell this one had superior directing and photography. After watching it, I read it also improved on the use of flashbacks and make-up (mainly in having Orson Welles play KANE as an adult and an old man). But the story itself just isn't that interesting. I mean,they tell you an important man died, but it's like in real life when you make a movie about a person that's historically important: it doesn't automatically mean they have a story interesting enough to make a fictional movie about them. This movie should be "homework" for every film class in the world, but it's also the type of "classic" you can't hold against people if they don't like it.

I gave it 6/10.

Also don't worry, HeadRAZZ. People are conditioned to be shocked if someone says they didn't love a classic, even if they have good reasons. Like now,I'm sure at least one person skipped the 1st paragraph, read my rating, and then maybe read this paragraph. If someone doesn't like MEMENTO(which I consider the all time best) I wouldn't hold it against them because it's also a movie that's hard for some people to enjoy. Except of course when people say things like "It's the worst movie ever because it would make more sense if he'd written on a notepad instead"(not kidding, that was in a "review" on IMDB!). And since I trust your judgment,I'll add SUNSET BOULEVARD to my "movies to watch" list. By the way, how come in the poll options there isn't a "No"?  

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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 9:41am
Six out of 10 is ridiculously low, but indivdual tastes vary so much that it is probably impossible to hold any one movie up and get anything close to universal support as to it being "the best of all time." Still Citizen Kane is at or near the top of so many critics and avid movie goers lists that it has to be in the discussion, and no, I don't buy the theory that it is sort of a word of mouth consensus. I'd definitely put it in the top 10. The story is fascinating, the performances are superb, Wells' use of lighting and camera angles are so incredible that this is a fascinating film to watch even without sound. I don't think it is necessary for everyone to view it as the best ever. But Kane is a heavyweight, and a groundbreaking film.
 
I'm a huge baseball fan, and part of the appeal of the game is it's ability to generate tons of interesting numbers and valid comparisons between players to participated in different eras. Baseball fans can argue endlessly about the merits of Babe Ruth vs. Hank Aaron or whether Whitey Ford had better command than Roy Halladay. This is the same kind of debate. There might be certain legitimate measures of comparison, but at the end of the day, it's your opinion against mine.
 
As to my own pick for best movie of all time, I have to cop out. I'm not sure how one could say that Gone With the Wind is in some way better than, say, City Lights...they are different films that evoke different emotions, different thoughts. There are a lot of films I like a lot for very different reasons...I'd have a difficult time really pinning down a top 10 let alone one single film
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 11:07am
Yes,it's berry hard to compare movies so different,but not impossible.That's one of the reasons why I prefer the 1-10 system.

Don't overthink when you make your Top 10(or it can be Top 3,5 or 20,whatever you prefer).It's not meant to be about the movies that should be the best,it's the movies that you love so much they feel like they're the best,even if you love a movie everybody else hate.

Originally posted by Head RAZZberry

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (IMDb LINK) would certainly make my Top Ten List.

Now that's a movie that's clearly well-made and can be enjoyed by most people.Although to be fair,that's the case with most comedies and/or musicals that are considered among the best.
Originally posted by Head RAZZberry

CASABLANCA (IMDb LINK) is another movie that appears on almost every Best Of All Time list. Although I think it's a fine film, I have never really appreciated it as much as so many others (including some of my best friends) seem to.

Well,that's a less comprehensible case than KANE,because it has a love triangle most people enjoy with the same twists you see in soap operas,except this was the first to use them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SuperTeenTopia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 11:29am
I would say the movie is within the Top 10 of all time, although which movie would join it in the Top 10 would be a whole other debate. I give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
 
Not surprisingly, Vits gave it a middle of the road score, but I've learned to expect that from him and classic movies. If by going by the 10 point scale (which I don't), it shouldn't be less than 8 just because the story is "not interesting" (which it does get dull after a while, but not enough to shave three whole points off).
 
But why is "Sunset Blvd" considered the best movie of all time by the HeadRazz? Just because it mocks Hollywood?
"People say 'It's all about the story’. When you're making tentpole films, bull$hit." -Andy Hendrickson (Disney Animation Studios' Chief Technical Officer)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 12:58pm
And what is your Top 10,SuperTeenTopia?
Originally posted by SuperTeenTopia

Not surprisingly, Vits gave it a middle of the road score, but I've learned to expect that from him and classic movies. If by going by the 10 point scale (which I don't), it shouldn't be less than 8 just because the story is "not interesting" (which it does get dull after a while, but not enough to shave three whole points off).
I thought you didn't want to talk about it anymore.But regardless,so far this is the first classic I've given under 4 stars since you joined the forummso why do you expect it?

As for the debate of which is the auteur of the film(director,writer or producer)...I don't know that,but I do know the script is the foundation for me.If the script sucks,the movie can't be good(but it can be saved by other things).I'm not saying KANE has a bad script.It was one ahead of it's time because it used a narrative nobody had used until then.I'm just saying the story isn't interesting,and that's mainly because the character isn't interesting.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote saturnwatcher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 1:39pm
A key point which some of our younger contributors here are probably missing involves the context of this film. With KANE, Welles, in only a slightly veiled fashion, was taking on one of the most powerful and wealthiest men in the United States, William Randolph Hearst. That made a lot of people in Hollywood extremely uncomfortable.  


RESPONSE from head RAZZberry: I love the story of how, while KANE was in production, Welles was deliberately vague about its exact plot and content, and even played the dangerous game of courting Hearst gossip columnist Louella Parsons to promote KANE in Hearst's hundreds of daily newspapers. When the film was finally in rough cut, Welles cattily screened it for Parsons -- who ran from the screening room to the nearest phone on the RKO lot and called Hearst personally to warn him of what was coming...and to protect her own job.  When the film was released, Hearst (understandably) refused to let RKO advertise it in any of his publications or media outlets...     


Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 1:50pm
Another good point. There are cases where people don't understand some things when they watch old movies. But is that their fault? It is when it's a case of ignorance, but not when the movie has dated elements. If my grandchildren ever watch any American sitcom and don't laugh because they don't know who George Bush is (they all had made fun of him), I'd be worried. But who today knows who Hearst was without searching first? Remember: A classic is a movie that survives time. This one is still a classic because that dated allusion may be important to get some of the context, but isn't important to get into the story.  

Also, since you insist on looking at me as a foreigner, there are movies that foreigners don't get. But sometimes that's because of isolation. KANE's a good example of the former because it's not an American movie per se. It's about the rise and fall of a businessman turned politician, which is something people from any country can understand. But there are movies like BATTLE L.A. where Yankee pride isn't a theme or context, it's the freaking plot! Oh,and it also as propaganda to get people to join the Marines. Do you expect me to enjoy it? Luckily I try to be as objective as possible, and I hated BATTLE L.A. for its production quality instead!  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SchumacherH8ter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 3:57pm
A few days ago, some of my classmates told me to make a list of my favorite movies. I had this at 19, ahead of LOTR: Return Of The King, behind Gone With The Wind. Interestingly, all the movies mentioned above* are on my list as well. Casablanca is 13, ahead of The Godfather, behind E.T., Singin' In The Rain is 32, ahead of Taxi Driver, behind Halloween**, Memento is 9, ahead of The Wild Bunch, behind Pulp Fiction, Gone With The Wind is behind Once Upon A Time In The West, and Seven Samurai is ahead of The Wizard Of Oz, behind Star Wars.
 
*Except Battle LA (because it sucks), City Lights (the LeMoyne library only has it on VHS and my VHS player is busted), and Sunset Blvd. (the library has NO copy of it.)
**Remember, it's my favorite list and I love horror movies.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whatsthepoint Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 3:58pm
Why yes Citizen Kane is one of the greatest movie ever made. Though I wouldn't call it the greatest, it's still quite an achievement.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SuperTeenTopia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 4:42pm
Yes, I do believe some of us are just looking for entertainment value and nothing more, and are missing the subtext of the movie.  

Originally posted by saturnwatcher

A key point which some of our younger contributors here are probably missing involves the context of this film.
"People say 'It's all about the story’. When you're making tentpole films, bull$hit." -Andy Hendrickson (Disney Animation Studios' Chief Technical Officer)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SuperTeenTopia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 4:50pm
My Top Ten? In no particular order, "Citizen Kane," "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid," "Dog Day Afternoon," "The Good Bye Girl," "The French Connection," "12 Angry Men," "Goodfellas," "Pulp Fiction," "Memento" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." Now, I'm not claiming those are the greatest movies of all time, but they are some of the best damn movies that each of those eras and genres have to offer. 
"People say 'It's all about the story’. When you're making tentpole films, bull$hit." -Andy Hendrickson (Disney Animation Studios' Chief Technical Officer)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vits Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 5:45pm
Woo-hoo! You have two of my ten on your list: MEMENTO(!) and 12 ANGRY MEN...wait. We're both talking about the one from the '50s,right?  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SuperTeenTopia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 08 2011 at 6:01pm
Yeah, the 1957 one. Question is, what's your complete Top 10?   


RESPONSE from Head RAZZberry: For those wanting more info, here's an IMDb LINK for 12 ANGRY MEN, another title with a 100% Positive Rating at R.T. (LINK)...  


"People say 'It's all about the story’. When you're making tentpole films, bull$hit." -Andy Hendrickson (Disney Animation Studios' Chief Technical Officer)
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