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Citizen Kane- Is it the best movie ever?

Updated on March 8, 2015

Here is my opinion-

I have seen and enjoyed the Orson Wells Classic, Citizen Kane, as any self respecting movie buff should. The American Film Institute, whom I rarely agree with, ranks this as the best movie ever. Is this a good choice for number 1 of all times?

First, my take on the movie. Orson wells, a great writer, director, and actor, stars as a man who was determined to change his state and country. First, Kane takes over a newspaper and sends it's subscriptions through the roof. Then he marries the U.S. President's niece, and runs for Governor himself. As a formitable man, he hurdles challenge after challenge. The story however, is about someone else's quest. Kane's last word that he uttered before passing away, was "rosebud". A journalist is trying feverishly to find out why, and who she was. This was a definite masterpiece, and worthy of a spot in the top 100.

Is this the best movie ever made? Is it definitely above The Sound of Music, Braveheart, Star Wars, Along the Waterfront, E.T., Scarface, The Godfather, Psycho, High Noon, True Grit, Shaw Shank, Josie Whales, Gone with the Wind, Rocky,The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, The Passion of the Christ and The Phantom of The Opera? No! Not in my opinion. I could not rank this one above all of the forementioned movies.There are also some outstanding foreign films that rank closely as well. Why? Citizen Kane was not easy to construct, but it was a drama and a character study. The producer didn't need to worry about special effects like The 10 Commandments did, no budget like Rocky did, "Supernatural" challenges like The Passion did, and so on. Even High Noon was harder to make because, not only did the movie last exactly as long as the story took place (very hard to do, and the first movie to pull it off), but the first 4 actors they tried to cast to play Marshall Kane, declined the roll!

To sum up, I liked the movie and will watch it again, but the AFI and I won't agree on this one, or much else (just look at my lists of the best Heroes,Villians, and actors/actresses). Watch Citizen Kane and tell me what you think!

Is Citizen Kane the best movie ever?

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What is the best movie ever?

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    • Mr. Smith profile image

      Mr. Smith 6 years ago from California

      You opened a can of worms here, Mike. Personally I like 12 Angry Men. But you may have to break this question down into genre.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Mike; I'm afraid I can't go along with you one this one. I think "Citizen Kane" is the best American film ever made, and the second best film ever made anywhere. The only film I'd put above it is the Japanese classic "Seven Samaurai".

      "Kane" had groundbreaking use of non-linear time, setting the stage for Tarantino (In films like "Pul[p Fiction")and others to play around with out-of-sequence storylines.

      The film didn't have big-budget special effects but it was pioneer of the use of Matte Paintings (all the exteriors for Xanadu) and also amazing model/miniature work. (Wells used "invisible wipes" to cut seemlesssly from models to live sets.)Plus, the use of forced perspective was mastered here--The way the film played with the relative size of objects in the back and foreground was a first. Also, the crowd scene in the political rally was all done by camera trickery--there were actualy no people in the audience.

      The film had some of the most memorabile and brilliant dialouge ever. Only "All about Eve" and "the Godfather" can compare in term of the way the brilliantly-written dialogue just flows.

      The film was also very daring at the time because it was a barely-disguised attack on William Randolph Heast, one of the most powerful men in the country. That kind of thing wasn't done back then. It's very common today (Think Michael Moore) but Wells had to fight the studio back then to make his statement.

      There's more, but my point is that this film was a trend-setter in techniques that would become commonplace in later years. I can't think of any other film which invented so much all at once. Wells really created a masterpiece.

      Next to "the Seven Samaurai" I'd say it's the best movie.


    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 6 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      Take the poll below and tell me what you think is the best movie ever!