What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Citizen Kane is a serious, grown-up film that will have little appeal for young kids. For teens (and any older kids who shows a budding interest in the art of movie-making), however, it is the must-see portrait of an early 20th century media tycoon. Made in 1941, it's thought by some to be the best movie of all time, both for its audacious techniques and for the depth of its characterization. Several scenes show principals drinking or drunk; there is pipe, cigar, and cigarette smoking throughout. Kane's implied adulterous affair has an impact on the plot, but there is no overt sexuality and no swearing or offensive language.
- Families can talk about how Kane used his newspaper to influence politics and stir up the public's interest in war. Do newspapers and other news media still do that?
- Why do you think he said "Rosebud" when he died?
- Have you ever visited Hearst Castle, which was the model for Citizen Cane's Xanadu? (An overhead shot of William Randolph Hearst's estate on the California Coast at San Simeon is shown in the film as Xanadu, where Kane lives.) It's now a California State Monument and is open to the public for tours.