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daddysprimadonna

Citizen Kane

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> > I agree with you 100% Fred. My only point has been that while the movie is ahead of its time and unique in so many ways I just find the Rosebud childhood part convensional and not a reason the film is one of the all time greats.

> I think you are right about that.

>

> But the Rosebud thing, to me, was a very unusual technique, used all through the film, and the very ending was just, to me, a very powerful realization. It was a simple idea but it really worked on me. And, to me, it had much more meaning than a simple memory of his childhood. A second meaning was about the reporters trying to make something important out of it, when it wasn't important at all, and a lot of old people experience the same thing, thoughts of their childhood when life was much more simple.

Well, I agree with that, too. Rich old man, empty inside, an old and much-used story. A Christmas Carol, the E. A. Robinson poem Richard Cory, (later made into a song by Paul Simon,) just two quick examples. But I agree with Fred, "Rosebud" is a bigger hook than just that angle.

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Well maybe Rosebud just doesn't click with me because I grew up in sunny Southern California.

 

Now it it was a surfboard than maybe I would get all cloaked up. :)

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It was very surprising that Ben's intro of "Kane" not only included mention of the subsequent animosity between his grandfather, Herman, and Welles over who had written the film, Ben even claimed Herman had brought a full screenplay to their partnership. I'd never heard THAT before.

 

A wonderful and long out-of-print biography of Herman describes one possible origin of "Rosebud": as a child, Herman's long wished-for bicycle was stolen while he was doing something his disciplinarian father had forbidden and so the bicycle was never replaced. (Perhaps a minor event to some, but for Herman, it was a grave and painful injustice.)

 

Further clarification of the writing credit: it was Herman and not Welles who'd been close to both Hearst and Davies, Herman and his wife, Sarah, having enjoyed many a weekend at Hearst Castle.

 

That Herman would later turn on his former host with such ferocity is understandable, based on his relationship with his own tyrannical father and Hearst's similar if far more vast abuses of power .

 

That L.B. Mayer actually offered RKO $800,000 to burn the negative of "Kane" has been claimed so often that it MUST be true ... whether it is or not.

 

That "Rosebud" was actually a nickname Hearst had bestowed on a particular part of Davies' female anatomy is a rumor that's never been proven but has often been cited to explain Hearst's tremendous rancor over the film.

 

As to whether "Citizen Kane" truly is the Best Film Ever ... who's qualified to make such a judgement?

 

But as for the best (and most O/T) anecdote from the biography of Mank:

 

When psychotherapy became something of a fad in Hollywood in the 1930s, Herman started seeing a shrink to deal with his drinking & carousing.

 

After a couple of years of twice-a-week sessions, Herman finally realized that while the childhood traumas which caused him to drink and carouse had been unearthed and explored, that knowledge had done little to alter his behavior. And so, with his analyst's blessing, Herman decided to stop the sessions.

 

At the end of his final visit, Herman stood up, shook the good doctor's hand, thanked him very much and headed for the door.

 

Suddenly, he turned around and said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you .... I have a sister and I hate her."

 

THEN he left.

 

Miss you, Mank.

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Thanks for your interesting post. :)

 

>After a couple of years of twice-a-week sessions, Herman finally realized that while the childhood traumas which caused him to drink and carouse had been unearthed and explored, that knowledge had done little to alter his behavior.

 

That seems to have been a very popular movie myth in the 1930s through the '50s.

 

Everybody had long-forgotten traumas in childhood. Didn't we all cry as babies? We felt uncomfortable in some way, we were very upset, so we cried.

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> {quote:title=Cobolt wrote:}{quote}*Dorothy Comingore's voice grates on my ears.*

Well Cobolt, ever consider the possibilty that Dorothy might have affected that voice in order to press home the point that her character of Susan, while besides not possessing any talent at all as an opera singer, wasn't exactly the brightest bulb on the ol' marquee, either?!

 

(...yep, MAYBE she was doin' Lina Lamont a whole decade BEFORE Jean Hagen did it in a certain 1952 movie musical of note, eh?!)

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After a long search, I finally found the original director's cut of Citizen Kane:

 

 

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}After a long search, I finally found the original director's cut of Citizen Kane:

>

>

>

Eeh! You no a fool me! There ain'ta no sucha a thing as a Sanity Clause...I'a mean a Citizena Kane-a!

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>I guess you'll also have to listen carefully as to whether he says >Rosebud before or after the nurse comes in.

 

Kane says "Rosebud" twice in the movie. The whole staff heard it the first time he said it, while holding the snow globe. This is just after he stopped wrecking his wife's room. He picks up the globe and he says...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG1nWu3qwYc&feature=player_detailpage#t=394s

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In that excerpt he says Rosebud rather loudly. In other ones

on YT, it's quieter, so perhaps the staff didn't quite hear exactly

what he said. Perhaps the character played by Paul Stewart

mentioned he heard it, but I don't remember. In the other instance,

the nurse definitely does come in after Kane says Rosebud, so she

couldn't have known. So how would the reporters have known?

It's just one of those little things that are interesting to note, but

is rather insignificant in the larger scheme of things. In the deathbed

scene there is a nice shot of swirling snow, then a closeup of a snow

covered house, than the camera pulls out to show that it is really the

interior of the snow globe. Sweet.

 

Welles himself once said that Rosebud was a gimmick, "dollar-book Freud."

Maybe it was rather obvious, but it did help things along in a minor way,

and if you haven't seen the movie before or read about it, there is some

suspense in following the trail of Rosebud. I think this is Welles' best film,

with second place going to The Magnificent Ambersons, even in its truncated

form.

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I used to be in the camp that believed that the snowglobe was representational of Kane's nostalgia for his boyhood home. And maybe for the sled. But now that FredCDobbs has pointed out that the snowglobe actually was a possesion belonging to Susan Alexander before Kane ever met her, I no longer believe his attachment to the piece has anything to do with his pre-wealth youth. I think it reminds him of a time much later than that.

 

I never before noticed the snowglobe being on Susan Alexander's dressing table in her small apartment. I did notice it when it was picked up by Kane during his rampage in her bedroom in Xanadu. But I never gave it a second thought as to where that came from. I thought it was likely a gift from Kane to her. It never occured to me that it was an old object of hers that she saved and carried with her over the years. Why would holding a possesion of Alexander's abruptly put an end to his destruction of her bedroom?

 

I think it does link back to the evening when they met and Alexander had no idea who he was. That night Charles Foster Kane was just a "schoolboy" who could wiggle his ears and do shadow puppets to impress a thougthful and attractive young lady. This courtship was a period in their relationship that we can assume was not influenced by his money. Or at least for that one evening, he wasn't the richest man in the country while across from Susan Alexander.

 

No other relationship that Kane had as an adult "began" in that same manner. All the other persons surrounding Kane as an adult were near him because of, or with full knowledge of, his wealth and power. Jed Leland was a friend from Private Boys School. Mr. Bernstein was an employee. The worldly first wife, who was "acquired" on a buying tour of Europe, would know who Charles Foster Kane was when they met. Only Susan Alexander came into his life completely carefree of his wealth. And she brought with her that snowglobe.

 

Picking up that snowglobe ellicits a strong response in Kane. He recognises it as a possession of hers that she owned before they met. He holds on to it and even carries it out of the room with him when he stops tearing the place apart. And it is there in his hand while on his death bed. While holding the snowglobe as he lay dying, Kane isn't thinking about the cabin in Colorado or his sled - even if that is the scene depicted in the snowglobe. (How serendipitous that she would own a snowglobe with a cabin and sled in it when they met. That is a bigger "huh?" than who heard Kane's last words.) Kane is thinking about this very personal artifact that belonged to Susan Alexander, the woman that, in spite of a toothache, offered some kind assistance to a stranger one night long ago.

 

Why does Kane whisper "Rosebud" on his death bead and not "Susan."? I don't know. Maybe it is the metaphor we have all heard about. Or perhaps it is just where his mind wandered while reminiscing about that evening in a young woman's apartment when he was detoured from going to the warehouse that stored the artifacts of _his_ youth.

 

But the snowglobe itself is his tether to Susan Alexander and not to his childhood.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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> {quote:title=hlywdkjk wrote:}{quote}

> But the snowglobe itself is his tether to Susan Alexander and not to his childhood.

>

 

Kyle, you make some important observations. But, like Fred, I think the snow-globe is a link to both Susan, and his childhood.

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You're right about Marion

Davies being treated shabbily. Welles may not have intended it as a portrait of her, but he should have realized that it would be seen that way. However, a realistic representation of Davies wouldn't have fit in with the story.

 

About the rest of the picture, Exhibit A for the defense:

 

The scene in which Kane's second wife leaves him, and in a fury he tears the room apart. When he sees the glass ball with the snow scene that reminds him of his boyhood home, the life suddenly goes out of him. There are tears in his eyes, and he shuffles out, reflected endlessly in the mirrors.

 

Welles despised William Randolph Hearst, but he was able to feel compassion for him just the same.

 

Of course, if you don't like the picture, that's your privilege. This would be a boring forum if we all agreed with each other.

 

 

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