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CITIZEN KANE is the Best Film of All Time - So I claim on this week's AINT IT COOL with Harry Knowles!

Hey folks, Harry here...  Ever since SIGHT & SOUND pushed CITIZEN KANE out of the top position in their BEST OF FILM poll that they do every 10 years since 1962...  well, I've been annoyed.   I like VERTIGO, but for me...  it doesn't have the historical significance that CITIZEN KANE has.   It doesn't have the influence of Kane.   This week, I go a little crazy wild in love with CITIZEN KANE.   A film that I have loved for the great majority of my life.   Hope you enjoy this wild ride into my own little magnificent obsession...


Just thought I'd share this endorsement for this week's episode!!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST


    by Fritzlorrerains

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 12:59 p.m. CST


    by Fritzlorrerains

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    citizen kane is a great film but

    by JAMF

    you hated the dark knight rises. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    DKR fans....time to GIVE UP.

    by Raptor Jesus

    Look, that movie was pure shit. It was ridiculous and made no sense. Terrible script. Horrendous problems at the conceptual level. Boring and unbelievable. And if your whole gig is 'this is real-life and it's Batman' and it is UNBELIEVABLE then you're shit out of luck, yes? Harry's review was actually too kind. This particular emperor IS STARK NAKED.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    So this is Harry doing a video talkback at Sight & Sound

    by Jacob Underhill

    I'll allow it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Everybody knows the best movie of all time is Evil Dead II.

    by Artemis Webb

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST


    by smallerdemon

    I literally got goosebumps as soon as you said Devil and Daniel Webster referring to the music. That score is downright spellbinding. This may very well be your best show for me so far just because of how much love I have for Herrmann.

  • Or of the last month, for that matter.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST


    by JamesT

    With a notable few exceptions this list was recently prescribed for people with insomnia. 2001? Most overrated science fiction film of all time? Could be.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Vertigo! You're not my REAL father! I hate you I hate you I hate you!

    by Jacob Underhill

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    KONG does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Harry, I could be wrong but thought i'd read a couple of times you mentioning that original KING KONG was your all time best movie?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    I mean my fave movie is POLICE ACADEMY 2: FIRST ASSIGNMENT because I like the way Bobcat Goldthwaite says *My mothers name was jughead*. He had such a funny voice. Fuck you Citizen Kane IM LAUGHING JUST THINKING ABOUT BOBCAT GOLDTHWAITES VOICE!!!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    rashomon needs his nappy changed.

    by JAMF

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    The only reason Vertigo hit the top this time is because of The Artist

    by thelordofhell

    Now give us a fuckin' Blu-Ray/DVD list Harry!!!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    That black girl Hooks in POLICE ACADEMY who always spoke in a squeaky meek little whisper had a funny voice too. Of course there was also the human beatbox guy... fuck me. Im starting to realize that if you like movies featuring people with funny voices then it really is hard to top POLICE ACADEMY. For. The. Win.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST



    KING KONG & THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD are tied amongst my favorite films of all time. BEST is a different animal.

  • Citizen Kane holds up. No film is perfect, but this one comes mighty close. I was even more riveted than the first time I saw it on the big screen in Reno with my grandfather during its 50th anniversary run in '91.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Star Wars is the most significant movie of all time

    by BosskBalls

    It spawned ILM, which spawned the era of special effects as we now know them. Without Star Wars, and without ILM, half of the movies that are made today would be impossible. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST

    I proclaim Chocolate the greatest flavor of Ice Cream.

    by Smerdyakov

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    A novel choice there, Harry...

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    I would never have seen that one coming.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    What is this 'Ci'zen Cane' of which you speak?

    by Jacob Underhill

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Harry, when is your next DVD column. Its been a month.

    by K-Gin

    I actually look forward to scrolling thru it. Maybe consider splitting the task with one of the other writers instead of having these large gaps in putting it out. I understand this show is great fun, but the DVD column is a nice feature no matter how much people rag on you in the talk back. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents...always inspired by your positive attitude.

  • Let us just look at your on claim that CK is great because it is so freakin' influential. Well, so were the films of the Lumière Brothers, Méliès, and Gance just to name a few, and without them you have no CK. Hell, without Méliès and a few others you have no editing. I think that is a little more influential then CK. As far as CK's "major innovations", just look a few years earlier and you can see Ophuls doing everything CK did, and with more interesting results in my opinion. Yet, we can reach even further back then that to find that the techniques Welles supposedly pioneered were in existence years before he attempted to make a film if not even decades before. One of the main reason CK has held its esteem as innovator was bc film historians didn't get to hop on their computer to pull up any film they wanted to see. They had to actually track down film prints. Which wasn't the easiest thing to do. Citizen Kane just happened to be one of the films historians latched onto, and could actually watch. So Harry, next time your daddy tells you a story about the greatest film of all time, try actually thinking about it. My mommy once told me there was a bearded white man in space looking down on me at all times. Luckily, I reasoned myself out of that one.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    For those ranting about the DVD column

    by Chris Kirby

    I've been there, done that. Harry doesnt really care to even respond.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Well Done

    by Jeremy Jones

    I totally agree. We ALL have favorite movies, but best movie is and always will be Citizen Kane. It really wrote the book on movies.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Sizn Kane

    by AlibyebyeEssmob

    Sizn Kane...Sizn Kane...Sizn Kane... Missing some syllables there, big guy.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I Profoundly Disagree

    by adroxx

  • Because even though Star Wars is "the best film of all time" because it sparked a new era in special effects and toy licensing, among other things!! Jaws is "the best film of all time" because it redefined summer blockbusters!! The Wizard of Oz is "the best film of all time" because it introduced color film to the masses!! Oh, but wait, Don Juan is "the best film of all time" because it was the first commercial film with SOUND!! Do you see what I am doing here? YOU CAN'T REALLY SINGLE-OUT AND PIN A MEDAL ON "THE BEST FILM EVER."

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Random Thought of the Day

    by Sprell

    When Elton John's baby grows up, it will most likely look like Harry Knowles. Keep 'em coming, Harry! LOVED the soundtrack excerpts. More, please!

  • But I prefer Vertigo to CK.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Citizen Kane is a great film but...

    by Napolean Solo

    You loved Daredevil. Does not compute.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:35 p.m. CST

    How to judge the best film of all time?

    by Kovac

    Given the amount of time given to it, it seems like Harry was giving too much weighting to the films influence and particular place in history rather than letting it stand alone on its own merit. But I suspect that there may be no way to be fully objective about such a subject so perhaps it's just a futile argument anyway.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    But you still managed to come in and comment tomandshell

    by Kovac

    Good job! Much like a person walking into an argument and declaring his opinion correct without hearing any of the discussion and walking out again; you sir are an ass.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:37 p.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Harry, yes indeed. Best = objective, fave = subjective. I almost wish that the Sight And Sound critical elite had also been asked what their fave movie was, I think it would have been a more interesting question in many ways and would stop them from hiding behind a smug veneer of critical impartiality... Pretentious cineaste 1: Best movie = THE GODFATHER Fave movie = SPACEHUNTER 3D: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE Pretentious cineaste 2: Best movie = THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS Fave movie = BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS etc etc...

  • Why? Because we have so few moments like that now, or periods. Sure we still have brilliant theater, but we are so obsessed with capturing anything and everything we see and experience, there is so much less room in our culture for the building of mythology. That specialness associated with things we do NOT capture. That unique quality a thing has when it can only be TOLD about, remembered.... and exaggerated. The one time when the lies are better than the truth and stop being lies, becoming the real story. The desire for a full record of every performance is undoubtedly much more satisfying now than actually discovering such a record. Great show, Harry! Love the interviews, but it was a blast just to hear you talk about your love for those films. These videos are reminding a lot of people why you have this site, and why it has done so well over the years.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Battle Beyond The Stars.

    by gotilk

    One of the most beautiful pieces of utter crap I've EVER enjoyed EVERY time I have seen it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    @ Cobra--kai

    by Jacob Underhill

    Agreed. It should be noted, however, that Harry's dissertation on what the poll itself was intended to encompass indicates that harry did no preliminary research into it before doing this video. First off, while I agree with harry's differentiation of 'best' vs. 'favorite,' the critic's poll was for 'greatest' movie of all time, and was qualified by Sight & Sound thusly: 'We leave that open to your interpretation. You might choose the ten films you feel are most important to film history, or the ten that represent the aesthetic pinnacles of achievement, or indeed the ten films that have had the biggest impact on your own view of cinema.' A strong case could be made that the third qualifier in that statement leaves the door open for favorites. It, in essence, admits that in doing a critic's poll, a large measure of emotion and favoritism will be present. Also, if you go their website, you will find that the statement of purpose for this poll is to see 'how movies endure in the face of shifting critical aesthetics.' In other words, the poll is itself a commentary on the zeitgeist of criticism as much as it is a barometer of a movie's status as a classic. The poll is not fully intended as a definitive statement of a movie's quality, but a statement of how critical values and sentimentality change flavor over time. So what does the crowning of 'Vertigo' mean in all of this? It is an indicator that we have moved onward (not ahead and not up...just onward) to appreciating a loose moviemaking style and psychological darkness perhaps more than a classically structured film This is not a statement as to which is BETTER, but a measure of indicating what we now seek in our finest art. Think of the movies as music: Citizen Kane is classical at its finest, while Vertigo is top-notch jazz. It just turns out that the favor of those to whom we entrust our interpretations of movies (i. e. the 800+ critics polled by Sight and Sound) is more towards jazz right now. There is no right or wrong - classical is not going away, but jazz just happens to fit the moment better.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Oh, and my favorite movie? CANNONBALL RUN BABY!

    by Jacob Underhill

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Vetigo > Citizen Kane

    by Klaatu

    Vertigo has that historical significance denied by Harry. Its the bridge (the Golden Gate) between classic and modern cinema.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Citizen Kane is all about

    by emeraldboy

    Orson Welles.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    I call bullshit on this

    by Mike J

    We all know the sort of trash movies Knowles really likes. I bet he hasn't even seen Citizen Cane, he is just saying he likes it to maintain his status as a supposed film expert.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:10 p.m. CST

    the greatest film of all time according to critics

    by emeraldboy

    is without doubt Battleship Potemkin.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    gotilk - yup- best outer space version of Seven Samurai ever made!

    by Michael Lunney

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    there is no such thing as best film....

    by emeraldboy

    and its all a bunch of hooey. to say X or Y is the best film.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by mr. smith

    I agree 100%.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I have my favourite films...

    by emeraldboy

    I love citizen Kane.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    this movie is almost 80 years old, no spoiler warning needed

    by sunwukong86

    if you haven't seen it its your own damn fault

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Another person who proclaims that CK is the best film ever

    by lookylookymoontard

    Please! There are Thousands of Films in existence,you seen them all Harry?.....thought not

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    I agree wit Harry,

    by macheesmo3

    and I will tell you why. Kane was the finest technical achievement in film history up to that point. It was as important in that fashion as Avatar was a few years ago. With the difference being that Kane also had an amazing script, acting, story and score. It really is about as perfect as cinema can get IMO. I could see an argument made for The Godfather, or The Seven Samurai, or Ikiru or any number of films based on their amazing stories, performances lighting...etc, but Kane is the leader when it comes to having all of these things AND being an innovative film technically. (especially when you consider the age in which it was made) ymmv ,of course, but boy is it a great film.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    AICN has become Captain Obvious

    by D.Vader

    "Science fiction films are awesome!" "Citizen Kane is the best movie of all time!" "My cat's breath smells like cat food!"

  • I mean, The Shawshank Redemption is #1 on IMDB, and that's there for a very good reason. Citizen Kane isn't in the top 10, and that's also for a very good reason.

  • except for the tards that need to be told by critics what's best.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 3:58 p.m. CST


    by victor laszlo

    Keep on fighting the good fight!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4 p.m. CST


    by macheesmo3

    So, we should go with the unwashed masses who should up in droves for Beverly Hills Chihuahua and ignore all those smarmy critics? seriously? Let's look at that IMDB list shall we? The Dark Knight 8th? (I love it, but 8th?, of ALL TIME?) Pulp Fiction 4th? (see dark knight) Shawshank 1st? (it's a good movie and all, but it's a bit dripping in melodrama... It wouldn't make my top 50 probably) seriously, any list that ranks Forrest Gump (20th) ahead of Casablanca (23rd) can pretty much be ignored.

  • their rankings are a joke. always have been and always will be.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    The most overrated film of all time

    by Lou_Sassel420

    The correct answer is 2001 a space odyssey you thick fuck

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    overrated? bah

    by macheesmo3

    Please explain to me what's wrong with it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST

    You're all wrong! PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is the greatest movie ever made!

    by Mr. Pricklepants

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Best movie off all time is Monty Python & The Holy Grail

    by IAmLegolas

    maybe Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas...

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Not as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark

    by slone13

    But then again, nothing is.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Harry Knowles

    by BosphorusBill

    I love you.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Great Thesis headgeek

    by Kyle H

    Great thesis on the power of this film. 'Citizen Kane' brought film-making to a new art form. Gregg Toland dragged all of the "Newsreel" negatives he shot for the film across the floor to give them an intentionally scratchy look. That is a great example of the genius behind this film and what you can do to take your art to the highest level. I'm going to see 'Raiders' on Sunday at my IMAX. Wish it was double billed with 'Kane'.

  • it is THE best film of all time - and I have seen thousands of films.... Sure, it's boring to say this.... but I can't change my mind, unless something else better comes along that hasn't been made yet...

  • My fave however goes to Treasures of the Sierra Madre. Fucking love that movie!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    You get it Harry.


    Great episode.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I'll be Al Gore HATES Raiders of the Lost Ark...

    by Skraggo know... because of all the carbon footprint they went through to capture the lost Ark. I love your enthusiasm about film, Harry, but some of the shit you say causes me to make Jim Halpert faces at the non-existent camera in the corner of my room.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    I'll *bet*, even.

    by Skraggo

  • My best/favourite spot NEVER had one movie in it. And that's not all of them either...

  • And the beat goes on...

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    In fact the only movie that stands alone for me is the worst one.

    by UltimaRex

    After Last Season. Worst movie of all time.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 5:53 p.m. CST

    I'm glad Citizen Kane no longer has that badge.

    by DrGogol

    I personally say it's the greatest film ever made. But now that it isn't the #1 anymore, we'll have less a-holes who think they're some kind of rebel by saying they didn't like it.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Arguing what is #1 is a pointless exercise

    by Liverstealer

    Most influence does not imply best film. Nor does comparing 2 different films in 2 different eras from 2 different genres have any value. Apples and oranges people. Apples and oranges.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    I prefer Roshamon to CK as best, but my favorite

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    would have to be The Princess Bride. Though a case could be made that Die Hard is the most entertaining movie of all time.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    You've turned out to be quite the endearing character, Harry Knowles

    by Orionsangels

    I've been coming to AICN since it started. I love reading your articles. They have always touched me. Yet for almost a decade you seemed mysterious and elusive to me. I saw you on video from time to time, but could never really take you in and you seemed kind of awkward to me. Now finally in these Nerdist videos. I can see the real Harry Knowles and he's wonderful. I can see and hear the enthusiasm for films in your voice. You speak very well and you inspire me. I just wanted to say that.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Hey palefire

    by MoistMuskyCamelToe

    Yet, we can reach even further back then that to find that the techniques Welles supposedly pioneered were in existence years before he attempted to make a film if not even decades before.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:51 p.m. CST

    fucking quote stripping

    by MoistMuskyCamelToe

    (yes, I'm trying a fucking injection attack on this shitty site. Thanks for stripping out the rest of my message and diluting the snark) I was just asking if palefire had a film degree. Fuck.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    The real reason Al Gore hated Raiders...

    by gotilk

    The end reminded him too much of most of our citizens. Just close your eyes and the ark (global warming) won't kill you. Pisses him off to no end. He just can't shut it off. Poor guy.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 6:56 p.m. CST

    moistmuskycameltoe LOL

    by gotilk

    U new?

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:04 p.m. CST

    raptor_jesus and Roshoman

    by shawn_h

    In your guy's opinion TDKR is a shit film, just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everybody else has too you fucking ignorant douches. This is a democracy not a dictatorship last time I checked. Fucking assholes

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:06 p.m. CST

    And..Harry whats the difference between best and fav?

    by shawn_h

    Really what's the difference? If it is your favorite movie how do you NOT think it is the best? It is all just opinion afterall? I feel like people who claim that there are best films and favorite films are just trying wayyy too hard to be film snobs...but thats Harry for ya, someone who tries too hard.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:31 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    Yeah, that's one of the points I was trying to get across. Don't get me wrong, I love Citizen Kane. And frankly, a favorite or best film all comes down to subjectivity above all else. Unfortunately, Harry seems to have no clue what he is talking about. He is ignorant of the history of film style, and some of the reasoning behind his pick for CK is just silly.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 7:48 p.m. CST

    A boring film for film elitists.

    by _Maltheus_

    Who cares what was groundbreaking back then? Just a dull story about an evil man.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST

    DVD Column


    Hey folks, Harry here... I'll get it caught up. Something rather major behind the scenes at AICN has occurred that threatened the very existence of the site. I have been dealing with those issues and trying to solve issues that seemed impossible 3 weeks ago. I've almost got AICN back to a point of security and can again turn my attention on my favorite column. I can't possibly express to you good folks just how much I wish I could just spend time writing about film and the site, but when you run a site like this - it sometimes require business concerns that frankly I wish I never had to fucking deal with. It is tedious work that nobody gets to see, but the fact this site did not go offline 2 weeks ago, well, it speaks to the fact that I did what needed to be done. I won't air the laundry, but something that I was told was being taken care of wasn't and now it has. DVD column has been being incrementally worked upon, but Saturday - I'm putting in earbuds and writing till it is done.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    the business side...

    by Detached

    i get it, harry. i'm sure it bites, but you're right, with something like this, the business side is necessary. and don't kid yourself, plenty of people out here are grateful.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:33 p.m. CST

    and yes, kane tops vertigo

    by Detached

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:38 p.m. CST

    I agree, maltheus, never got Citizen Kane.

    by googamooga

    Many other movies are better IMO, but then I'm no Harry Knowles, and we KNOW how ironclad his integrity is.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Best film of all time?

    by vorlonkosh

    Only to film snobs. There are far too many great films that have been made since. Personally, I thought is was a fine film, but for me, the mark of a great film is one that I will take the time to watch over and over. How many times have any of us watched Citizen Kane when we weren't required to in some college film class? I get the feeling that when a critic claims this movie is the best of all time, they are doing it to inflate their own credibility, and not being honest with themselves, as if any other answer would be unacceptable in the eyes of the film elite. For once, I would like to hear an honest appraisal of this movie from a critic who isn't afraid to call this movie what it really is....a boring movie that utilizes great filming techniques.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 8:44 p.m. CST

    2001, Lawrence of Arabia, or Ran get the top spot

    by David Duchovny

    Kane is floating in the top 10 somewhere though.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST


    by Mace Tofu

    ILM? Shit I think Citizen Kane has more FX shots than Star Wars. Kane wins because each shot kicks some new ass from a filmmakers POV at the time. For many this changed how films were made as much as ILM changed the quality of FX work in movies years later. Both pushed the film craft bar way higher from were it was.

  • Most influential? Sure! BEST? FUCK YOU

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    mace tofu FX shots? no, camera work, yes.

    by sunwukong86

    camera work and visual effects are two different things buddy

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Thanks Harold

    by Chris Kirby

    I appreciate the candid response. Now get your ass to work

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:28 p.m. CST

    They are FX shots

    by Mace Tofu

    Models , matte paintings, optical printing of many elements = FX shots. I stand by that comment.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    One other thing Kane influenced...

    by zodiacman

    All contemporary films featuring unconventional, non-linear chronologies--i.e., narratives that jump back and forth through time--from Pulp Fiction to Exotica to Red Violin to Eye of God to Blue Valentine to 500 Days of Summer to Cloud Atlas and countless others, owe their largest debt of gratitude to Kane. That jigsaw narrative was a complete shock to many who saw the film back in 1941, and filmmakers continue to emulate it. But what's usually overlooked is that Kane was preceded in that respect by another important work, 1933's Power and the Glory, starring Spencer Tracey. It was thought lost for decades, but thankfully resurfaced a few years back, and can be seen once again. (I saw it on youtube myself, btw, but can't say whether it's still posted there.) Welles claimed he never saw it--though that's pretty unlikely, considering the script was written by his old pal from Illinois, the great Preston Sturgess. Not to take away from the greatness of Kane, mind you, but let's not overlook the importance of "Power and the Glory" in the process, either. Nice discussion of Kane, btw, Harry.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:45 p.m. CST

    The one I respect as the best is Casablanca. Favorites are....

    by BlaGyver

    Pulp Fiction, Star Wars, Casablanca, The Usual Suspects, The Thing, Akira, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hellboy, Phantasm, Apocalypse Now, The Thing, Seven Samurai....I'll also say that after a few more viewings I think that Cabin in the Woods may end up on that list. I realize there's at least two dark horses on there (Sarah Marshall and Hellboy) but to each his own. I really love those movies and you can rip me apart all you want, I won't apologize for my love for them.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Big Trouble in Little China kicks all these movies asses.

    by mgs316

    Special effects, check. Epic leading man, check. Humor, check. Deals with the human condition, check. Love story with a downer ending, check. Mysticism, INDEED!!!

  • you basically have this movie that was written solely for the purpose of slandering William Randolph Hearst...and Welles gets all the credit, but really it was Gregg Toland's holy-shit-I-didnt-know-you-could-do-that cinematography that made CK as groundbreaking as it is.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:06 p.m. CST

    @ mgs316

    by Balkin Flabgurter

    I try to tell the world every day, that is one of the greatest movies ever made.. ever. Jack Burton is in charge god damnit!!!

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    cobra--kai, just listen ....

    by DarthBlart

    Steve Guttenburg was also awesome in PA2 when he was playing the character of Jughead. Also the part the introduces Jones. The two yuppies are eating lunch and Jones makes noises. "Hungry Diane?"

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Swan Song...

    by Alabama Smith

    How would you like your first major motion picture to be your best work? "Touch of Evil" and "Magnificent Ambersons" are good movies, but by no means up to the standards that Citizen Kane established. However, is it me or is "The Muppet Movie" Orson Wells best work? Standard Rich and Famous contract for Mr. The Frog....priceless!

  • My own personal fave is 12 ANGRY MEN

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Oh no! Were we hacked again??

    by D.Vader

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    not the best movie ever made...

    by ghost_matt

    One of the most influential? Certainly. But that doesn't make it the best movie. You have to take into consideration a movie's influence AND it's entertainment value. I like Citizen Kane and have it on dvd, but I've really only watched it twice. I can respect it for what it did, but most people I've watched it with thought it was boring. I look at the movie overall. I can think of several movies that were influential AND highly entertaining...Star Wars, Fellowship of the Ring, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather...

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Biggest Plot hole of all time maybe...

    by Ray

    No one was in the room when he said "Rosebud". The whole movie is based on the meaning of a man's last words that no one could have heard.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:13 p.m. CST

    "The Dark Knight Rises" is really just "Rocky 3" with Batman in it!

    by Alabama Smith

    Rocky / Batman at the top of their game...thinking about / going ahead and retiring....along comes Clubber Lang / Bane...fight where Rocky / Batman gets his ass kick....back to the beginning to train for the fight....Rocky / Batman kick ass and save the day.... Now where is Carl Weathers when we need him.

  • Sept. 13, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST

    I'm in the Casablanca camp

    by Dreamfasting

    When I consider the state of the world at the time and the uncertainties over how history would unfold, the power of this scene floors me every time:

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Most Influential != Best

    by FrodoFraggins

    Just because the old coot with the gross fingernails says it is.

  • << << << << << << << << << << BACK TO THE FUTURE >>

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST


    by Xen11


  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    The body of my first post

    by Xen11

    got fucked because this site as issues with certain symbols.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    And The Dark Knight Rises is fucking phenomenal.

    by Xen11

    Seeing it a second time, for some reason, got me even more hyped than the first time I saw it. When you watch it a first time, an extremely anticipated movie like that, you have expectations and a certain idea of what it will be. The second time you see it, you can take it in for exactly what it is. The same experience with The Avengers. It was actually even better the second time.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:03 a.m. CST

    I faithfully watch CITIZEN KANE an average of 3-4 times a year


    Every year. I love the film. It centers me. Watching the movement of the camera, the haiku wonder of some of those montages. I love watching the other actors in the scene besides Welles... but mostly I can't take my eyes off of him. Here he is taking potshots at one of the most powerful men of the age. Creating a lifetime in a single film. There is so much still to learn from the movie.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Citizen Kane: the greatest movie ever made?

    by mister death

    ...and yet it featured no blooper reel? How can it influence Hal Needham, Gene Roddenberry, John Lasseter the founder of Pixar? Blooper reels keep butts in seats to maybe glance at the end credits. That is truly magical. Blah, blah, blah... I actually really dig Citizen Kane and consider it a great film. It has obvious ground breaking moments that Harry correctly points out that are often copied. It's the hype machine I can do with out. Choosing "the greatest film of all time" is like picking the "the greatest tool in a Swiss Army Knife." Of course that would be the blade, no, let me think...oh yes, the toe nail clipper...uh no the cork screw!! Original, unexpected, brilliant !!!

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Harry, you should just film the dvd segment.

    by ponyboy

  • i could go on for hours about the greatness of Citizen Kane, but for me, personally, it was the scrappy underdog courage to defy one of the most powerful men in the world that endears this film to me in a way that i honestly don't think will happen again with another film in my lifetime. just as a hero is defined by the villian, the heights of greatness that a film can reach are defined by the challenges of it's time i do have to say that i have a soft spot for Persepolis, because it is kind of a distant descendant of Citizen Kane.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:40 a.m. CST

    No, no, no, young Knowles...

    by Darkness

    There is no definitive "Greatest film Of All Time" - it comes down to personal preference. Everyone on this site and on talkback has their own personal favorites, and the formation of collective statistics still won't prove that, because in the end we are always indecisive about what our favorite film really is. It probably changes every year in fact. "Citizen Kane" was good, but no masterpiece. Don't get me wrong, it's well shot, and the score is fantastic but it just felt banal and lifeless; probably like the central characters humanity. "Vertigo" also was annoying - probably the worst in the Hitchcock cannon; it just seemed to go on and on and started to grate on my senses. Probably the endearing aspects of these films was Herrmann, by a longshot. For me, i go for: "Once Upon A Time In The West", "The Elephant Man", "Blade Runner", "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", but nothing is top because again of complete indecisiveness. Cinematic perfection is a son of a bitch.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:01 a.m. CST

    I love Kane, but you've put me off it now!

    by Kenny8

    Really enjoying these Basement episodes, but Harry, please, please, pitch your speaking voice down an octave or two. Take a breath man and relax. Use the voice you use when talking to Boiler in this ep please! When you get worked up it stops my chooks from laying.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:06 a.m. CST

    PA2 does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    darthblart, the POLICE ACADEMY 2 *hungry Diane?* bit with the yuppies is fantastic. Another great bit is when the drill sargeant guy gets flung head first into the horses asshole. Then the next shot you see him come in trying to be dignified with his hair all slicked down, like he's only just come out the shower and Jones does the horsey sound effects, Neigh!

  • The Blair Witch Project wasn't a movie, it was a marketing scheme.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST

    by UltimaRex

    TBWP had a MASSIVE impact on both the indie and the horror scene and created a genre when people thought they'd seen it all. Whatever anyone thinks of TBWP as a movie, that can't be argued with.

  • Maybe the scariest. I fucking love it.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:45 a.m. CST

    What about The Wizard Of Oz ?

    by Xen11

    A wonderful classic that inheres within that dreams matter and can change your life and outlook on things.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Rosebud. Enri. With Mustard.

    by tangcameo

    I also believe its the greatest film of all time. And if we're stacking it up against Vertigo, I'd actually say Rear Window is a better movie than Vertigo. But if Harry or the crew ever feels like having a discussion on my personal favourite movie of all time - PARIS, TEXAS - or posting some behind the scenes pics someday (Natassja in that pink sweater, Harry Dean Stanton and Dean Stockwell goofin off, or shots of the making of the home movie within the film) I would surely welcome it. Just send me an email so I don't miss it. :-) And as to stuff not done, Harry, I can relate. I've been trying to finish off the last two chapters of my novel and everything that could delay me in the last three weeks has. I even tried the pop in the earbuds and write but my quiet corner in the library is a fucking madhouse.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:09 a.m. CST

    "Me and Orson Welles" by Richard Linklater

    by animas

    is better than anything Orson Welles ever did.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:16 a.m. CST

    by the time I saw blair witch project

    by emeraldboy

    in Dublin. the hype had gone away. After seeing it , I really felt like demanding my money back.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:19 a.m. CST

    I guess I'm going to have to see this film sometime

    by Jared Bond

    ...does it have any explosions?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 6:08 a.m. CST

    It really isn't.

    by Kyle

    Just because AFI says it is and a bunch of other snooty arty douche bags living in the past say it is, doesn't make it so...One of the Cuckoo's Nest is way better. I could name like 3,000 movies better than Citizen Kane.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 6:09 a.m. CST

    One FLEW OVER the Cuckoo's Nest.

    by Kyle

    I got so excited I typed it wrong.

  • He starts off by going on a a tangent about RiverDance. YOU CAN'T BEAT THAT

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    On the Right Track. Coleman in his prime. Greatest of all time.

    by Skankardly

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:28 a.m. CST


    by teddy_duchamp

    Yeah but a pile of shit has a thousand eyes.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:31 a.m. CST

    raptor_jesus time to give up

    by NightArrows

    No one who enjoyed DKR gives two fucks what a shit stain such as yourself thinks, or tries to sell us as "the truth". The bottom line is that pissants like yourself like to think you have the "foundation opinion", to which all other opinions must fall in line with regarding film. You opinion is valid within your sad little universe, and that's about it. Nothing you hammer out on your jizz-stained keyboard is ever going to matter. If there is any justice is this world, fucking douchebags like yourself, would end up as a stain on a woman's ass instead of being able to take up our valuable oxygen. But hey, there's still hope... you could always throw yourself down an elevator shaft and make us all happy.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Oh and rashomon

    by NightArrows

    Follow my advice to raptor jesus, or just get AIDS and die. Which ever is more convenient for you.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Citizen Kane wins the all time spot and vertigo can suck it.

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Ice Pirates was the best Robert Urich film ever....

    by westie

    ...and Angelica Huston's greatest performance.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:48 a.m. CST

    @ msg

    by westie

    When Burton walks in during the climax and says, "Not so fast, gentlemen." Like he's pissed off that he's being put out of his way, with red lipstick on his mouth, I fall out of my chair every time.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST

    It's a desert island movie along with bukkake spray lesbians #38-43

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8 a.m. CST

    And let's not forget #72

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Kane always makes me want to watch Twilight Zone and Kong.

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:10 a.m. CST


    by stvnhthr

    Citizen Kane is a technical marvel, but not very entertaining. I marvel at the film, but I'm not really entertained. It makes me stand in awe of the possibilities of film, but I never find myself getting excited to watch it. I see it, I understand it, but it leaves me unchanged and emotionally disconnected. Great film, very little resonance beyond its own weight. I'll watch the original Kong 10 times to every time I watch this once. Or Godfather 1 or 2, or Apocalypse Now, or Raiders, or Star Wars, or Seven Samurai, or its A Wonderful Life. Kane seems to choose the cerebral over the emotional and that feels less than human. It is a sterile unappealing definition of what it means to tell a story; rather than a character arc it prefers to focus on conveying information. People should be the focus, not the events they have walked through, not facts about them. But that is my opinion, I rather walk away changed by a movie's vision of life then just think that was intellectually savvy.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Unless bane's voice throws it out of the running

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by stvnhthr

    shoot how can I forget Casablanca? I'd watch Bogie 50 more times before I would be interested in watching Kane again.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Right on, Harry!

    by Nasty_Nick

    I totally agree. I grew up with Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time and it seems strange that this is no longer the case. I too love Vertigo but you make a good argument that although Kane isn't everyone's favorite as a piece of art it is the best and Bernard Herrmann is the greatest composer of all time.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Vertigo ? ....Nah

    by Dheep

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Everybody knows the best movie of all time is Megaforce.

    by Gorgomel

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST

    my fave comedy of all time is

    by emeraldboy

    some like it hot. My fave musical is singing in the rain. other fave movies are Back to future 1,2,3 ferris Buellers day off. the breakfast club Predator Commando Labyrinth and the dark Crystal. The terminator and T2 judgement day. Duel Batman and batman returns(just for that intro and Pfeiffers catwoman), beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. The original star wars trilogy. and all subsequent versions of starwars even the prequels. I have seen all of the superman movies. I have even seen supermans unmentionable spin off movie. I love Laureal and Hardy movies and some of the Marx brothers works. I have seen all three of the matrix movies If I was to name the greatest film of all time. and this is a surprising one. it would have to Be Fantasia. the original one and not the sequel. I saw that in dublin many years ago and it was one of greatest things I ever saw. that and the opening of the lion King...the circle of life... I would also add the muppet movie to my personal list of the greatest films ever made. oh and luxor junior.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Time to put the Dark Knight to sleep...

    by gaygoonie

    I'm sorry, but Chris Nolan's film is mostly joyless and Christian Bale never did it for me (MacGruff!). I can't wait for another Batman movie ala Tim Burton's where the filmmaker isn't so ashamed of the fact that he's making a BATMAN movie. Nolan's film are turgid crime dramas first; reluctant comic book movies second.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    The Majestic?

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Pulp Fiction?

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Damn I think pulp fiction might be my favorite.

    by UltraTron

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Damn gaygoonie, you've convinced me...

    by UltimaRex

    ...that TDK is the greatest movie of all time. Fuck you.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    nolan and his team

    by emeraldboy

    are the best visual filmmakers around. but they are all empty and soulless storywise. WB heard the cry of those people who couldnt stand the campyness of batman and wanted something gritty and tough and dark. Nolan put the gritt into batman and took out the camp. nolan was never interested in Batman' dual personality like Burton was. burton's batman was all about Bruce Waynes double life. The reason why avengers did so well is that Joss Wheedon understood that comic book movies need not necessarily be gloomy and dark and gritty. the avengers was not without its flaws but it was slick and entertaining. nolan's batman movies are slick but entertaining....I dont think so.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Most repeat watchable movie of all time? I'd say it's THE GOONIES!

    by REMcycle

    ...followed perhaps by PULP FICTION, although I'd need more time inbetween screenings than with THE GOONIES.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    In other news...

    by devilish21ca

    In other news, water is wet, and night follows day. Geez Harry, way to address the provocative issues of the day!

  • May be influential and great in technique, but sorry a movie is not just a technical creation to be the BEST you have to invoke a strong emotional investment and reaction from your audience as well. That is NOT this film. It's a great film to be sure, but best -- no.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST


    by GravyAkira

    I've been listening to your shit all week!

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Historical inaccuracy in Harry's rant:

    by Raymond Shaw

    When the French critics watched Citizen Kane they actually said "Mon Dieu! Ou est le fromage?" In his autobiography Godard mentions that after watching Kane he pulled out a gun forced Truffaut to go out and buy a six-pack of Brie.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    I've never seen CITIZEN KANE

    by Blu Gilliand

    I'm almost afraid to now...afraid that it won't live up to the hype. Movies are too subjective to name a "Best" movie of all time. Everyone is going to have their own criteria, their own standards, etc. "Favorite" movie, on the other hand, can be done. For me, that list includes JAWS, PULP FICTION, HALLOWEEN, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, and many more.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Sorry Harry, but I can't agree

    by John E. Petty

    There's no doubt that CITIZEN KANE is a great film, worthy of a respected place in the annals of film history, and that much of your analysis/appreciation of the film is spot on. But the BEST film of all time? Nope. It doesn't have the historical significance of BIRTH OF A NATION, a film that rewrote the grammar of cinematography. It doesn't have the emotional resonance of IKIRU, or the widespread cultural significance of STAR WARS. It doesn't serve as a summation of a particular period the way METROPOLIS sums up German Expressionism or UMBERTO D sums up Italian Neo-Realism or WHITE HEAT sums up film noir. It didn't inaugurate a new filmmaking genre the way DRACULA set the stage for gothic horror or THE MALTESE FALCON paved the way for film noir. It didn't redefine a genre in the way that STAGECOACH or 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY did. As far as your point about being a springboard for the French New Wave directors and the birth of auteur theory, Truffaut et al were much more influenced by Hitchcock than Welles. Although they admired Welles (and Howard Hawks and John Ford, for example), they worshipped at the shrine of Hitchcock, a director they elevated from a gimmicky thriller director to a cinematic artist. Just look at how much Truffaut, for example, wrote about Hitchcock compared to the amount he wrote about Welles. CITIZEN KANE has a long history of being named "The Best Film of All Time," mainly, I suspect, due to Welles' self-promotional efforts during his lifetime. It is a great film, but it's far from the best. Most lists that name it so tend to largely ignore films made outside of the US and genre films, making any such list suspect. IKIRU would be a good candidate for "Best," as would TOKYO STORY, for example. Again, as great a film as VERTIGO is, I can't really see it taking the top spot either. Oh well, I'm with you on ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, though.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    my two fave filmmakers

    by emeraldboy

    are without doubt the coen bros. I have seen al lthier films bar two.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Cabin In The Woods??

    by Straycat

    You had me up until that point. And btw the only other film that changed cinema in this manner was 2001.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Rock and Roll!

    by UltimaRex

    I say this whenever I or someone else is going somewhere.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Giant plothole in the opening

    by Kyle

    You don't see crap like THAT in Casablanca

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST

    lots of groundbreaking movies in 60s and 70s

    by border5150

    but Kane was ground-breaking in the 40s. it did it first. Best. Movie. Ever.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST

    actually Truffaut HATED Orson Welles and Citizen Kane....

    by john

    “For me he’s just a hoax. It’s empty. It’s not interesting. It’s dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of — is all the critics’ darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it’s a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie’s got is absolutely unbelievable.”

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    favorites for me

    by mysterygirlx11

    Star Wars -for the pure emotional reason that when you are 7 years old sitting in a sold-out theatre, popcorn in hand,a movie can truly be magic !!!! The Flight of the Phoenix with Jimmy Stewart --the characters so great, the story so tense and then a bit of a twist --one of those great "overcoming the odds" movies The Black Stallion -beautiful cinematography and a wonderful soundtrack Schindler's List --I cry and cry and the end -it gets me - The Departed -because at the end you just don't know who was playing who Gone With The Wind-- cheesy -yep but i think Vivien Leigh is one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the earth

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Bernard Herrmann peerless - absolute genius film scores!!!!!!

    by Michael Lunney

  • So what age did you first see Citizen Kane?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    DVD Column excuses

    by Mike J

    How come that whenever there is a groundswell of negativity about Knowles being dilatory with the DVD column there is always an excuse? Either the site itself suffers a MAJOR DISASTER which threatens the. ery existence of AICN but is too top sectet to actually tell the readership about, or Knowles has some major health issue which, thank the lawd, he comes back from to the shock of his doctors. All these behind-the-scenes issues which are near-terminal but cannot be disclosed seem to happen with alarming regularity. Funny that. Doesn't ever seem to happen to any other fan site does it?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Citizen Kane is the best film

    by in6087

    at sending me to sleep after 30 minutes. Still never seen it all the way through. Exactly the same as Transformers 2: Dark Side of the Moon or whatever the fuck it was called

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 7:32 p.m. CST

    How can anyone not find CITIZEN KANE entertaining?

    by CountryBoy

    There are so many great moments, fascinating shots, brilliant edits... not to mention the towering central performance as a 25-year old plays the whole span of a man's life, utterly convincingly (even the makeup was better in CK than in countless subsequent movies)... Here are a few great moments, from just the beginning of the movie: creepy shots of Xanadu, its lone light always in the same spot (even reflected in the water!) newsreel with its "whole life story packed into 5 minutes" or however long it was, and including: artifically aged footage to give it "distressed" look brief handheld shot of Kane from afar, to effortlessly convey his walled-off life middle-aged Kane in interviews -- remember, that's really a 25-year-old kid Kane pals around with Hitler! growing heap of newspapers announcing Kane's death, first in English, then in other languages, then in other ALPHABETS, to express his vast influence after newsreel, the cool shafts of light in the screening room, with no one's face ever seen hollow, echoing Thatcher library scene (ingenious use of sound to describe a space) young Kane framed playing in the window while his family discusses sending him away forever snow covers old sled/Thatcher gives new sled/"Merry Christmas!"/"And a Happy New Year!" covering 15 years in about a minute... And Kane hasn't even made his big entrance yet! I'm probably forgetting some things, but that just shows how much great material is in this movie. And again I ask, how can anyone not find that entertaining?

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Citizen Kane bored me senseless..

    by Greg

    But I was required to watch it in college. About twenty years ago. Tempted to try to rewatch it at some point. But I know I'll just put Die Hard on again for the bijillionth time.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    You guys get it right?

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Kane may be Harry's "best" film, or not, but it's articles like this that come out so strongly (like many of Harry's articles i.e. "disappointed with TDKR") with their opinions that creates so much discussion and engagement on this, his website and business. If he came out and said "well, no one can really say what the best film of all time is, but I kinda like this one..." this site would get no traffic. I'm a huge Hitchcock fan but for what it's worth, I prefer many of his other films over Vertigo, and I think Kane's importance in the history of film is probably more significant than any other. I think people think the movie is about Hearst and how daring blah blah blah, but to me the movie is about a lost childhood and the inability of one human being to find happiness. The ground it broke in terms of filmmaking is not as profound as the underlying emotion of the story to me. And Welles gives a great performance. We can talk about Hearst and the technical aspects of the film and the cinematography but what makes it great is that whether he realized it or not it's a very personal film.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:24 p.m. CST


    by Mockingbuddha

    Best movie of all time is that time I made out with that girl in the middle of the field in that one park and ended up getting a tick bite right on the top of my head. That spot was soft for months afterward and I married that girl. Hellboy 2 is also cool.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:30 p.m. CST

    At first I thought this thread would be quickly closed.

    by James_Camera_On

    One or two would complain about how overrated the film is and that would be it. That's how it works, right? But then scanning down the comments I noticed all the Nolan/TDKR hate! I said Yes, they will keep the thread open! I'm so happy! Maybe not. I realized TDKR hate didn't work for me. Anyway, I kinda dug the film And I was a Vertigo partisan since I saw the film the first time. Sorry. So fuck it. I lost all interest in commenting. Calling all haters . . . Your moment has come.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:35 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Moe

    The Blair Witch was a hoax. It sold itself as REAL footage. There was even viral websites with police reports incase anyone did a google search. The trailers claimed it was a documentary showing actual footage released by the police. Everyone thought it was real at the time. I'm going to UCF where this film was shot by its students. The instructors here that was around during the time tell us how the marketing influenced everyone's opinion. They claim that no one even liked the movie when it was shown privately. It actually became a joke of a movie to everyone who saw it. Then the marketing started, and it completely influenced everyone's opinion. the Blair Witch is actually used to teach the power of marketing and its influence on public perception. You like it because you were told to like it. It was snake oil sold to you and you bought it. In reality, it is a terrible script, terrible story, bad acting, and incoherent characters. The filmmaker's projects since have been a joke, yet they have all maintained the same quality as The Blair Witch Project. The big difference is the lack of marketing.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    mjs_cold_lifeless_guilty_corpse -

    by AntonStark

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Blair Witch was a poll for stupid people

    by AntonStark

    if you thought it was anything but a movie then you are stupid

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Quit saying 'I'm sorry, but' before you express an opinion

    by Larry Sellers

    As if you're breaking some heartbreaking truth to someone who disagrees. Shut the fuck up and just say it without being condescending.

  • Sept. 14, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Moe

    When something comes out and claims to be a factual documentary, claims the footage was released by the police, and then creates false police records and releases them on dozens of websites giving an in-depth investigation into what happened, then it is hard to not initially believe that something did happen. Remember, this was the first mass viral marketing (aka fraud) campaign. Even some small news affiliates reported this story as if it were real. There was a huge effort to create media misinformation for this movie. When you're seeing this story on the local news as if it were real news, who are you to argue?

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Thanks Harry

    by Biddlerama

    For all the behind the scenes stuff you do to keep this site running for us. Everytime you remind us how hard you're working for us (and you do it A LOT) it just makes my heart stutter and I jism like you when you're sitting in the theatre. That's sarcasm by the way, when i read once again how you're dealing with matters behind the scene, but gosh darn you'll type until your fingers bleed to save us all, it make me gurgle up stomach acid. It translates for me to you saying "I have no idea how to run a 'business', it really irks me when i'm trying to hump my King Kong stuffy and I find out someone isn't running the show for me like I expected them too, even though I mostly employ dancing monkyies who don't challenge my 'authority'." The motorala flip phone was cool once too, but everyone liked smart phones now, your site is still a motorola flip phone weighing down the pants of your 'followers' and exposing their Batmite underoos. Folks it's time to move on to the samsungs and the iPhones, this flip phone is way past the point of an upgrade.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah

    by Biddlerama

    Citizen Kane is over rated... damn good movie but over rated.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST


    by macheesmo3

    yer the type of troglodyte douchebag who would refuse to watch a masterpiece like The Red Shoes because it had "faggy ballet stuff in it" In other words, your opinion is worth less than moo, even cow's laugh at it

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Here's my top 20

    by macheesmo3

    on my blog: I'm sure i missed some, you always do when you make lists

  • i was a young adult and i rolled my eyes the first time i heard about it but, you know, people believe the President wasn't born in this country too, so, like i said, it was a stupid poll

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 3:12 a.m. CST

    by UltimaRex

    I never once thought TBWP was anything more than a movie. Sure the hype tried to paint it as factual but I didn't buy that for a second. And I didn't think anyone else did either. I guess it sucks to have a brain sometimes. That being said, TBWP does get away with things no other movie would before or since.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST

    I disagee with about 80% of Harry's opinions--

    by A_Banned_Apart

    --but this is not one of them. Doesn't mean he or I are absolutely 'correct', nor do is mean we are absolutely 'wrong'. But it's nice to be in agreement with the top guy every once in a while at a site I read daily.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 3:39 a.m. CST

    *disagree*, dammit.

    by A_Banned_Apart

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Great vid, totally agree. There were politics behind S+S list

    by Knuckleface

    Sight & Sound Magazine is the best film mag out there, but it's a product of the British Film Institute, and BFI has a stake in the Hitchcock legacy.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Harry, you had me until your random Cabin in the Woods plug

    by mattythelionheart

  • The script for Citizen Kane and the acting in it are incredible. There are so many great lines delivered with class! Few films have managed a non-linear storyline so well. I hate the way people go on about the film's technical aspects, if only because it's totally missing the point.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    The Blair Witch Project is a test to see if you

    by Xen11

    have any imagination or not. If you hated it, you are a dumb shit.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    The Best Movie of All Time

    by knightrider


  • Sept. 15, 2012, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Ultratron: most 'rewatchable' movies

    by Knuckleface

    The most 'rewatchable' film is definitely a personal choice, and I don't think there could ever be a critical consensus. For me, the winner is: Akira! I've seen it probably a 100 times and will probably watch it another 100 times. I'm always making new insights into the film and I find I can easily get lost in the artwork. Citizen Kane is also a movie I can watch again and again. It's status as 'art' has overshadowed it's great entertainment value. For me it's every bit a "comfort food" film. Other movies I never bore of rewatching: Raiders Conan the Barbarian (Arnuld version) South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut The Good the Bad and the Ugly (although it's length can be a problem) Midnight Madness (great crap film) Rankin Bass's The Hobbit (Tolkien fanboys may bitch and moan about it, but I think its a wonderfully paced film and beautiful) Highlander (I think it's the Queen soundtrack that gets me, but I find this movie crack-addictive)

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Buster Keatons The General, Welles even stated himself

    by sherlock_junior

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    anton, if by world view...

    by Greg

    You mean getting out in the real world and working for a living and experiening more than just living at home then a rigid college curriculum, then yes...I think I get what you mean. There is something said for how life experience shapes someone's appreciation or lack there of of various media. The problem is, going back and trying to rewatch Citizen Kane still feels like homework to me. I do feel I need to give it another chance though.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST


    by macheesmo3

    how old are you? like 14? sweet jesus, you are never gonna touch a boob covered in man stink, huddled in yer mom's basement. grow up, go out in the sun, do some exercise, take a shower. oh and please talk to strangers like you talk on here, and let me know when that happens, cuz i honestly can't wait to read the hospital report when you get your tubby ass kicked up and down dumbass street

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Te Reiterate...

    by Jacob Underhill

    Harry's first sentence 'Ever since SIGHT & SOUND pushed CITIZEN KANE out of the top position.........' is erroneous at face value. The poll was sent out to critics, 853 of whom fomred the basis of the final results. It was not a multiple choice poll - the critics were asked to name the movies they felt fit into the top slot category. Read my critique near the top of this post for more details on what the poll was actually about...or visit their website (something Harry clearly did not do - he just started yelling 'UNFAIR!' and never stopped). S&S's list is much more philosophical and an interesting read once you see what they are demonstrating as far as the viewpoints of criticism and the changing values of the critics themselves. It should be noted that Harry was not one of those critics polled. No slight on Harry, but now he will never be asked... since the poll is on the evolution of movies AND critics, his little hissy fit above proves that he is not open to changing his mind. It is worth mentioning that if you look at the stats (they are parsed out very neatly on their website)...many, MANY critics still have Citizen Kane in the top spot. This was a vote, and the publication merely shows the results of that vote. If Harry wants to do a video wherein he attempts to prove that 353 votes is a greater number of votes than 500, I will happily watch that one. Heck - I happily watched THIS one. Funny thing is, my personal list would put Citizen Kane at the top as well. But If I were asked to argue my point, I would politely ask that Harry NOT be on my team of lawyers.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Never understood the Citizen Kane love

    by tailhook

    The film itself is largely considered a borefest by most. Most people who profess to love CK do so as they think it will enhance their 'status' as a 'film critic'. It isn't so much about the movie itself, but about the person trying to enter the Me Too crowd of the elite. Its the 'Safe' Shibboleth that people use to buy their way into that crowd. Lets say you were truthful and picked something you honestly thought was best, but more modern. Try to put it forward and the people who have invested themselves in CK being the Critics Darling would flay you. Watch... if go out and I say The Matrix was the best film of all time... whats your initial response. The knives... right? How could you love something so dreadfully modern! I mean.. it stars Keanu Reeves for gods sake! Oh.. you're one of Those People(tm). The automatic response is to ostracize, because loving CK isn't about the content itself, but about an Us vs Them Mentality and trying to be part of the In Elite Crowd. And yes, The Matrix was a far better movie than Citizen Kane ever will be, neither of which I would consider the best film of all time.. but TM was far better than CK.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST


    by tailhook

    is a great cure for insomnia. It literally took me years to get through that POS film. How anybody thinks that film is even in the top 100 of all time is beyond me. It isn't even the best movie Hitchcock ever made.

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 1:32 p.m. CST

    yep, yer 14

    by macheesmo3

    I'm a grown up kiddo, I can speak in complete sentences , eloquently without having to use a swear word every five words because I have an education and a vocabulary. Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son. But one day you will learn that. (just as one day you will learn that "getting" somebody on the internet is as worthless as hen shit on the pump handle.) now go get yer fucking shine box

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    icyhot - that's exactly what i mean by world view

    by AntonStark

    i think you'll be happy you gave it another chance

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    mjs_cold_lifeless_guilty_corpse -

    by AntonStark

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Don't worry son

    by macheesmo3

    one day you will meet a lovely girl at the olympics and you can roll your two scooters through walmart and say your vows on the dairy aisle! (and I'm 6'3" 220lbs, hardly fat,could stand to lose 10lbs tho (though since I'm about to turn 40 I can't complain, especially since I have all my own hair) Yer amusing, but like dating 20 somethings, it starts to lose it's luster after awhile. Hope you grow up and make your parents proud soon!

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Spartacus is the best movie and my favorite film

    by Drew DeWindt

    The acting, writing, directing, emotion, scope, complexity and everything else about it put it at the top of my list - Citizen Kane barely cracks my top 20 list

  • Sept. 15, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Truffaut couldn't wipe Orson Welles' massive rump...

    by Ricky Retardo

    ...with his French froggy tongue.

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Always thought Lawerence of Arabia

    by spike fan

    Was far better than Citizen Kane as the greatest film off all time. But thats just my opinion just like Harry having one.

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 10:50 a.m. CST


    by MovieDeal

    I LOVE your posts! I don't agree with them but I LOVE the "troll" aspect of them. Please tell me they're not actually true. Because that would ruin the illusion. ;-)

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Competes with...

    by Hugh G Rekshun

    ...2001, The Godfather, and Blade Runner for the most overrated movies of all-time. All of which I own and enjoy to varying degrees...they're all just disgustingly overrated.

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    DVD column

    by VibroCount

    So Harry was going to finish the past month's worth of DVD reviews on Saturday "... writing till it is done." In addition to not understanding the difference between "till" (what is done in cultivating a field) and "'til" (the contraction for until), Harry once again shows us how little he cares about the DVD column. Yeah, yeah, yeah... Harry was personally responsible for all the IT work required for keeping the website up and it required 24-hour a day attention from him every day since the second week in August... that's obvious because he did not during that time do any webcasts or write any comments about Citizen Kane v Vertigo or any other stuff. Oh, wait... It's Sunday September 16, Harry. Where's the third week in August fit into your life?

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST

    The greatest film of all time is....Bikini Carwash 2

    by Wilford_Brimleys_Diabetes_Rage

    nuff said

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST



    yes, and I collapsed at 7:30am Sunday morning with another 50 to write

  • Sept. 16, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    No love for Birth Of A Nation???

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Content aside, it was so far ahead of it's time that filmakers literally still use the same basic camera angles such as pov/tracking shots as an example.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Sight and Sound's #1 Film for 2032

    by JAGUART

    Donnie Darko (2001). The film that defined a generation of idiots and the birth of the Idiocracy that won't know what Citizen Kane is.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Maybe the best but...

    by DrEdwardMorbius

    ...what are your personal favs? The ones you could watch over and over for the rest of time? Here are mine, feel free to add yours in the comments...

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 8:57 a.m. CST

    There is no "Best" film

    by VermithraxPejorative

    Sorry Harry, but it's true. What does historical significance have to do with "Best". A film should be viewed in it's own context when saying things like "Best". I can go with "Most Significant" and "Greatest", but "Best" means something different and is entirely subjective. THere is no one "Best" of anything in art.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Soul Plane is the greatest film of all time

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    But Chronicle and Attack the Block sucked Rhinoceros dick.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Harry's version of Magic 8 Ball: Excuse-o-Matic

    by Mike J

    People getting snarky about the lateness of the DVD column? No problem! Just give Harry Knowles' patented Excuse-o-Matic a good shake and instanly your reasons dor the delays are ready for you. Includes all the usual: *Some major catastrophy happened behind the scenes here at AICN but I can't tell you what* *Over the weekend I contracted blue monkey disease and have been in hospital. Fortunately the doctors think I'm a medical marvel so I'll be back to normal soon* *So strung out after Comicon/BNAT/Weekend away with Yoko / A really bad case of the shits brought on by my blue monkey disease* And the always popular: *Been working on a top secret project which you guys will love but its taken up all my time* The Harry Knowles Excuse-o-Matic! Available from Amazon - click on the link to keep this site in bullshit.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST


    by VibroCount

    You enjoy doing you little videos. I get it. Good fun. In a few weeks you will not do anything but prepare for your next Butt-Numb night. In June and July, you will do nothing but drool over Comic Con. If you have spent five minutes each day preparing your DVD column, writing a review each time... you would never be late with it, never need to snow us with lame excuses, and actually accomplish that which you say is important to you. It is important to us, but you do what is fun at the moment and wonder why we complain about your ability to present Cool stuff. Your writing skills never improve... your scoops that are real grow fewer in number... your opinions become less believable as you seem to love films that promote you, rather than you showing any objectivity. I now show up for Herc's Vault... only. You are as unreliable as a Sacramento weather forcaster... you can be right, but we never know when.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 3:14 p.m. CST

    A film I have loved for the great majority of my life

    by Mike J

    Again, I ask - what age were you Harry, when you first loved is film? Sorry to be a cynical but you're, what, 40/41 years old? So the great majority of your life would suggest you fell in love with the film when you were 10. And I say that is bullshit. Now I don't doubt for a second you were madly passionate about film at that age - I was myself - but assuming you were born in the early 70s, then at 10 you would have been cheering films like Raiders and Empire, movies aimed at kids as much as adults. But Kane? Sorry, I just don't believe that at all. That is a heavy movie for anyone to get into but no way is a 10 year old gonna love it. So, care to respond or will you just do the usual and ignore any Talkback that exposes you as a fraud? Or will you just ban me again and delete my posts?

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Even in film class...

    by Tarch

    there was never anyone that could make this case to me. Some just waved their hands and said this, then failed to win in any explination. I've seen it multiple times, and it never fails to NOT impress. It's just OK... no where near the top hundred movies of all time. Sorry, there are so many other movies that are vastly superior - like the final director's cut of Blade Runner.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Does anyone seriously believe Harry?

    by Mike J

    I mean, come on, you've seen the complete and utter shite he praises to the skies. Do you honestly believe he has even watched Citizen Kane? I figure he may have seen a few minutes of it before realizing that Orson Welles didn't play Killer Kane from Buck Rogers.

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Sizzin Kane is my new rap name


    YOLO bitches

  • Sept. 17, 2012, 11:53 p.m. CST

    banned dirty ape


    I was raised on the classics. Both my parents were film grads. But they also raised me on grindhouse, genre & sub-genre flicks. That ROSEBUD sled hanging on Boiler's tooth at the end... I bought that at a garage sale in 1993. I've seen CITIZEN KANE at the beachfront motel in front of San Simeon. Toured San Simeon, then watched Kane at night with moon light illuminating Hearst's castle in the window. I saw CITIZEN KANE on a cruise ship going through the Panama Canal as Roger Ebert lectured shot for shot through the film. The film centers and tunes me. CITIZEN KANE is meant to be understood, discovered and pondered. Loving it, connects you with a world of classic cinema. Discover the films that everyone that made CITIZEN KANE and you really get a fine appreciation for the talent a-bomb that that film has.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    LULZ @ Harry

    by Chris Kirby

    Just LULZ. Thats all.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Pretentious motherfuckers!!!

    by bufordtannen

    Try watching Citizen Kane or any Nolan film regularly without feeling suicidal. And fucking bored. Everybody knows that you can watch Pulp Fiction, Back to the Future and The Matrix on a loop and not stop loving it. Throw in Star Wars every few loops and you're done. I'm right so fuck off with yours serious monkey-ass-bullshit-voted-for-by-the-critics wankfest.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 1:34 p.m. CST

    It's Tuesday

    by VibroCount

    ... and yet... still no DVD column.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    after reading david thompson's biography

    by emeraldboy

    on welles. Kane is all about Welles.


  • Sept. 18, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    Wizard of OZ is the best film ever. It Is.

    by Nichole

    No Debate. My favorite film is Escape From New York. Worst film is Escape From LA.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    sorry, but no narrative film can be called the greatest

    by Jbud

    when so many, many people, while recognizing the utter brilliance of the filmmaking, thematic and storytelling technique, are nonetheless bored to tears by the story itself and the stiff characterizations. For many, that goes for Vertigo as well. And I adore both films.

  • Sept. 18, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    jbud, Wizard of OZ Can :)

    by Nichole

    Not even kidding.

  • Sept. 19, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Yeah but...

    by korahn

    While I can't deny the impact Citizen Kane had in film making, one thing has always bothered me and that's the GAPING plot hole. The guy was trying to find out what "rosebud" meant... but no one was there to hear him say it before he died.

  • Sept. 19, 2012, 6:20 a.m. CST

    Nope Orson Wells's best movie is

    by Dazzler69

    Transformers 1985! Unicron! Glad to help.

  • Sept. 20, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST


    by Shia LeButt

    I finally got around to watching it a while back, and was terribly disappointed. Hugely overrated film in my opinion.

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST

    It's a great film, but I'm so tired of people calling it the greatest.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    That's just fucking stupid. I don't care about its impact on filmmaking. I get it. The film was revolutionary and much of it still holds up today. But much of it doesn't, with quite a lot of hammy, or unconvincing acting. It is SO not the greatest film of all time. Jesus. Talk about your lemming mentality.

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Besides, Vice Squad with Wings Hauser is the greatest film ever made.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Hands down, bitches. None of you knows a fucking thing unless you agree with me.

  • Oh that movie is not sophisticat-i-ed enough for my tastes, mmmhhhmmmm , no sirrr . Sherry, darling, please pass the brandy, mmmmmhhhhmmmm.

  • Sept. 22, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Harry is awesome

    by John Walker

    Harry, don't let any of these haters bring you down. Take comfort in your supporters, and in those who disagree with you in a respectful manner. I am so impressed with your professionalism. Your passion and knowledge are amazing, and your opinions are yours. I am grateful for this site. Be yourself. You take a lot of crap from people, and you also make a lot of people happy. Thank you for all you have done. Sorry you have had to deal with crap lately. Onward, my friend. John

  • Sept. 23, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by John Walker

    The only time I ever hear that is when uneducated, douchebag, white trash, wannabe nerd, dickless sacks of shit try to insult me. Time for you to stop using recreational drugs while watching reruns of Roseanne.