* AcclaimedFlop: Hard to believe, but the "Greatest Film of All Time" '''''was''''' a spectacular box office bomb for its time, though eventually it made a profit in repertory screenings and Welles lived off its royalties even when he was down and out in Europe. See CreatorKiller below for more.
* ActorAllusion:
** Kane knows plenty of magic tricks that amuse Susan. Welles himself was an amateur magician.
** Most people note that Kane's life mirrored ''Welles'', not Hearst. In reality, Welles ended up like Kane after the film, too.
* AFIS100YearsSeries
** AFIS100Years100Movies: #1
** AFIS100Years100MovieQuotes: #17, "Rosebud"
** AFIS100Years100Movies10THAnniversaryEdition: #1
* CommonKnowledge: People assume Marion Davies had a bad career, as her expy in the film shows. In fact, Marion Davies was widely considered [[Film/ShowPeople a talented actress and comedienne]], independent of all the publicity Hearst arranged for her. Hearst did push Davies towards melodramatic leading-lady roles, despite performing better in light comedy. Ironically, Welles and Mankiewicz claimed that they made Susan so talentless to ensure she ''wasn't'' confused with Marion Davies. Instead, the opposite happened.
** Likewise, everyone feel that this film was a satire on Hearst and Hearst alone. In truth, the film was intended to be a general satire and tragedy of UsefulNotes/TheAmericanDream and the resemblances to Hearst came about largely because screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz was a regular at Hearst's parties and knew him well. Both he and Welles included details from several American tycoons like Samuel Insull and Howard Hughes in addition to Hearst. Likewise, Welles himself never intended the film to be a TakeThat on Hearst, indeed the drafts of the screenplay credited to him show that it was Welles who made Kane more sympathetic and that the original screenplay was a good deal more anti-Hearst.
** Everyone from [[http://www.paulrossen.com/paulinekael/raisingkane.html Pauline Kael]] to [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16625_8-classic-movies-that-got-away-with-gaping-plot-holes_p2.html Cracked]] claims that no one actually heard Kane's last words, therefore the whole "Rosebud" mystery is a plot hole. In reality, Raymond the Butler tells the journalist that he was present during Kane's death, so presumably he heard "Rosebud" himself.
** There's also Kael's claim that Herman Mankiewicz wrote the entire script himself, and that Welles unfairly took credit. Despite [[http://www.popoptiq.com/kael-vs-kane-pauline-kael-orson-welles-authorship-citizen-kane/ being thoroughly debunked]] by Robert L. Carringer, Peter Bogdanovich and others, this argument's still repeated by credulous film buffs.
* CopiouslyCreditedCreator: Co-written, directed, produced and starring Welles.
* CreatorBacklash: To a marginal extent. While Welles never regretted or ''hated'' the film, much like Creator/AlanMoore and ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' he did regret how it overshadowed his entire career. He stated that he found the film too gimmicky and not mature, and he regretted how Marion Davies was wrongfully associated with the film. Despite this, he stated in interviews that Kane is the only film of his with which he is entirely satisfied in that it came out exactly as he wished with no budget constraints and no ExecutiveMeddling, though personally he preferred ''The Trial'' and ''Chimes at Midnight''.
--> '''Orson Welles''': ''I've regretted early successes in many fields, but I don't regret that in Kane because it was the only chance of that kind I ever had. I'm glad I had it at any time in my life. I wish I had it more often. I wish I had a chance like that every year, there'd be eighteen pictures.''
* CreatorKiller: Had it not been for the controversy with William Randolph Hearst, Welles might have had a smoother Hollywood career. However, Welles himself stated that it was the disaster of ''Film/TheMagnificentAmbersons'' that really ruined his Hollywood career.
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: William Randolph Hearst, on whom the title character is based, was not happy when he heard about the film. Instead of railing against it and ordering his newspapers to trash it, he instead ordered them to make no mention of it whatsoever. This is credited for helping it to perform far below expectations in theaters.
* DuelingMovies: From then til now, if ''Citizen Kane'' isn't #1 on a film list, it's Creator/JeanRenoir's ''Film/TheRulesOfTheGame''.
* DyeingForYourArt: To simulate heavy drunkenness, Cotten stayed awake for 24 straight hours, resulting in some unscripted flubbery (that caused Welles to grin despite himself).
* EnforcedMethodActing: Poor Dorothy Comingore endured physical and mental abuse from Orson Welles and ended up a near wreck by the end.
* MagnumOpusDissonance: Orson Welles saw ''Film/ChimesAtMidnight'' as his masterpiece, but that was also driven by people using ''Citizen Kane'' to write him off as a OneBookAuthor, he was generally proud of ''Kane'' and stated that it was his only movie that he's totally satisfied with, having no budget or executive compromises as he did on his other films.
* MethodActing:
** To simulate being drunk, Joseph Cotten remained awake for 24 straight hours. You can see Welles break character and grin when Cotten flubs his line and says "dramatic crimiticism." Of course, it was a ThrowItIn moment.
** Welles himself let himself go during the famous room trashing sequence, even hurting himself badly bloodying his hands while doing it. After filming the scene, Welles breathed, "I felt it. I ''felt'' it."
* OldShame: The only thing Welles ''really'' regretted was his portrayal of the Marion Davies {{Expy}} Susan.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. The film has characters named Jim Gettys and Jim Kane.
* StarMakingRole: ''Kane'' was a Star Making Role to some extent for most of the cast, since the bulk of them were members of Welles' Mercury Theater troupe and they were all making their film debuts together.
** Joseph Cotten went on to a long and very successful career as a leading man in Hollywood.
** Ray Collins (Jim Gettys) enjoyed a prolific career as a Hollywood character actor.
** BernardHerrmann, who had been a music composer for the Mercury Theater, went to Hollywood along with Welles and the actors, composed the music to ''Citizen Kane'' as his very first film score, and went on to become one of [[PsychoStrings the most successful]] [[Film/{{Vertigo}} film composers]] [[TaxiDriver in movie history]].
** Welles himself is an interesting aversion. He was a star since age 16, and became famous for his theatre and (cough) [[Radio/TheWarOfTheWorlds radio]], and had in fact made three films prior to this (a bizarre short in 1934, a 40-minute film that was intended to be part of a hybrid stage play/movie performance in 1938, and he narrated a version of Swiss Family Robinson a year before Kane came out), but the movie almost destroyed his career.
** Sadly averted for Dorothy Comingore, who delivered a powerful performance as Susan Alexander but saw her career derailed by [[{{Defictionalization}} alcoholism]] and poor decision-making even before it was permanently ended when she was put on the [[RedScare Hollywood blacklist]].
* ThrowItIn: Joseph Cotten stumbling over the word "criticism". It was a genuine flub, but fortunately both he and Welles stayed in character (albeit Welles grins) and Cotten follows up with a brilliant ad-lib "I AM drunk", so it stayed in the film as-is.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen
** Originally, the movie was going to be based on the life of Howard Hughes with Cotten in the lead. Eventually, Welles realized [[RealityIsUnrealistic nobody would believe most of the stuff Hughes had done]], so he decided to make Kane a media baron instead.
** Welles was originally going to make an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness'' but the executives didn't believe they could possibly stretch a budget far enough to cover it, so he made [[TropesAreNotBad ''Kane'']] instead.

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