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'Citizen Kane' Has A Rotten Day


For some eight decades, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" has been widely viewed as the greatest film ever made.


ORSON WELLES: (As Charles Foster Kane) Rosebud.

CORNISH: That all changed this week, when a less-than-flattering 80-year-old Chicago Tribune Review surfaced.


The review was written under the pseudonym Mae Tinee. It reads, you've heard a lot about this picture, and I see by the ads that some experts think it's the greatest movie ever made. I don't.


DOROTHY COMINGORE: (As Susan Alexander Kane) Charlie, he said my name would be dragged through the mud.

CORNISH: Who cares about a decades-old movie review? Well, the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes - that's who. Welles' masterpiece slipped from a 100% rating to a measly 99%. "Citizen Kane" now ranks below several other films, including "12 Angry Men," "Battleship Potemkin," "The Maltese Falcon" and...


HUGH GRANT: (As Phoenix Buchanan) Your name is...

BEN WHISHAW: (As Paddington) Paddington Brown.

CORNISH: "Paddington 2" - yes, the animated bear.


RUTH WARRICK: (As Emily Monroe Norton Kane) Sometimes I think I'd prefer a rival of flesh and blood.

WELLES: (As Charles Foster Kane) Oh, Emily.

KELLY: Director of the "Paddington" films Paul King told The Hollywood Reporter that it is lovely to be on any list which includes "Citizen Kane." And he added, I won't let it go too much to my head and immediately build my Xanadu, but I have been cooking up a model just in case.

CORNISH: Charles Foster Kane was haunted by the loss of Rosebud. We'll never know if Orson Welles might feel the same way about that elusive Rotten Tomatoes 100% fresh. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mary Louise Kelly is a co-host of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine.
Audie Cornish
Over two decades of journalism, Audie Cornish has become a recognized and trusted voice on the airwaves as co-host of NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered.
Courtney Dorning has been a Senior Editor for NPR's All Things Considered since November 2018. In that role, she's the lead editor for the daily show. Dorning is responsible for newsmaker interviews, lead news segments and the small, quirky features that are a hallmark of the network's flagship afternoon magazine program.
Sam Yellowhorse Kesler
Sam Yellowhorse Kesler is an Assistant Producer for Planet Money. Previously, he's held positions at NPR's Ask Me Another & All Things Considered, and was the inaugural Code Switch Fellow. Before NPR, he interned with World Cafe from WXPN. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and continues to reside in Philadelphia. If you want to reach him, try looking in your phone contacts to see if he's there! You'd be surprised how many people are in there that you forgot about.