“Citizen Kane” has lost its edge.
The 1941 movie directed by Orson Welles is known as one of the best films in history, and until very recently, held a 100% Fresh score on popular movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
However, the website recently added an 80-year-old review of the movie to its already-compiled collection that dropped the score to 99%.
On May 7, 1941, Mae Tinee wrote a largely negative review of the movie for the Chicago Tribune Daily.
“It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece,” she wrote at the time. “But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
Tinee continued: “Citizen Kane presents an almost clinical dissection of a complete egotist. It runs to gargantuan sets and arty photography – shadowy and spooky – which, however, according to our Eddie Johnson, is something for the books. I wouldn’t know about that. I only know it gives one the creeps and that I kept wishing they’d let a little sunshine in.”
Additionally, she noted that she didn’t much “care for” Joseph Cotten’s performance.
The only things that the critic praised were some of the acting, specifically that done by Welles, Ruth Warrick and Everett Sloane.
Her piece is titled, “Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed.”
“Citizen Kane” won an Oscar for its screenplay, which was co-written by Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewocz – the chronicle of which was recounted in this year’s best picture nominee, “Mank” – and was nominated for seven other awards, including best picture.
Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins and Erskine Sanford also starred. Welles earned additional nominations for his acting and directing.
Additionally, the film is remembered for its cinematography, done by Gregg Toland.
The movie sees reporters examine the meaning of the word “rosebud,” the final word spoken by publishing tycoon Charles Kane before his death.
Despite the minor drop in the movie’s score, it still possesses a 100 Metacritic score based on reviews from Variety, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and more.