Friday, August 17, 2012

Citizen Kane vs. Vertigo

One of the things that my mom and I enjoy doing together is watching movies while we eat dinner. When we started doing this a few months ago we were on a British kick, but we've since moved on to classic movies. A few weeks ago we watched the 1941 movie Citizen Kane; a movie that I've definitely heard of, but knew nothing about. Citizen Kane has been the #1/most influential movie of all time for the past 40 years so I figured it was time to give it a go to see what it's all about.

The movie was strange, to say the least, but I'm so glad I watched it so that I can at least claim to know a little bit about it. I actually learned a lot. I had no idea that Citizen Kane was based on the life of William Randolph Hearst (newspaper tycoon of the late 1800s and early 1900s). I also watched a documentary that was included in the special features called The Battle Over Citizen Kane that was really fascinating and shed more light on the background of the movie.

First of all, I had no idea that Orson Wells not only starred in the movie, but also wrote, produced and directed it all at the young age of 24. I also wasn't aware of the real-life feud between Orson Wells and William Randolph Hearst. When Hearst got wind that the movie was about him he did everything in his power to make sure that the movie didn't see the light of day. Obviously, he wasn't successful. I never really grasped why Orson Wells had such an ax to grind against Hearst, but he definitely had a major vendetta against him.

Surprisingly, I really liked Citizen Kane. I didn't think that I would, because it's definitely not your average feel-good type of movie. But I wanted to watch it just once since I like being semi well-versed when it comes to books and movies. I'm glad that I now have a basic knowledge and understanding of what Citizen Kane is all about.
Another movie that my mom and I recently watched is Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 movie, Vertigo. Unbeknownst to me, the list of most influential movies was revamped just a few weeks ago and Vertigo replaced Citizen Kane as the most influential movie of all time. (I thought it was ironic that the #1 and #2 movies just so happened to be the two movies that I chose to watch back-to-back.) I liked Vertigo, but if I were choosing between the two for the  title of most influential movie, I would have to go with Citizen Kane.

Some of the other classic movies we've watched in the past few weeks are: An Affair to Remember, The Great Gatsby, Casablanca, Fiddler on the Roof, Dial M for Murder, Lawrence of Arabia and The King and I. I've liked all of them except Lawrence of Arabia which was a little too boring for me. I've made a whole list of classic movies that I want to watch, so it will be fun to expand my classic movie knowledge a bit.


Colleen said...

Ok, I love old movies too...Betty Davis is my favorite...she was so glamorous. I'm so bad with titles, but there is one where she is blind...rats! can't recall, thank goodness for the movies! ooh, just remembered...Dark Victory! enjoy.colleen.

kilarney's conundrums said...

If your up for some light hearted old classics check out I Was A Male War Bride, Bringing Up Baby, Father Goose, and The Court Jester.... Just to name a few of favs!

Anonymous said...

Got another recommendation for you if you're still checking this. The African Queen with Katherine Hepburn and Humphry Bogart is my favorite classic film and I think you would enjoy it.

I tried to watch Citizen Kane once and didn't make it very far. Kudos to you for your stick-to-it-ivness in this endeavor. :)

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