Citizen Kane is the first family film directed by Orson Welles, is widely believed to be the most influential film in movie history.

It is loosely based on the lives of the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, the reclusive aerospace and movie mogul Howard Hughes, and the Chicago utilities magnate Samuel Insull. Welles maintained that the character is a composite of several historical individuals. Internally while it was under production, it was referred to as RKO 281. The film premiered on May 1, 1941.


Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.


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A group of reporters who are trying to decipher the last word ever spoke by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the "top of the world."


  • Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane
  • William Alland as Jerry Thompson
  • Ray Collins as Jim W. Gettys
  • Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander Kane
  • Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland
  • George Coulouris as Walter Parks Thatcher
  • Agnes Moorehead as Mary Kane
  • Harry Shannon as Jim Kane
  • Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein
  • Ruth Warrick as Emily Monroe Norton Kane
  • Paul Stewart as Raymond
  • Georgia Backus as Bertha Anderson
  • Fortunio Bonanova as Signor Matiste
  • Sonny Bupp as Charles Foster Kane III
  • Buddy Swan as Young Charles Foster Kane
  • Erskine Sanford as Herbert Carter
  • Gus Schilling as The Headwaiter
  • Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Rawlston

Films about Citizen KaneEdit

The Battle Over Citizen Kane - A 1996 Academy Award nominated documentary about about the clash between newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst and actor/writer/director Orson Welles that also aired as part of the PBS series, The American Experience.

RKO 281 - An HBO Films telefilm about the production of Citizen Kane; produced by legendary directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.

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