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ABC's Special "Best of Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time"

On Tuesday night ABC aired the special "Best of Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time." ABC states: "In an unprecedented collaboration between ABC News and People Magazine, it was America's turn to decide...Online voters selected the winners from a list of English-language film nominees created by an elite panel of film industry experts including dozens of well-known actors, directors, producers, and critics."

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artrexler2086d ago

The criteria for a great film has really gone down the drain. It's no longer about the art it's more about the entertainment. Our Time most likely means the memorable movies no matter how long ago they were made. It's the more main stream movies that everyone has seen and has had the most impact on their life. It doesn't matter that Citizen Kane brought about new controversy that the public was unwilling to face at the time. It did not do well commercially so it would not be on this list. I am a fan of AFI and their top movie lists.

JL2086d ago

I'm sorry but Citizen Kane is one of the most overrated movies of all-time. Really. Let me first say, I enjoyed the movie. But it's not the greatest movie of all-time such as it's been all but officially titled.

I will say Citizen Kane is indeed a technical achievement. Anybody that argues otherwise, obviously has no clue. From the camera work to make up to even some of the storytelling techniques. All great work and much of it greatly impacted and shaped filmmaking. Hell, we might not have Christopher Nolan if it wasn't for Citizen Kane's pioneering of non-linear storytelling (which has became a trademark for Nolan's work).

Beyond the technical side though, the movie is nothing special. And quite frankly, can be a bit dull as well. The acting is rather mediocre. Even for a movie that heavily relied on the emotional depth of the Kane character, it was somewhat lacking in that department of efficiently providing that emotional depth. Even the symbolism and metaphors of the story were rather weakly handled. And on a scale of pure entertainment, Citizen Kane is about as average as it gets really. Even being boring at times.

The script wasn't all the great either. There's nothing really to the story. No real drive. The entire premise of the movie is finding out what Rosebud is. Without this gimmick (and trust me, it's absolutely a gimmick. a cheap one at that), there's no real reason to even delve into the story. In that sense, the story as a whole feels a little contrived at times. As a parody it is lacking as well because Welles seems too timid to really hand it to Hearst, but rather trying to make the story about the "human" side of the character. Furthermore, it wasn't even a hard-hitting exposé like it could have been. Rather it was timid in that approach and didn't even bring anything new to the table really. Which leads me to....

JL2086d ago

"new controversy that the public was unwilling to face at the time"
Umm what? What new controversy? This film brought nothing new to the table in that regard. And it certainly wasn't anything the public was unwilling to face. If you're referring to the film's "exposure" of Hearst and his yellow journalism, then you're sorely mistaken in thinking this was anything new. Hearst (and Pulitzer) were both publicly criticized for their yellow journalism some 40 years before Citizen Kane was even made.

Hearst and Pulitzer were even put on something of a media trial for the Spanish-American War thing. Which seems kind of weird because by that point, both of their papers were considered something of a joke, thus nothing that the big wig decision makers would've even paid attention to. Irony of it here is that media were attacking the two for their yellow journalism during this, but here the rest of the media was using yellow journalism to attack Pulitzer and Hearst over the whole Spanish American War thing.

Moving on, it's most likely that the public wasn't unwilling to face this "controversy" but rather they had grown tired of it as it was old news at that point. It would be similar to making some controversial Bush movie centering on the war and Hurricane Katrina, but making the movie in the year 2030 or something. Pointless.

The biggest irony of the movie was that here was young Welles attacking Hearst for these reasons (and trust me this was a blatant attack), yet Welles was no better really. Both were cut from the same cloth really. Welles used the same Hearst techniques with Citizen Kane to raise popularity and controversy. This is evident in his fictionalizing some events in the movie as well as parodying with the Kane character and some of the others. One of the biggest offenses of this was the way he did the Susan character (who was supposed to portray Hearst's second wife). He pretty much used this to slap Hearst in the face by making fun of her. Even Welles himself has admitted that it was dirty what he did with that character. Even practically admitting that he did it just to get a rise out of Hearst, knowing that that would provoke Hearst to attack Welles and his movie.

Which was genius on Welles' part actually. As this is what gave the movie the iconic status it has, since it's widely considered that Hearst main motive for battling against this film was the defamation of his wife. And this was exactly what Welles needed. Especially since Welles was receiving a lot of pressure from the studio to do something. Having put a lot of money into Welles the studio needed something in return and Welles had failed to produce to them anything worthwhile. The few scripts he gave them before then were rejected as garbage. So..needless to say Welles was desperate. That's when he turned to what he did best (and what he made his career from doing): creating controversy. So he sets out to attack one of the biggest and most powerful figures around in that day.

JL2086d ago

So you see, Citizen Kane is fascinating. But it's not because it's a great film. It's fascinating because of the back-story and the "behind-the-scenes" stuff surrounding the movie. That's the reason it's popular. Also partly because critics realized what a technical achievement it was (and it was). But due to the controversy the movie had been all but buried by Hearst. This sort of instigated critics to become even more sensational in advocating this film in efforts to get people to watch it because of the technical achievements it brought to the industry of cinema. These sensationalized praises then simply began to be the common practice for promoting the movie so that it could gain its deserved audience finally and that sentiment just sort of carried on to what we have today.

All in all, I enjoyed Citizen Kane. It's a good movie and definitely a technical achievement. So don't think I'm just dogging the movie. But I think it's incorrectly labeled the best movie of all-time, by a long shot probably. Most influential movie of all-time? Very very likely. Greatest movie of all-time though? Not hardly. Wouldn't even make my top ten.

Sorry for the walls of text :D lol

darklordzor2085d ago

Believe me, I'm totally with you. I've only watched the movie once, and it's for a good reason.

I remember that in one of my film classes we watched a movie "RKO 281" which is a biopic of the making of Citizen Kane...and it was WAY more interesting than Citizen Kane was. The story behind it is definitely better.

I like it simply for the advances the he made in filmmaking. I can appreciate it on that level, but on the whole it's not a movie that has aged particularly well.

You have made a very good point sir!

JL2085d ago

Why thank you, dark. I'm glad somebody finally agrees with me on this. Most just dismiss me as a "hater" and leave it at that. Clearly, as I've stated, I enjoyed the film. And it's not like I'm just saying "it sucks" for the sake of it (as evidenced by the walls of text above lol). But it truly is overrated in my opinion.

Definitely the back story to the making of the film is far more interesting than the film itself. If you liked RKO 281, you should check out The Battle Over Citizen Kane. It's not an actual dramatic film like RKO 281, but rather a documentary that delves into the whole story behind it.

You hit it on the head too with "hasn't aged particularly well". The movie is indeed dated. Another reason I believe it can't carry the label of greatest movie of all-time by any stretch. To achieve that status, amongst other criteria, a film needs to be a timeless classic. Citizen Kane is not.

All day long I can give him credit for the technical aspects though. Like I said, he influenced the industry greatly in that regard with the film. But that's about it. It's akin to calling Avatar one of the greatest movies of all-time simply because of the advancements Cameron made with 3D and CGI in the movie.

darklordzor2086d ago

Citizen Kane is interesting to me for the impact it had on filmmaking. Never before had anyone attempted such camera work and it's shaped the industry ever since.

I love my art films, and I always enjoy analyzing a movie after watching it for all the subtle symbolism and such, but at the same time movies were created for the purpose of entertainment. It's not something you can completely discount or criticize a film for. That's what they are there for.

Different movies do appeal to different audiences, but there are still plenty of classics that I'm sure will make the list.