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RKO 281 (1999)



Reviews and Comments

RKO 281 was the project name for Orson Welles' Citizen Kane while it was under development. This movie is the story of the creation of Citizen Kane. It is a very interesting and enjoyable film for someone like me who thrives on film history. It works primarily because of the excellent cast: Liev Schreiber, impeccably cast as Orson Welles; Melanie Griffith, as Marion Davies; and John Malkovich, as Herman Mankiewicz are all fantastic. James Cromwell, as much as it disappoints me to say it, was unusually weak in his role of William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon upon whose life Citizen Kane is based.

For what it does, RKO 281 does well. Its greatest fault, perhaps, is that it does not shoot high enough. I sensed there was more potential. Certainly, at a running time of 83 minutes, there was room to tell the story in more breadth and depth. Nonetheless, I enjoyed what there was and recommend the film to classic movie buffs.

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