“Citizen Kane” is being restored by the Criterion Collection in honor of the film’s 80th anniversary. Regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time, “Citizen Kane” follows the story of a reporter tasked with decoding the meaning of “Rosebud” — the final word uttered by Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) on his death bed. Kane, a fictitious newspaper mogul, was inspired by real-life tycoons William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, Samuel Insull, and Harold McCormick.
The Criterion edition of Welles’ 1941 feature film directorial debut will be released on November 23, but you can pre-order it now to make sure that you get a copy (in case they sell out during the Black Friday shopping rush).
A box office dud that quickly faded from theaters when it was first released, it took more than a decade before “Citizen Kane” found its way back into the spotlight thanks in part to the praise of French critics and a 1956 re-release.
In 1989, “Citizen Kane” became one of 25 films inducted into the Library of Congress for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance. The movie was first released on Blu-ray in 2011 to mark its 70th anniversary. Now, a decade later, comes the Criterion Collection edition and a fresh spin on the movie’s cover art. “All of the inspiration was drawn from the film and the cover was a new take on the iconic ‘Citizen Kane’ titling,” designer Mike McQuade explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “Like many people, I’ve been a fan of the film for quite a while. Watching the film over and over has been a huge perk of the job.”
This 4-disc combo packs includes a 4K UDH restoration of the film and three discs with special features such as 2021 audio commentaries from Welles scholars James Naremore and Jonathan Rosenbaum, archival commentaries from Peter Bogdanovich and Roger Ebert, and the 1991 rarely seen feature-length BBC documentary, “The Complete ‘Citizen Kane.’”
A documentary with archival interviews with Welles is also featured in the collection, along with interviews with Joseph Cotton from 1966 and 1975, old TV interviews with Welles and Mercury Theatre producer John Houseman, new interviews with critic Farran Smith Nehme and film scholar Racquel J. Gates, a video essay by Welles scholar Robert Carringer, and “The Heart of Age,” a 1934 silent film made by Welles. The packaging features a book with an easy penned by film critic Bilge Ebiri.
If you’re looking to save a little money, Barnes & Noble is currently running a 50 percent off sale on Criterion Collection films, which means you can pre-order “Citizen Kane” for just $24.99 from now until November 29. Other Criterion Collection releases due out this month include “Menace II Society,” “Mulholland Drive,” “Uncut Gems,” and the “Once Upon a Time in China” series.
The holidays are approaching quickly, and while Criterion Collection movies are a great gift idea, there’s nothing wrong with a little variety. For more shopping recommendations be sure to peruse our lists of best gifts for movie buffs, classic film noir movies to stream right now, and amazing gifts for lovers of Old Hollywood.