Movie trailers have evolved into miniature feats of filmmaking, but there were directors working during cinema’s golden age who foretold the possibilities of trailers and movie marketing. Orson Welles’ trailer for Citizen Kane skips the humdrum movie montages for a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the cinema classic. The documentary-style trailer reveals character interactions, narration from Welles, and some of the same cinematography we see in the film itself.
Kane’s Gregg Toland used deep focus in the movie, a technique that was still considered new and somewhat experimental for the time. We get all the yummy chiaroscuro lighting and unique point-of-view shots, too, in this unique clip. According to Open Culture, critic and actor Simon Callow stated in his book Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu that the trailer for Kane was easily as innovative as the film. We can't argue with that. See Orson Welles seduce audiences closer to his cinematic “hero, a scoundrel, a no-account, a swell guy, a great lover, a great American citizen, and a dirty dog,” below.
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