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Something I Want To Know About CITIZEN KANE:


Palmerin
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why is Kane so fixated on turning Susan Alexander into an opera singer, when it's so obvious that she does not have the voice or stage presence necessary for such a demanding career?

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I didn't see anything untoward about it.  Kane obviously loved (in his way) Susan to the point that their relationship, once learned of, ruined his chances of being elected governor, so the rest of the world be damned!

 

He's CHARLES FOSTER KANE!  What HE wants and thinks is all that matters.

 

I mean, how many times have you seen some parents push their nominally talented and plain looking kids in your face and insist YOU notice how beautiful they are, and what genius  they have?

 

Facebook is RIFE with that sort of thing!

 

Sepiatone

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why is Kane so fixated on turning Susan Alexander into an opera singer, when it's so obvious that she does not have the voice or stage presence necessary for such a demanding career?

Okay, either he is totally smitten after dealing with Ruth Warrick, the society dame and wants an easier type chick OR the writers had to make a parallel between that story and Hearst's trysts with Marion Davies.

 

He did want her to make more high class film fare than the comedies she was known for, so the comparison might be apt.

 

We know it is based on Davies since the word "Rosebud" was used in the script and that was Hearst's pet name for an unmentionable body part.

 

Don't ask!

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why is Kane so fixated on turning Susan Alexander into an opera singer, when it's so obvious that she does not have the voice or stage presence necessary for such a demanding career?

I think kane sees himself as someone who can make anybody's dream come true. jedediah suggested to him that his problem was he expected the masses to be grateful to him for his beneficence. (sorta like obama) so susan alexander tells kane she wanted to be a singer and so kane says to himself if that what she wants then by ME she shall have it.

 

that's how kane thought.

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is it me or does dorothy comingore sound like judy holiday. :)

You mean "screechy" and "whiny"?

 

Nah, I think she sounds more like that chick Jack Lemmon picks up at the bar in "The Apartment". Bizarrely her name is Hope Holiday. But I think Judy spelled her last name with two "l's.

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While it's been years since I last watched Kane, I believe his obsession over Susan's career was as much (if not more) about himself as it was about her.  After the scandal of their affair broke out, his rival newspaper referred to her in the headlines as a "Singer," in quotes.  They were clearly making fun of the fact that this no-name from the wrong side of town had ambitions of being an opera singer but no legitimate experience.  Another character (maybe Jedediah) even remarks that Kane was going to remove the quotes from "Singer."  Thus, everything he did afterword to make her into an opera success was as much to legitimize his scandalous relationship with her and rebuild his reputation now that his political career was thwarted.  I believe Susan knew as well as anyone that she was just not cut out for it.  He probably did too, deep down, but his power blinded him to reality.  He believed he could do anything he set out to do, no matter who it destroyed.

 

On a different note, it's a shame that the Susan Alexander character has come to overshadow the real Marion Davies.  She was actually a delightful actress, but people brought up on Citizen Kane have come to associate the fictional character with the inspiration so closely that Davies' acting abilities are often dismissed sight unseen.

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Kane was one of those rich guys who think money can

buy just about anything, including the ability to be an

opera singer. Mankiewicz used other business tycoons

in addition to Hearst to fill in some of Kane's story.

Samuel Insull was a Chicago tycoon who built an

opera house, though he didn't try to make his actress

wife into an opera singer.

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While it's been years since I last watched Kane, I believe his obsession over Susan's career was as much (if not more) about himself as it was about her.  After the scandal of their affair broke out, his rival newspaper referred to her in the headlines as a "Singer," in quotes.  They were clearly making fun of the fact that this no-name from the wrong side of town had ambitions of being an opera singer but no legitimate experience.  Another character (maybe Jedediah) even remarks that Kane was going to remove the quotes from "Singer."  Thus, everything he did afterword to make her into an opera success was as much to legitimize his scandalous relationship with her and rebuild his reputation now that his political career was thwarted.  I believe Susan knew as well as anyone that she was just not cut out for it.  He probably did too, deep down, but his power blinded him to reality.  He believed he could do anything he set out to do, no matter who it destroyed.

 

On a different note, it's a shame that the Susan Alexander character has come to overshadow the real Marion Davies.  She was actually a delightful actress, but people brought up on Citizen Kane have come to associate the fictional character with the inspiration so closely that Davies' acting abilities are often dismissed sight unseen.

 

DING, DING, DING, DING, DING.

 

Feego here nailed it.

 

(...and on both counts)

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I think kane sees himself as someone who can make anybody's dream come true. jedediah suggested to him that his problem was he expected the masses to be grateful to him for his beneficence. (sorta like obama) so susan alexander tells kane she wanted to be a singer and so kane says to himself if that what she wants then by ME she shall have it.

 

that's how kane thought.

Nip--

 

The guy who thinks he can buy anything because he's rich,

 

He can get away with anything because he's rich

 

he can force people to do anything he wants because he's rich and

 

he can Propel his current floozy to stardom with all his money and power

 

 

Gosh oh Gee that sounds more like DONALD TRUMP than anybody else

Today.

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Feego said: Thus, everything he did afterword to make her into an opera success was as much to legitimize his scandalous relationship with her and rebuild his reputation now that his political career was thwarted.  


 


Remember Kane said, "People will think what I TELL THEM to think"


 


also: On a different note, it's a shame that the Susan Alexander character has come to overshadow the real Marion Davies.


 


I think Davies' charm & talent has overcome whatever comparisons were made so many years ago.


 


This film is still a fascinating look at a charactor viewed through his motivations & actions. Susan Alexanders is my favorite part of the story- a contrast to Kane's inability to evolve & mature. I love when Kane whimpers, 'can't go' & she smiles & says "Oh yes I can!"

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You have to remember that when Citizen Kane was made, Marion Davies had been off the screen for several years. In the years before VHS, DVD, BLU and even television, her movies (about 50 films, all starring role  from 1917-37) were out of circulation. As the years marched on and Citizen Kane's reputation grew, the Davies films were more forgotten until it was easy to associate Alexander with Davies as being without talent. Only with the rise of TCM and other movie networks were the Davies films taken out of the vaults and aired and re-appraised. Today, nearly all her talkies are available of DVD and many of the silents are also.

 

I have personally secured DVD releases for Davies' Getting Mary Married (1919), The Restless Sex (1920), and Enchantment (1921). The latter has aired on TCM. Perhaps her best silent comedies are The Patsy and Show People, both of which air on TCM. There is a current project to release When Knighthood Was in Flower (1922) in a pristine print by my friend Ben Model. This was likely the most expensive film made up to that time and was Davies' first mega-hit.

 

Many of her MGM silents have not been released on DVD or shown on TV but there are several terrific films in that bunch. Warners Archive Collection of DVDs has released most of her talkies (MGM and Warners). I believe most critics and film buffs now regard Marion Davies as a top-ranked comedienne and a very good dramatic actress.

 

Susan Alexander she ain't.

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I feel if people stop and realize that the KANE character was BASED ON, and loosley, RANDOLPH HEARST or a HEARST type of person, and NOT a biography, or probably not even MEANT to slam Hearst in the least, then the comparisons of Davies to Susan Alexander wouldn't come to fruition.  unless they're DUMB enough to be led by the nose by people who try to be "experts" on the film and/or it's percieved subliminal undercurrent.

 

Sepiatone

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