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Citizen Kane (Amazon Exclusive 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition + The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD) [Blu-ray]

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Orson Welles’ timeless masterwork is more than a groundbreaking film. Presented here in a magnificent 70th anniversary digital transfer with revitalized digital audio from the highest quality surviving elements, it is also grand entertainment, sharply acted and superbly directed with inspired visual flair. Depicting the controversial life of an influential publishing tycoon, this Best Original Screenplay Academy Award Winner (1941) is rooted in themes of power, corruption, vanity—the American Dream lost in the mystery of a dying man’s last word: “Rosebud.”

Special Features

Bonus Disc: The Magnificent Ambersons (DVD)
Bonus Disc: RKO 281 (DVD)
Bonus Disc: American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane (DVD)
Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich
Commentary by Roger Ebert
The Battle Over Citizen Kane Documentary
Opening: World Premier of Citizen Kane Vintage Featurettes
Interview with Ruth Warrick
Interview with Robert Wise
Storyboards
Call Sheets
Still Photography with Commentary by Roger Ebert
Deleted Scenes
Ad Campaign
Press Book
Opening Night
10/28/40 KTSA, San Antonio Broadcast of H.G. Wells Meets Orson Welles (Audio Only)
Theatrical Trailer
*Note: Special Features are on DVD format

Product Details

  • Actors: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten
  • Directors: Orson Welles
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001PIHH5M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Citizen Kane (Amazon Exclusive 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition + The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Schmidt on May 12, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Just in time for the 70th anniversary of "Citizen Kane," this September will see the release not only of "Citizen Kane" in 1080p HD, but also the release of the much sought after "The Magnificent Ambersons." Much has been written here about "Citizen Kane" and whether it truly deserves the title of "greatest movie ever made," so I will only say that it was an innovative film during its release that greatly impacted decades of filmmaking to come. That said, it is up to the individual viewer to decide whether they find the rise of Citizen Kane and his media empire to be "boring" or "completely enthralling."

Either way, this release brings with it an amazing extra that has yet to see the light of American home vide, "The Magnificent Ambersons." Welles' follow up to "Citizen Kane," and an adaptation of the 1918 pulitzer prize winning novel, "The Magnificent Ambersons" has widely been hailed as one of Welles' most brilliant films. This comes in spite of the fact that the studio cut the film down from Welles' 148min envisioned cut, with the cut footage presumably lost to the world since its preview release. Yet, even at a brisk 88 minutes, "The Magnificent Ambersons" still remains a remarkable tale of class and family dynamics. The film has been remastered, and will be a much welcomed DVD considering that it was previously available solely via shoddy bootleg copies and imports. The DVD will be exclusive to Amazon, but it is worth noting that it will be bundled along with the "Citizen Kane" in its own separate casing with its own UPC. In other words, it is highly likely WB will keep it as an "Amazon Exclusive" for a year before releasing it to all retailers as a stand alone release.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
As a fan of Orson Welles, here's my take on the box set after viewing both movies last night. It will be impossible to keep this brief and more detailed analysis of the films can be found elsewhere but here goes...

THE FILMS
Citizen Kane - score: A
It's been consistently ranked as the greatest motion picture of all time but first time viewers may be put off by CK's antiquated style and may struggle to appreciate its' artistic qualities without some historical context. In today's world, this would be mind-boggling: a major film studio handing over 9 million dollars and final cut directing-producing-writing-acting authority to a 25 year old kid who has never made a movie. Further imagine the same brash kid, fresh from creating national mass hysteria (the infamous 'War Of The Worlds' broadcast) making a film that essentially thumbs its' nose at a man who controlled the media at that time. We're accustomed to seeing authority being questioned in all art forms today but it was especially bold and scandalous 70 years ago. That Citizen Kane even survived attempts to have it bought and literally burned by those in power is but one testament to its' lasting influence.

Beyond the backstage legends of CK what remains is powerhouse story telling told through an unusually complex labyrinth style and clever movie making techniques. Orson Welles wanted to bring art to the masses and the oblique meaning of Rosebud pushed audience participation to new levels. The Mercury Players and everyone involved in the production all had equal importance but make no mistake, Welles' imposing shadow is evident in every frame.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I admit I purchased this Amazon.com package more as a way to get a DVD copy of The Magnificent Ambersons than a Blu-Ray of Citizen Kane. The former is a plain Jane version and only offers language and sub-title options, however, it's the movie itself that's the important thing and the print on the DVD, though not remastered, is about the best you could hope for, and is certainly an improvement over my old VHS copy. As for Citizen Kane, the Blu-Ray image is an improvement over the previous remastered standard DVD version, which I thought in itself was pretty good. The main additional features, commentaries by Roger Ebert and Peter Bogdanovich, are carried over from the standard DVD that I have. The additional extras (a documentary, a TV movie, souvenir program and lobby cards) add to the value of the package for those without a previous copy of Citizen Kane, but as indicated above, I'm happy to finally latch onto a DVD of The Magnificent Ambersons.
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Format: Blu-ray
If the stories are to be believed, Orson Welles created CITIZEN KANE as an act of vengeance for a sleight he received from W.R. Hearst during a dinner party at the tycoon's enormous California estate. Welles supposedly included "Rosebud" in his semi-bio of Hearst to embarrass the man. This mysterious word was the publisher's nickname for an intimate body part belonging to his mistress, Marion Davies. (BTW... watch closely in the film's early snow scene for a revealing "Rosebud" hint, when young Kane hits a visitor with his beloved sled and we see the famous flower insignia on it.)

Is this picture, as so many claim, THE GREATEST ever made? Since all art is subjective, can there ever be a single BEST motion picture, painting, statue or song? Whether or not "Kane" is numero uno, two things are certain:
1.) CITIZEN KANE is *classic* film making in every sense imaginable.
2.) Its high regard and place in cinematic history are assured, perhaps for all time.

Also recommended:

The excellent HBO biopic about the creation of "Citizen Kane," RKO 281 (1999) features Liev Schreiber's remarkable portrayal of the enigmatic boy-director. Co-stars John Malkovich as Welles' collaborator Herman Mankiewicz, also Melanie Griffith as actress Marion Davies and James Cromwell as newspaper czar William Randolph Hearst.

Orson labored for many years to finish his superb adaptation of Shakespeare's OTHELLO (1952). After winning the prestigious Palme D'Or at Cannes, this film played in a limited number of American theaters, flopped badly, then disappeared.
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