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Citizen Kane Loses 100% Rating After Rotten Tomatoes Adds 80-Year-Old Negative Review


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Citizen Kane, regarded by many as the greatest movie ever made, has lost its prestigious 100 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes after the review aggregator dug up an 80-year-old negative review of the film. Starring and directed by Orson Welles and written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, the famous film released in 1941 to widespread acclaim and has remained a central piece of the cinematic canon ever since. Hilariously, one of the movie’s many accolades has now been tarnished.

For its era,¬†Citizen Kane¬†featured a number of excellent performances and a compelling if thematically familiar script. Its more revolutionary impact came from technical aspects of the writing and production ‚Äď the gorgeous shots, experimental camerawork, and atypical narrative structure. To many film scholars,¬†Citizen Kane‚Äôs¬†release was a major turning point in film history, which forever changed the stylistic approach of future filmmakers.

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RELATED: Mank True Story: The Movie's Biggest Changes To Herman Mankiewicz & Making Citizen Kane

It may seem silly to discuss such an old and well-respected film in terms of its¬†Rotten Tomatoes¬†score, especially since¬†Citizen Kane¬†has long held an illustrious 100 percent fresh rating on the site. At least, it used to. Thanks to an 80-year-old negative review of the movie published in the¬†Chicago Daily Tribune¬†(which later became the¬†Chicago Tribune), that perfect rating has dropped to 99 percent.¬†‚ÄúIt's interesting. It's different,‚Ä̬†critic Mae Tinee wrote.¬†‚ÄúIn fact, it's bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment.‚ÄĚ

Netflix’s lauded drama Mank, which stars Gary Oldman as Herman J. Mankiewicz, launched Citizen Kane back into the modern-day spotlight late last year. The film largely focused on the writing of the film, as well as on Mank’s relationship with media mogul William Randolph Hearst, who the character of Kane was based on. Paying homage to the audiovisual stylings of Kane’s era, Mank went on to earn ten Oscar nominations and won for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.

Citizen Kane’s dip in its Rotten Tomatoes rating has no bearing on the film’s lasting legacy, but it is interesting to see some dissension to its usual praise, even if it came 80 years ago. The addition of the old review is curious in itself, given how long the film has stood at a perfect score, but it’s only fair that a notable publication like the Chicago Tribune gets to be included in the aggregate rating. And hey, at least Citizen Kane is apparently still 99 percent good.

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