RKO 281 (1999)
February 25, 2021 5:02 PM - Subscribe

Radio and theater wunderkind Orson Welles (Liev Schrieber) takes on the world of film, producing what may be his greatest film, Citizen Kane, despite the opposition of the film's de facto subject, William Randolph Hearst (James Cromwell).

Streaming in the US on HBO Max.
posted by DirtyOldTown (4 comments total)
 
This was a "prestige" cable tv movie (on HBO) before the advent of the Golden Age of Television.

It's an interesting subject with good actors, but it's rendered a little pedantically, without the visual style or cinematic touches we take for granted now. Like a lot of even the better tv movies from that era, it didn't age that gracefully and seems pretty lacking now.

I'd recommend it if you're an Orson Welles nerd, want to see Schreiber's (pretty good) performance as Welles, or want a counterpoint to the recent Mank.

It's more additional/related viewing for people wanting to dwell on the subject/era/personalities a bit more than it is a good movie on its own.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:21 AM on February 26


I went to watch this after Mank and it wasn't available anywhere. Glad to see it show up.
posted by octothorpe at 2:20 PM on February 26


Indeed, as an Orson Welles nerd, I absolutely loved this back in 1999. No physical resemblance between Liev Schreiber and Welles, but oh the swagger! And a satisfying end scene in an elevator between him and Cromwell as Hearst, based on a (likely fictional) Welles anecdote.

Haven’t seen this anywhere since then, though, and I’m willing to believe it hasn’t totally held up.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 5:12 PM on February 26


I may have to watch this one again. Loved it back in the early 2000s. I had a copy of it taped to VHS.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 11:48 AM on March 1


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