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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day runs a couple of newspapers. What do you do?

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

It’s about time Citizen Kane rears its head around these parts. Orson Welles has shown up from time to time, but not his debut film which is widely considered the best film ever made.

I don’t go quite that far, but I love the movie. I can point to movies I enjoy more, that touch me more, that impress me more, but what’s amazing about watching Kane now is seeing the language of film being set. There were spectacles before Kane, but Welles really broke the mold, taking filmmaking from a more traditional stage-bound theatricality to an open fluidity that we now permanently associate with filmed storytelling.

Even if there was nothing else to like in that movie the technical achievement would be enough to justify the praise, but there’s more to the movie. Kane is a great character that’ll have you laughing one minute and crying the next and Welles’ troupe (including my favorite, Joseph Cotton) are all a pleasure to watch.

So, enjoy the photo! Yes, that’s Welles on the right directing with a broken ankle. I’d love to believe that big horn-shaped machine was a giant bullhorn that Welles used to blast direction at his actors and crew, but it’s probably just a big light. A fella can dream, can’t he?



Tomorrow’s pic is going on a bug hunt.

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  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST

    This movie has a permanent spot on my DVR

    by Kammich

    Taped it off of TCM like a year and a half ago, and I'll probably never remove it. Just one of those movies that I can put on, at just about any time, and marvel at it.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by Kammich

    Post something about Ron Howard's insightful comments about "The Dark Tower" adaptation, bro-ham. Us Tower-fanatics want to know what you think(and having a TB to discuss it all would be sweet, too).

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Sound equipment

    by micbenxyy

    Very likely a horn used to isolate on set dialogue. Or not.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:43 p.m. CST


    by ROBRAM89

    I prefer the "giant bullhorn" theory.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Have never seen it.

    by Ingeld

    I hear there is something about a sled.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 8 p.m. CST

    Quint, just curious -- what movies impress you more?

    by CountryBoy

    In terms of scope of production, I guess there are plenty; but in actual skill and technique, I'm hard pressed to think of one that's more consistently dazzling.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    The technical merit of "Citizen Kane" is astounding

    by Kammich

    It boggles the mind, considering the era in which the film was made. But, personally, the production design in "2001: A Space Odyssey" will always be the most revelatory movie experience for me, in that regard.

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Bug hunt?

    by _Venkman

    Aliens??? Vasquez full frontal?? *crosses fingers*

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 10 p.m. CST

    Is there a moderator in the house?!?

    by Monroville

    C'mon guys! Can we have someone delete these spammers (like liuxing170) from these posts? And what is the point to having a Facebook login option if it doesn't work?

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 10:01 p.m. CST

    And is it too much to ask?

    by Monroville

    Can we bring back the HTML bit where when one clicks on a message in the Talkbacks, the whole damn, dirty talkback appears, as opposed to having to click on one message at a time?

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 11:09 p.m. CST

    monroville ... "expand all"

    by MurderMostFowl

    its at the top right of the TB purple/blue part... that wil make all the conversations visible. My question for AICN is Why not just load all conversations? Since its at the bottom of the page, why not? I would prefer a TB layout more like myself. nice little edit box, being able to quote people directly etc. Oh well

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Kane as cinematic revolution

    by MurderMostFowl

    I think a huge part of Citizen Kane is lost on modern audiences because so much of technical things that it pioneered are so common place now days. The amazingly good use of dutch angles, pulling focus, Deep focus and long takes... though they weren't invented here were used so well to help tell the story. It's a visual treat for me, and simply amazing when you look at most of the other films from the late 30's early 40's

  • Dec. 18, 2010, 11:34 p.m. CST

    "I think it would be FUN to run a newspaper!"

    by caruso-stalker217

    This movie is the tits.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 12:20 a.m. CST

    This is one of the movies

    by Fremen

    on my mental list to watch, 'though the film's ending was "spoiled" by a multitude of shows during my lifetime. I can't wait till TCM shows it again.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 12:39 a.m. CST

    Bug Hunt?

    by maxbrown

    I'm hoping that tomorrow's pic is from Star Ship Troopers.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Almost impossible for our generation to realise how

    by John Finnan

    amazing that movie is. Virtually every single cinematic trick in the movie, was invented by Welles. Done first by Welles. Tricks we've all seen either done elsewhere, or bettered elsewhere. It's like reading Olaf Stapledon's first novel. It might not impress you as much, but he invented more sci-fi ideas than HG Wells and Arthur C. Clarke combined. And he did most of it in his first novel. An example, from Citizen Kane: There's a scene where the camera is on a rooftop, and the point of view descends laterally and goes through a small opening in a rooftop sign, and continues on focusing on the building next door. This is nothing to todays CGI. But in the early 20th century, a shot like that was revolutionary. It had never been done before. Welles had to build a set that literally came apart dynamically as the camera approached, to allow it room to pass through. Or there's a scene later on as Kane walks between two mirrors, and you get the infinite tunnel effect of seeing a dozen Kanes reflected, walking across the screen. Again, trivially easy with todays techniques. But utterly brand new in Welle's day. We just look at that. Back then, people thought "Where the hell is the camera? It's not visible in the mirror!" Hundreds of tricks like that make Citizen Kane the greatest movie ever. Because he was like Newton, inventing all the tools he'd ever need, and profoundly enriching the medium in the process.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Err...where are the links to the other BTS pics?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    They were quite useful, indeed.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this BTS pic already posted like a long while back?

    by tangcameo

    It looks familiar.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Rosebud ... Henri ... with mustard

    by tangcameo

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Still my #1...

    by workshed

    ...everything I want to say about it has already been written many, many times. Welles' film towers over cinema like Kong over the Empire State. It's still as good today (I watched my Special Edition DVD last week and, when I finally purchase a bluray player, Kane is top of the 'must buy' list.)

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Joseph Cotten

    by dukeroberts

    He is so much your favorite that you can't spell his name correctly, but I digress... On the special edition DVD, the picture is so clear you can actually make out Alan Ladd's face in the shadowy scene in the beginning when the projector is running. He was one of the anonymous people investigating Kane's final utterance.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 9:59 a.m. CST

    It's not a light -

    by cloudyP

    a light that big back in the day would have all sorts of provisions for heat & venting (look at the fins and tops on the big junior's in the background). The reason quint thinks "megaphone" is everything about the shape of the thing suggests sound projection. Looks like a megaphone or sound playback thing to me - I've seen these in other older BTS pix (and it looks like the studio had 5 more, right??)

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Favorite part

    by Boone

    is Gregg Tolland wrapped around the tripod. The guy was a genius, totally on par with Welles when it comes to innovations in the film. That's why Welles gave him equal billing. That, and John Ford had done it, too.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    If "Rosebud" really was..

    by Hipshot

    William Randolph Hurst's nickname for his mistresses' nether regions, (as that HBO docudrama implied) that's just an amazing diss...and no wonder Hurst set out to destroy him.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST

    "That's one big ass megaphone"

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    That's how you directed in ALL CAPS back in the day.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 1:27 p.m. CST


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  • Dec. 19, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Kane broke a lot of ground for its time

    by dicbeaks

    That's cinematographer great Gregg Toland under the light in front of the camera. Dorothy Comingore played Susan Alexander shown in the scene. She didn't act in too many films after Kane and was part of the Hollywood witch hunt on the 50's. Kane broke a lot of ground for its time. Orson's use of low camera angles and deep focus shots were indeed groundbreaking, as was his use of audio, which came from his radio background. Hopefully, it will come out on Blu-Ray in 2011 for its 70th anniversary.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    That's cool, but where's the Willow pic?

    by MattmanReturns

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 5:49 p.m. CST

    You know...

    by GhostJax

    When two BTS Pics run back to back, you guys might want to think about writing some articles.

  • That pretty much sums it up.

  • Dec. 19, 2010, 10:45 p.m. CST

    it's slow around here most weekends,

    by frank cotton

    and it's the holidays. i wouldn't be expecting much...

  • Superb film. You can't say enough good things about it.

  • Dec. 20, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    why does he have a broken ankle?

    by BBSloth

    Slipped over in the Third Man drains?