RKO 281 (1999) (TV) Directed by Benjamin Ross





(Review originally written at 16 May 2009)

This is more of a shot docudrama with big name actors in it, rather than a movie that tells a real story. To me this movie was lacking a bit of a point and it didn't achieved much with its story or characters. It's a quite distant movie in which everything remains on the surface. Questions such as who was Orson Welles, why was he such a genius and how "Citizen Kane" influenced basically all later cinema are hardly being answered or handled at all. As a matter of fact this movie isn't even really about Orson Welles or the shooting of "Citizen Kane" at all. It's more about the battle of getting the movie made and eventually released.

The movie does have some interesting things in it, that explain how "Citizen Kane" got first thought off, what the influences were and how it caused lots of troubles for the persons and studios involved but it does this in such an observe documentary kind of way that you just never feel involved with the story or any of its characters. The movie just doesn't always flow well and it doesn't always know to keep its main focus on the right things.

Of course the movie is not horrible, for a made for TV-production it's simply still a quite good one, with some good production values and a great cast involved.

Unfortunately it's not a really well cast movie. Sure it has big names n it but big names aren't everything. Was Liev Schreiber really the best pick to play Orson Welles? I just don't think so. I like Liev as an actor but more as a supporting actor. Some actors just aren't suitable to play important main leads. He of course also looks very little like Orson Welles. The movie also has further more James Cromwell, John Malkovich, Fiona Shaw and Melanie Griffith but it's perhaps only Roy Scheider who knows to make an great and lasting impression with his role.

Worth a go if you're already a bit familiar with Orson Welles and the movie "Citizen Kane", otherwise this movie will hardly keep your interest throughout with its superficial, more documentary-like, telling of the story

6/10

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