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The fresh sophisticated and classic masterpiece Citizen Kane 1941 is probably the worlds most famous and highly-rated film with its many remarkable scenes and performances cinematic and narrative techniques and experimental innovations in photography editing and sound Its director star and producer were all the same genius individual - Orson Welles in his film debut at age 25 who collaborated with Herman J Mankiewicz on the script and also with an uncredited John Houseman and with Gregg Toland as his talented cinematographer The amount of each persons contributions to the screenplay has been the subject of great debate over many decades Tolands camera work on Karl Freunds expressionistic horror film Mad Love 1935 exerted a profound influence on this film The film received unanimous critical praise even at the time of its release although it was not a commercial success partly due to its limited distribution and delayed release by RKO due to pressure exerted by famous publisher WR Hearst - until it was re-released after World War II found well-deserved but delayed recognition in Europe and then played on television The film engendered controversy and efforts at suppression in early 1941 because it appeared to fictionalize and caricaturize certain events and individuals in the life of William Randolph Hearst a powerful newspaper magnate and publisher and the film drew remarkable unflattering and uncomplimentary parallels especially in regards to the Susan Alexander Kane character The notorious battle was detailed in Thomas Lennons and Michael Epsteins Oscar-nominated documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane 1996 and it was retold in HBOs cable-TV film RKO 281 1999
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