This two DVD package commemorates the 60th anniversary of the original theatrical release of Citizen Kane -- a film considered by critics and enthusiasts alike to be the crowning achievement of modern American cinema. The story of Charles Foster Kane is told using several flashbacks from those who knew him best. Outstanding performances from Welles as Kane, Joseph Cotton as Kane's best friend Jedediah Leland, Agnes Moorehead as Kane's mother, and Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein, Kane's devoted business associate, are among the silver-screen luminaries who make their motion-picture debuts in Citizen Kane.
Disc one contains a pristine (for a 60-year-old film) print presented in full frame (1.33:1). The image is all but free of grain or other visual anomalies. At last viewers can revel in the subtle, yet oh so significant, labors of Wells -- who was also behind the camera in the director's chair -- and noted cinematographer Gregg Toland. Toland's revolutionary deep-focus lenses and high-contrast lighting look crisp and surprisingly fresh. The audio on the DVD is most startling and more revealing than ever. Welles' formidable background in radio immeasurably enhances the film's visual composition. Accompanying the film are two full-length discreet audio commentary tracks. Academy Award-winning director and Welles biographer Peter Bogdanovich supplies an intuitively personal commentary, which is peppered with reminiscence of and quotes from Welles. The audio analysis from film critic Roger Ebert contains complementary information pertaining to film technique and style. Together they supply a comprehensive, entertaining, and ultimately unique perspective of Citizen Kane. The special features menu accesses the extras on disc one. These include a minute of silent newsreel footage from the May 1941 New York premiere as well as an 11-minute gallery of still images including production documentations, photographs, storyboards, promotional posters, and various advertising campaigns with narrative audio by Roger Ebert. In addition, there is a hidden interview segment -- just look for "Rosebud." Disc two contains the two-hour Oscar-nominated documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane -- which initially aired on the PBS series American Experience in 1995. The film examines the correlation between the real "Citizen" behind Kane. Was it Orson Welles, the actor on and off the stage, or William Randolph Hearst? The results might astound you. ~ Lindsay Planer, All Movie Guide