Citizen Kane

WSR Score5
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HBO Home Video
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Black & White
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Orson Welles
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DTS HD Lossless 1.0
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Citizen Kane is the story of Xanadu's Landlord, Kubla Khan or Charles Foster Kane, the greatest newspaper tycoon of any generation. The story follows a group of reporters who are trying to decipher the last word ever spoke by the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a newsreel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, a series of flashbacks from Kane's life fill in. Through the reporter's investigation the story unfolds to reveal the essence of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually lost course. This classic story of power and the press starring, produced, directed, and co-written by then 25-year-old Orson Welles captured nine Academy Award® (1942) nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director, and won for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. (Gary Reber)

Special features on Disc One include commentary by Peter Bogdanovich; commentary by Roger Ebert; the vintage featurette Opening: World Premier Of Citizen Kane (SD 01:08); an interview with Ruth Warrick (SD 05:40); an interview with Robert Wise (SD 03:04); storyboards; call sheet details; still photography with commentary by Ebert; deleted scene storyboards, sketches, and photos; ad campaign posters; excerpts from a program during "Opening Night"; photos from "Opening Night"; and the theatrical trailer. Also included is a 48-page collector's book filled with photos and behind-the-scenes details, a 20-page reproduction of the original 1941 souvenir program, lobby cards, and reproductions of rare production memos and correspondence. Disc Two is a DVD and Disc Three is a DVD of the HBO Feature RKO 281.

The 1.30:1 1080p AVC picture is the 70th Anniversary restored version of the American classic. The 4K restoration, scanned for a 1941 composite fine-grain positive master, is wonderful, resulting in incredible quality never before exhibited on a home video medium. The black-and-white imagery is dramatic in terms of contrast, balance, and shadow delineation. The picture, painstakingly re-created via a frame-by-frame process, is pristine yet retains its classic cinematic artistry. What a great achievement for the American cinema that such a classic is now preserved for future generations to appreciate the fine art of filmmaking, This is a filmmaking achievement that is not to be missed and should be part of every film collection. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 1.0-channel soundtrack was restored from the original monaural RCA Sound System recording. Remarkably, the dialogue production is terrific, with a generally natural presence and sense of spatial integration. The sound has been "cleaned" and sounds amazingly good for a 70-year-old production. (Gary Reber)