In which a twentieth-century King Midas destroys everything he touches
Orson Welles was movie’s producer, director, star, and dominating force, but “Citizen Kane” would never have existed without Herman Mankiewicz.
Miss Kael’s view of Citizen Kane is in keeping with what she has written before. It is, she says, a ‘shallow masterpiece’. That is to say, she concedes what is undeniable, the power of the film, but denies it profundity because its psychology is unconvincing.
People not involved in the study of film are often surprised to learn that Citizen Kane is so highly regarded. The rapid pace and newspaper montages and the Rosebud business — all that looks so typically Hollywood. But that view belongs to the old days, when films appeared briefly, were seen once, and then vanished to make way for next year’s model.