Awesome / Citizen Kane

  • Gregg Toland's cinematography, full stop. It literally changed filmmaking forever.
  • Susan Alexander Kane gets the quietest and best one in the whole movie:
    Susan: Oh. So it's you that this is being done to. I can't do this to you? Oh yes I can.
  • The younger Kane gets a great one too when confronted by Thatcher over his newspaper's campaign against a transit company.
    Thatcher: Charles, I came here to see you about this campaign of yours. This Inquirer campaign against the Public Transit Company.
    Thatcher: Charles, I think I should remind you of a fact you seem to have forgotten: that you yourself are one of the largest individual shareholders in the Public Transit Company!
    Kane: Trouble is, you don't realize you're talking to two people here. As Charles Foster Kane, who owns 82,364 shares of Public Transit preferred—you see, I do have a general idea of my holdings— I sympathize with you. Charles Foster Kane is a scoundrel. His paper should be run out of town. A committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of $1000.
    Thatcher: My time is too valuable for me-
    Kane: On the other hand, I am the publisher of The Inquirer. As such, it is my duty - I'll let you in on a little secret, it is also my pleasure - to see to it that decent, hard working people of this city are not robbed blind by a group of money-mad pirates because, God help them, they have no one to look after their interests! I'll let you in on another little secret, Mr. Thatcher. I think I'm the man to do it. You see, I have money and property. If I don't defend the interests of the underprivileged, somebody else will - maybe somebody without any money or any property, and that would be too bad.
    Thatcher: Yes, yes, yes, money and property. Well, I happened to see your financial statement today, Charles. Now tell me honestly, my boy, don't you think it's rather unwise for you to continue this philanthropic enterprise? This Inquirer - that is costing you one million dollars a year?
    Kane: You're right. 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.
  • A moment that manages to be more powerful because it occurs off screen: early on, as a young, idealistic publisher, Kane runs a front page article revealing his "Declaration of Principles." Jed Leland asks to keep the handwritten original declaration, saying he thinks "it might be important one day. A document." Fast forward thirty years: Kane is now thoroughly corrupt and in love with his own power. After his wife's disastrous opening night, Leland sticks to his principles and writes a blistering - and honest - review. Kane fires Leland, then tries to mollify him by giving him a $25,000 check (about $300,000 in 2014) as severance. Leland tears up the check and mails it back to Kane, along with the old Declaration of Principles. Not a word inside, nor is one needed. It's a strong contender for the most forceful, and classiest, "screw you" in the history of cinema.