Citizen Kane

             

           “Citizen Kane” narrated a tale of a millionaire newspaper magnate Charles Forest Kane. He had twice marriages and twice divorces. The first was to marry with a president’s niece Emily Norton who left him in 1916 and died in a motor accident with her son in 1918. The second was to marry with a singer Susan Alexander 16 years after his first marriage. In Kane’s heyday, he owned thirty-seven newspapers, two syndicates, a radio network, and other properties. He was the earth’s third richest man. However, Kane’s enterprise collapsed in the great depression in 1926, and he spent his rest of life in a covert Xanadu in Florida. Mr. Kane was defined as a fascist since he urged his country’s entry into one war. People supported him but denounced him after his love affair with Susan. A group of journalists tried to figure out the secret of Mr. Kane’s last word “rosebud” to enrich their report. Mr. Thompson, one of the reporters, visited Susan, Kane’s closest friend and a dramatic critic Leland, Kane’s paper manager Bernstein, and Kane’s housekeeper to find the clue of “rosebud”. Those people gave different views of Kane, but none of them could really tell the answer of “rosebud”. As Thompson concluded “rosebud” might be just a piece of puzzle, the film showed at the end that “rosebud” was nothing but a sled Kane used to play outside of his small house in his childhood.

            “Citizen Kane” was known as one of the greatest movies by its innovative cinematography. The film at first used a general report to tell the life of Kane and how other people considered Kane as an incredible person. Through the flashbacks of Kane’s related people, the plots display the growth of Kane’s ambition and the development of his personality. For instance, Kane bought a newspaper company when he had first got the authorization to manage his wealth. The company didn’t bring Kane any profits but he did this to against his guardian, a banker named Walter Parks Thatcher, who separated his childhood from his family for school.  Kane became temerarious when he tried to prove himself as a man. He changed his newspaper style to inauthentic, and on the other hand he wrote a declaration of principles to promise his paper would tell news honestly. Kane successfully made the circulation reach more than sixty-four thousand by entertaining readers with the exaggerated reports, but he was imaged as unrespectable by his friends and relatives. This plot showed Kane’s childhood affect him into an extreme person indistinctly. The film also applied Kane’s eight-year relationship with Susan from six conversations on the breakfast table. Kane changed from “put off all appointments” for Susan to “think what I tell them (the readers of his paper) to think” for election. The flashback depiction established Kane’s characteristic in different angles. The film also came up with property against personality rather combine them with a happy ending. This technique was revolutionary in 1900s movies, and it made this film remarkable.

            Literarily, “Citizen Kane” seems to address the inaccuracy of concluding a person by seeing he has done. As people judged Kane for his unreal paper and love affairs, no one cared the reason behind his behaviors. When Thompson looked for the answer of “rosebud”, Kane’s related people imagined that was a woman he loved or even just a crazy word. “Rosebud” was like a joke that Kane gave to people. Audience might think Kane was the luckiest person when he suddenly became a millionaire. However, by knowing “rosebud” was the sled of Kane’s childhood, people realized that the most precious thing to Kane was the moment he stayed with his family, and all denounces and hypothesizes to Kane were unjust. Kane’s characteristic was more complicated than what he had done with his wealth and power.

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