Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane is one of the greatest movies to be ever made in the history of cinema. The film was widely appreciated by the fans and the critics, and till a few days back had a 100 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes. It all suddenly changed when a review aggregator website added a negative review of the film and the widely celebrated movie lost its 100 per cent score.
The review which is dated 80 years ago from now, tagged Citizen Kane as a flop film. Published by the Chicago Tribune on May 7, 1941, it was the 116th review of the film on the website and is now responsible for ruining the perfect score of the film. The Chicago Tribune‘s negative “Citizen Kane” review was published under the alias “Mae Tinee”. The headline of this infamous review read, “Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed”.
The review that was published a few days after the release of the film in 1941, stated that the film’s “noir-inspired visuals and use of shadows gives one the creeps”. It further read, “It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
The review has now surfaced online after the launch of RT Archives, an archival core introduced in November 2020. The website will preserve editorial content related to classic and historic films and interestingly, not only Citizen Kane, but classics like A Night at the Opera, Double Indemnity, Home of the Brave, Victim, Mädchen in Uniform, The Dirty Dozen, and Gilda have lost their ranks because of this website’s reviews. They have been dispensed new scores as part of the archival initiative.
Citizen Kane became the subject of David Fincher’s multiple Oscar-nominated and two-time winner film titled Mank. The movie, which won Oscars for best cinematography and best production design, focused on the making of the film and its screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. The script of Citizen Kane was interestingly the sole Oscar winner as the film famously lost the best picture award to John Ford’s family drama How Green Was My Valley.