Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

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Lance
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Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by Lance » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:59 am

Watching Citizen Kane on TCM this Sunday morning (I've seen it so many times I cannot count), I didn't catch all the film, just the last part where Kane throws things around in a bedroom and utters the word "rosebud." From a table, he takes one of those glass balls that has "snow" in it, places it in his suit pocket and walks down an elegant hall. His last word is "rosebud" and he dies. As the demolition crew is ridding his mansion of "junk," they throw something away that looks like a broken piece of furniture. As it burns, the word "rosebud" appears on this item and eventually burns off altogether. Can someone fill me in because I cannot make the connection to "rosebud" and what it implies in the film. I know, a dumb question, but this is bothering me not to remember. Did anyone ever figure out (even in the film) what "rosebud" actually meant?
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HoustonDavid
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by HoustonDavid » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:32 pm

According to Wikipedia:

In the film "(Reporter Jerry) Thompson is unable to solve the mystery and concludes that "Rosebud" will forever remain an enigma. He theorizes that "Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it: Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost". In the ending of the film, it is revealed to the audience that Rosebud was the name of the sled from Kane's childhood, from the time before he was taken from his parents and gained his wealth. The sled, thought to be junk, is destroyed by Xanadu's departing staff in a basement furnace. The film ends as it began, with a view of the "No Trespassing" sign posted on the fence of Xanadu."

In the film, Thompson tells Charles Foster Kane's story as a series of flashbacks, but never solves the mystery. The film's viewers become aware that "Rosebud" is a sled from Kane's youth, probably symbolizing the innocense of childhood, forever lost during Kane's subsequent successes and failures as a man. It certainly is a common theme (the loss of childhood innocense) in literature and films and didn't originate with Orson Welles. He just left filmgoers with an enigmatic "symbol" of such loss in the form of a burning sled. Of course, the "No Trespassing" sign is another symbolic summary of the life of an enigmatic man, Charles Foster Kane, never to be truly known.

A truly great film, never to be equaled by Orson Welles during his long and distinguished film-making career. Part of the reason for his subsequent career's ups and downs was the restriction placed on him by the film studios after the controversy of "Citizen Kane" and the subsequent legal problems posed by the family and estate of publisher William Randolph Hearst. Hearst, and his life and career, is thought to be the model for Charles Foster Kane in the film. The legal wranglings were long, costly, and complicated, but efforts be the Hearst family to block distribution of the film were ultimately unsuccessful.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

IcedNote
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by IcedNote » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:43 pm

Yeah...it's the name of the sled from his childhood.

Wikipedia is spot on!

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Lance
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by Lance » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:06 pm

Okay - a sled! That's what I could not remember as I watched the article being thrown into the basement furnace. Had I seen the film from the beginning, I would have recalled it. The rosebud was a flashback to those early days for Kane. Thank you for putting the record straight on this. I feel greatly relieved!
Lance G. Hill
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jbuck919
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:26 pm

The question is, Lance, where you fall on the question over whether "Rosebud" is a goof (there was, apparently, no one in the room to hear him say it). :)

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Lance
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:17 pm

I seem to recall that his servant (Paul Stewart} overheard him say "Rosebud" as his final word and then Kane expired. I could be wrong, of course.
jbuck919 wrote:The question is, Lance, where you fall on the question over whether "Rosebud" is a goof (there was, apparently, no one in the room to hear him say it). :)
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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moldyoldie
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Re: Speaking of "Citizen Kane"

Post by moldyoldie » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:04 am

Lance wrote:I seem to recall that his servant (Paul Stewart} overheard him say "Rosebud" as his final word and then Kane expired. I could be wrong, of course.
jbuck919 wrote:The question is, Lance, where you fall on the question over whether "Rosebud" is a goof (there was, apparently, no one in the room to hear him say it). :)
I believe Kane was alone in his dark bedroom when he practically whispered "the word". We then see a backlit image of the nurse appear at a distance in the doorway. That nurse must've been wearing one of these:

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