History Film / CitizenKane

17th Feb '17 11:07:26 PM Give1Take2
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* ParentsAsPeople: Kane's mother seems like she truly thought she was doing what was best for her son by sending him away to be raised in wealth and prosperity (and away from his implied physically abusive father) even if it meant she couldn't be close to him anymore, not realizing that she set him down [[LonelyAtTheTop a very lonely path]] that ended with him DyingAlone.
15th Feb '17 9:28:48 AM DemonDuckofDoom
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* ProtagonistTitle
10th Feb '17 8:09:27 PM Mdumas43073
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[[quoteright:252:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kane.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:252:Hey, have you seen ''Citizen Kane''? You probably should; it's practically the ''Citizen Kane'' [[ShapedLikeItself of film.]]]]

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[[quoteright:252:http://static.[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Kane.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:252:Hey,
org/pmwiki/pub/images/citizen_kane_welles.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Hey,
have you seen ''Citizen Kane''? You probably should; it's practically the ''Citizen Kane'' [[ShapedLikeItself of film.]]]]
10th Feb '17 8:05:35 PM Mdumas43073
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Welles later regretted this part of the film, as people assumed she was based on screen actress and William Randolph Hearst's paramour Marion Davies, who Welles (and many others) felt was actually a fairly talented actress and a nice person. Marion Davies was well-suited to romantic comedies— unfortunately, Hearst saw her as the second coming of Mary Pickford and kept putting her in lavish, sentimental dramas that didn't take advantage of her talents.

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** Welles later regretted this part of the film, as people assumed she was based on screen actress and William Randolph Hearst's paramour Marion Davies, who Welles (and many others) felt was actually a fairly talented actress and a nice person. Marion Davies was well-suited to romantic comedies— unfortunately, Hearst saw her as the second coming of Mary Pickford and kept putting her in lavish, sentimental dramas that didn't take advantage of her talents.
3rd Feb '17 1:40:36 PM DustSnitch
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%%Zero Context Examples are not permitted on the Wiki, so don't uncomment them unless you provide proper context.



* BigBad: James W. Gettys and Walter Parks Thatcher.

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* %%* BigBad: James W. Gettys and Walter Parks Thatcher.
31st Jan '17 8:20:39 AM JulianLapostat
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* RedScare: Thatcher accused Kane of being a communist near the beginning of the movie. Remember, this was before the US got into UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo. Though as in the very next scene some politician accuses Kane of being ''fascist'' (and Kane was actually neither), the point is rather a critical failure of recognition on part of everybody.

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* RedScare: Thatcher accused Kane of being a communist near the beginning of the movie. Remember, this was before the US got into UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo. Though as in the very next scene some A politician addressing a crowd of workers however accuses Kane of being ''fascist'' (and ''fascist'', and we see Kane was actually neither), the point hanging out with Hitler and Mussolini while stating "there's be no war". Essentially Kane is rather a critical failure of recognition on part of everybody.demagogue who uses politics to her advantage and ego.
31st Jan '17 8:09:51 AM benda
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* RedScare: Thatcher accused Kane of being a communist near the beginning of the movie. Remember, this was before the US got into UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo.

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* RedScare: Thatcher accused Kane of being a communist near the beginning of the movie. Remember, this was before the US got into UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo. Though as in the very next scene some politician accuses Kane of being ''fascist'' (and Kane was actually neither), the point is rather a critical failure of recognition on part of everybody.
14th Jan '17 2:41:14 PM TonyG
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* ArbitralilyLargeBankAccount: Given that he was based on William Randolph Hearst, Kane qualifies.

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* ArbitralilyLargeBankAccount: ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount: Given that he was based on William Randolph Hearst, Kane qualifies.



* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: Kane starts out with a declaration of principles, championing the Inquirer and himself as a tireless seeker of truth and justice and the defender of "the common man", until he slowly becomes a power-hungry controller of information who wants the common man to love him but who has none to give back, exemplified when he loudly proclaims that the people will think ''"what he tells them to think"''.

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* BecameTheirOwnAntithesis: Kane starts out with a declaration of principles, championing the Inquirer and himself as a tireless seeker of truth and justice and the defender of "the common man", until he slowly becomes a power-hungry controller of information who wants the common man to love him but who has none to give back, exemplified when he loudly proclaims that the people will think ''"what he tells I tell them to think"''.
14th Jan '17 2:04:24 PM CumbersomeTercel
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* ArchEnemy: Walter Parks Thatcher and Jim W. Gettys to Charles Foster Kane.



* BigBad: James W. Gettys and Walter Parks Thatcher.
* BigEater: Kane, as evidenced by this early exchange:
-->'''Jedidiah:''' Are you ''still'' eating?\\
'''Kane:''' [[FunnyAneurysmMoment I'm still hungry]].



* TheGayNineties: Kane's childhood.

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* TheGayNineties: Kane's childhood.A good chunk of the film takes place in the 1890s, when Kane is at his height as a media mogul.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Legend has it that this is the real story behind Rosebud [[http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1989/aug/17/rosebud/]].



%%* {{Jerkass}}: Charles Foster Kane

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* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Kane is said to have attended and been thrown out of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Cornell.
* JekyllAndHyde: Kane tells Thatcher early on, "The trouble is, you don't realize that you're talking to two people," referring to himself as both a man of wealth and as a man of the people. One of the main points of the movie is the internal war between those two sides. [[spoiler: It can be argued that both sides lose by the end of the movie.]]
%%* {{Jerkass}}: Charles Foster KaneKane.



* TheLawOfConservationOfDetail: Playing with this trope is arguably the main conceit: it's a movie about the impossibility of finding the right details. "Rosebud" is an example, as is the famous "girl in the white dress" speech.



%%* MalevolentMugshot: "Vote for KANE."

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%%* MalevolentMugshot: "Vote for KANE."* MalevolentMugshot: Regardless of whether one views the titular character as a VillainProtagonist, [[http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Pn5WEpjsar8/S7g0iT9EGoI/AAAAAAAAArA/vyL2k9dYGKQ/s1600/Kane1.jpg this image]] certainly counts as the TropeMaker in film, beating out ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' by seven years. Since the point of the film is to tell Kane's story and let the audience decide if he is a hero or villain (or both), it is also an UnbuiltTrope.



* MathematiciansAnswer:
--> '''Reporter:''' Mr. Kane, How did you find business conditions in Europe?
--> '''Kane:''' With great difficulty!
* MatteShot: The outside of Xanadu is mostly a series of matte paintings.



* {{Mouthscreen}}: One of the most iconic examples in film history. The first we see of the title character is a close up of his lips as he says his last words: "Rosebud"



* {{Newsreel}}: This has one of the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of an in-movie fake newsreel. Furthermore, Welles had RKO use their own newsreel department to create it to make it look authentic.



* OldDarkHouse: Xanadu is often presented this way.



* TheOneThatGotAway:
-->'''Mr. Bernstein''': A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry and as we pulled out there was another ferry pulling in and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.



* {{Retraux}}: Editor Robert Wise scratched the "newsreel" with sandpaper to make the "old" footage look old.

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* {{Retraux}}: Editor Robert Wise Creator/RobertWise scratched the "newsreel" with sandpaper to make the "old" footage look old.old.
* TheReveal: "Rosebud" [[spoiler:was Kane's sled]].
* RoadsideWave: This is how Kane meets Susan Alexander.



* {{Slimeball}}: In one sense, Kane is revealed to be something of a slimeball by his best friend after Kane's failed election campaign, who observes that: "''you just want to persuade people that you love 'em so much that they oughta love you back!''".



* SnowMeansDeath: Not a straight example, but the snow globe should get an honorable mention.



* StartsWithTheirFuneral: The film start with Kane's death, and then moves onto a newsreel about his life, before diving right into the flashbacks.



* ThisCannotBe:
-->'''Kane:''' Susan. Please don't go. No. Please, Susan. From now on, everything will be exactly the way you want it to be, not the way I think you want it, but -- your way. You mustn't go. You can't do this to me!
-->'''Susan:''' I see. It's ''you'' that this is being done to! It's not me at all. Not what it means to me. I can't do this to you? ''Oh, yes I can.''



* TimeshiftedActor: Eight-year-old Kane.
%%* TradeYourPassionForGlory
%%* {{Tragedy}}

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* TimeshiftedActor: Eight-year-old Kane.
%%* TradeYourPassionForGlory
%%* {{Tragedy}}
Being a fictionalized biopic, the film presents Kane in all ages. All of them are Orson Welles in makeup, except for eight-year-old Kane, played by Buddy Swan.
* TradeYourPassionForGlory: Kane, a young crusading newspaper owner, becomes TheMan in his later life.
* {{Tragedy}}: Kane ends up dying alone and unloved thanks to his narcissism.
* TragicDream: Kane's dream is to be loved. Unfortunately, that dream is available to everyone but him: given the way he was raised, Charlie is used to paying for everything with money, and the idea of investing time and sacrificing his own interests for a relationship is absolutely beyond his comprehension.


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* UnbuiltTrope: ItWasHisSled is a {{Trope Namer|s}}, but the sled is actually the unbuilt trope of the MacGuffin, long before Creator/AlfredHitchcock coined the term.


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* VocalRangeExceeded: Susan Alexander can't hack being an opera singer. Instead of HollywoodToneDeaf, Welles got a professional alto to sing a soprano part.
* WarForFunAndProfit: Kane does this in order to sell newspapers. Based on the manipulations of real-life media mogul William Randolph Hearst:
-->"Dear Wheeler: You provide the prose poems. I'll provide the war."


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* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Susan Alexander is a bit out of the ordinary: ''Now'' she's running on the fumes of her former notoriety, but initially she was pushed into the limelight somewhat against her will and found stardom humiliating.


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* WorthlessTreasureTwist: "Rosebud" is a "Lost Heirloom". And it gets tossed into the incinerator along with the wealthy protagonist's other worldly possessions. Nobody in the story ever finds out what his lost love/lost treasure "Rosebud" meant, though the audience gets the reveal.


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14th Jan '17 11:44:08 AM CumbersomeTercel
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* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant: When Kane is buying the Inquirer, the editor of the paper mistakes Leland for Kane.


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* AllInTheEyes: Kane's eyes are lit at the opera house during Susan's disastrous debut. It shows his monomania and disconnection from the audience reaction.


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* AnachronicOrder: The film starts with the title character's death, gives us a brief newsreel outline of his life, then fills in the details of his life with a series of flashbacks. The flashbacks are not in chronological order; their order depends on the order in which a reporter interviews people.


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* AngerMontage: The room trashing sequence. The movie commentary tracks note that this scene was a bit of "method acting" that got out of control. Welles broke his hand very early in the sequence; you can see him favoring it at the end. Also different from the typical example in that it is shown in a couple of long master shots, rather than an actual montage of closeups: this is because they could only do one take.
* ArbitralilyLargeBankAccount: Given that he was based on William Randolph Hearst, Kane qualifies.
* ArcWords: "Rosebud." is a possible UrExample. Of course, [[ItWasHisSled it's not really enigmatic anymore.]]


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* BladeOfGrassCut: Rosebud does not apply, but the snowglobe possibly does.


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* BrokenAce: Under all his wealth and prestige, Kane is a broken man who can't hold down a relationship with anyone and desperately longs for his stolen childhood.
* BurnBabyBurn: [[spoiler:The last shot is of Kane's childhood sled burning. Ultra close up on the sled's name, which is Rosebud but come on, [[ItWasHisSled you should know this already.]] ]]
* ByronicHero: Kane is an archetypal example. As a little boy, he gets snatched from his family and introduced into the cold, ruthless world of media, politics, and business. By rising to the top of that ruthless world through cutthroat cunning, he becomes an internationally famous media tycoon and one of the richest men of all time. But under all that wealth, he's a broken man who can't hold down a relationship with anyone and desperately longs for his stolen childhood.


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* CallingTheOldManOut:
** Kane delivers one to his adoptive guardian, Mr. Thatcher:
--->'''Kane:''' You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man.\\
'''Thatcher:''' Don't you think you are?\\
'''Kane:''' I think I did pretty well, under the circumstances.\\
'''Thatcher:''' What would you like to have been?\\
'''Kane:''' Everything you hate.
** This is displacement. Kane's really angry at his ''mother,'' for sending Kane away when he was young, and putting him into Thatcher's hands. Implicitly, Thatcher is a decent (if very conservative) middle-aged banker who did his best while (ahem) raising Kane.


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* CapitalismIsBad: The film is often seen as an attack on TheAmericanDream, featuring a highly unsympathetic, though not one-dimensional or caricatured, portrayal of the American tycoon. It apparently struck a nerve with William Randolph Hearst, one of its inspirations, who managed to upset its distribution and make it a box-office flop.


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* CentralTheme:
** How will the world remember you when you are gone?
** Money can't buy love or happiness. Even the most powerful people in the world often truly desire simple things--like [[spoiler: having a real childhood]].
** Even in a world of mass information, it's sometimes impossible to truly "know" the people around us.


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* ClassicalMusicIsBoring: The audience that attends the premiere of the opera Kane commissioned for his wife Susan are seen growing more bored by the minute. One man entertains himself by tearing his program into strips, and is eventually seen asleep. Since this is likely the type of audience who would go to the opera on a regular basis, it suggests the lack of quality of this particular work, made just for the sake of making a rich man's wife a star.


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* {{Corpsing}}: Joseph Cotton stayed up 24 hours so that he could be believably drunk in one scene. When he says "film crimiticism", Creator/OrsonWelles can't help but grin at the unplanned if realistic flub of the line.


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* DarkReprise: As Kane is embarking on his political career, he brings a marching band and a line of chorus girls into his conference room to sing a very upbeat rendition of "There Is a Man, A Certain Man" to the assembled businessmen and politicians at the conference table. ("Who is this man? It's Charlie Kane! He doesn't like that 'Mister'; he likes good old 'Charlie Kane'!") Much later, after Kane has lost the race for New York governor under extremely humiliating circumstances, a much slower and even dirge-like version of "There Is a Man" is played as an instrumental tune as Kane's campaign workers clean all the confetti off of the stage.


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* DecoyProtagonist: The film is a double subversion. Even though Kane is the title character, he's actually the person we learn about through multiple third-person perspectives of him, since he died at the beginning. The real protagonist is Jerry Thompson, whose goal throughout the film is to find out what "Rosebud" meant.
* DeniedParody:
** Creator/OrsonWelles denied that Kane was based on William Randolph Hearst. It's unclear whether Welles was telling the truth, but Hearst certainly went out of his way to make sure everyone would think Kane was based off him. [[HypocriticalHumor How very Charles Foster Kane of him.]]
** Hearst: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I'll furnish the war." Kane: "Dear Wheeler, You provide the prose poems. I'll provide the war." Completely different!
** Welles actually tried to get around this by including a line in the film in which a journalist makes a reference to both Kane and Hearst, thus indicating that Hearst actually exists as a separate entity in the ''Film/CitizenKane'' universe. In later interviews, Welles stated that Hearst along with Howard Hughes and other industrialists were certainly influences on Kane, but that Kane was never intended as a parody/critique/insult to Hearst specifically or other industrialists, it was meant as a serious exploration of an American mythical hero, the tycoon and capitalist.
* DepthDeception: The film used this subtly:
** In one scene, a window turns out to both be much larger and much higher up than it initially appears, which means that when Kane approaches it, he suddenly appears a lot smaller and less significant. This, of course, is used for symbolic effect.
** Also done with the fireplace in Xanadu, which is revealed to be large enough to burn whole trees when Kane goes back to it.


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* DigitalDestruction: The film got an accidental taste of this. In one scene, out the window there was supposed to be rain; the person in charge of the film's restoration thought it was excessive film grain, so it was digitally edited out of the restored print. Later, the Blu-ray boasted a new restoration, which brought back such details as the aforementioned rain.


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* DugInDeeper: A variant occurs, only without hilarity ensuing. Subverted by the fact that Susan knows that, while she's not completely untalented, she's nowhere near good enough to carry an opera all on her own. It's only Kane using all his wealth and influence to push her into the spotlight against her wishes.
* DungeonmastersGirlfriend: Kane funds an elaborate opera show for the sole purpose of casting his girlfriend in the lead role.
* DuringTheWar: Kane manipulates the public sentiment to incite the war. Bear in mind that the film came out before America entered WWII.


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* EpicTrackingShot: Both the tracking shot into El Rancho, and the tracking up the ladder during Susan's opera performance - and yes, it used a visual effect (miniature ladder).


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* ExtyYearsFromNow: The present year is 1941, young Kane was taken from his parents in 1871 (70 years ago) and he ran for governor in 1916 (25 years ago).
* FaceFramedInShadow: The film has a few shots of Kane's face framed in shadow and stepping into light, or the other way around.


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* FatSuit: Welles wore one to play the older Kane. Back in the days when he didn't need one.
* FictionFiveHundred:
** Kane is a media tycoon who has more than enough money to spend on constructing [[BigFancyHouse Xanadu]] (which is described in-universe as "the world's largest private pleasure ground") and [[CollectorOfTheStrange filling it with exotic animals and priceless art from around the world.]] One early scene has his adoptive father Mr. Thatcher argue with him over how much money he's losing on running a newspaper and Kane's response?
-->''We did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... sixty years.''
** The above quote is said when he is still ''just starting out'', and he's currently #5 on the Forbes Fictional 15. $1 million at the time is approximately $27 million today; thus, "starting out" and thanks to his family's gold holdings (and his mother's management), Mr. Kane is worth at least $1.6 billion.


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* HesDeadJim: The film opens with Kane's hand falling and dropping the snow globe.


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* HighHopesZeroTalent: Susan Alexander gets put out on a huge opera debut by Kane. While her voice may be pleasant for something singing in the shower, she is not cut out for opera in any way. Her vocal teacher loudly proclaims she is unteachable and more or less facepalms every time she sings. Kane won't listen to Susan, the instructor, or every newspaper critic in America and insists she keeps going on stage.
Welles later regretted this part of the film, as people assumed she was based on screen actress and William Randolph Hearst's paramour Marion Davies, who Welles (and many others) felt was actually a fairly talented actress and a nice person. Marion Davies was well-suited to romantic comedies— unfortunately, Hearst saw her as the second coming of Mary Pickford and kept putting her in lavish, sentimental dramas that didn't take advantage of her talents.


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* IJustWantToHaveFriends: Kane []ultimately drives away all his friends with his egotistical personality and self-centeredness, becoming Lonely at the Top.


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* ImpoverishedPatrician: Leland is described as coming from an old, rich family where one day the old man shoots himself and they discover they have nothing.
* IntrepidReporter: Jerry Thompson, the reporter who tries to find out the meaning of "Rosebud". And Kane himself during his younger years.


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* {{MacGuffin}}: The identity of "Rosebud".


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* SoundtrackDissonance: This is a pretty sad film but don't worry, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkcLjAg17bk end credits]] should pick you right up.
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