Watching a Classic, Part I: Citizen Kane

One day into our 101 thing quest, we decided to do thing one – or, rather, part one of thing one. We watched Orson Welles’s classic film Citizen Kane and have now completed 10% of #41 on the List: Watch 10 classic movies we haven’t seen. This wasn’t planned; it was just next in the Netflix queue. We didn’t know much about it other than that it was a highly regarded classic film, so we were unsure what to expect.

Courtney was not terribly impressed, but I rather enjoyed it. After reading Roger Ebert’s commentary, it seems to me that this is a film that rewards multiple viewings. Citizen Kane is an entertaining flick on its surface, and it appears to have significant depths that we were unable to penetrate since we were quite exhausted and not expecting a heavy movie. Or perhaps we are just shallow when it comes to movie watching.

What might have been most fascinating for me is its connection to William Randolph Hearst. Hearst’s life provided an abundance of the material that made up Charles Foster Kane’s story, so much so that Hearst attempted to have the film destroyed before it hit the box office. After this unsuccessful attempt, he barred his news outlets even from mentioning it. I would not have expected a mainstream press in the 20th century to act so shamelessly. Of course, now that I type that, I hope I am not actually that naive!

C. S. Lewis wrote that a classic is a book that people want to have read, but not actually to read. Citizen Kane is a film that I am glad to have watched and enjoyed watching, and I hope I will return to it soon.

One final non-Kane related note: today, we bought tickets to Mumford and Sons at the Ryman Auditorium! So, on March 6, we will be able to cross off #79: See a concert at the Ryman. It will be a great band at a great venue, and we cannot wait.

Only 100.9 things to go,



2 thoughts on “Watching a Classic, Part I: Citizen Kane

  1. I don’t remember being that impressed with Citizen Kane either, so much so that I can’t even remember anything about the movie although it is definitely checked off my list of the 100 best movies, so I definitely saw it at some point.

  2. If Charles Foster Kane died alone in his bedroom, grasping his snow globe, who actually heard him utter, “Rosebud”? Hmmm. Classic movie. Revolutionary camera angles and techniques.

    Some of my favorite classics, not that anyone asked: All About Eve, Vertigo, Sunset Blvd., The Apartment, Duck Soup, On the Waterfront, North by Northwest, Notorious, A Place in the Sun… I got a million of um!

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