The Sixth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Door 4

James Proclaims (6)

Orson Welles’ 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane is oft described as the greatest movie ever made. I can only assume that the people making that claim have never seen Star Wars but I will concede, that even without a lightsaber in sight for the near 2-hour running time, Citizen Kane is a remarkable achievement.

I’m hardly an expert on the movies of the era, but it’s easy to believe the Citizen Kane must have been ground-breaking on several fronts. It’s still pretty unconventional by modern standards. As impressive as his work behind the cameras undoubtedly is, Welles is also magnetic on screen and is convincing as the eponymous Kane at every stage of his life (except as a child because clearly that was a different actor).

Obviously I’d still rather sit through Star Wars but, as well as being a technical tour de force, Citizen Kane remains surprisingly entertaining for a movie that is so acclaimed.

Score for Christmasishness

Not at all a Christmas movie, but it is quite possible that the scenes featuring Kane’s childhood are set at Christmas because it’s snowing and then it is actually Christmas in the following scene, although conceivably that scene could have been set at a different time, so the snow scenes may have nothing to do with Christmas. Two Christmases are juxtaposed to highlight Kane’s development from childhood to young adulthood and the beginnings of his media empire. And there is a party scene later on which probably isn’t set at Christmas but possibly might be. Really though, the Christmasishness of the movie hinges on whether those childhood scenes of him sledging are set at Christmas. I’m not really convinced that they are so the film isn’t really very Christmas(ish) at all. But Christmas is referenced at least twice, and there is definitely a Christmas tree on screen at one point, albeit briefly, so it’s not the movie with the most tenuous link to Christmas that I’ve ever included in my annual countdown.

  10 comments for “The Sixth Annual James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films – Door 4

  1. December 4, 2022 at 7:17 am

    Well, theres a very rich candy Kane in it. (Sorry.) I t lives up to its ‘Great’ movie rep though.


    • December 11, 2022 at 3:21 pm

      It does. But it’s no Star Wars.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. December 4, 2022 at 11:45 am

    I’m beginning to see a trend here!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. December 4, 2022 at 2:30 pm

    …and the obvious link to Christmas is the name
    Citizen Kane and Candy cane….although citizen Kane might topple the Christmas tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 11, 2022 at 3:23 pm

      It would certainly need to be a robust Christmas tree


  4. December 4, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    This film was a staple when I was doing a film degree. Still impressive, even by today’s standards!

    Liked by 3 people

    • December 11, 2022 at 3:24 pm

      It is arguably more impressive than today’s standards…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. December 4, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    A classic movie, always worthy of a view. I also had this on the “study list” in my film class.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 11, 2022 at 3:26 pm

      My film class study list was all French. Which might be because I did a degree in French studies. But this one, being in English, eluded me for many years but I did love it when I finally got round to watching it.

      Liked by 1 person

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