This Week in 1941: 'Citizen Kane' Sleds Into History
'Citizen Kane' may or may not be the greatest movie ever made, but it's almost surely the greatest cautionary tale ever to come out of Hollywood. Released 70 years ago this week (on May 1, 1941), 'Kane' was the story, as one character notes, of a man who had everything and then lost it, but it was also made by a director who was given everything and then lost it.
After his pioneering dramatic work in radio and on the New York stage, Orson Welles was wooed by Hollywood. He signed a deal with the RKO studio to direct and act in movies and have final cut, giving him unprecedented creative license for a first-time director. He was 24. Welles declared that a movie studio was "the best toy train a boy ever had," but he quickly ran it off the rails.