Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Citizen Kane” as Want to Read:
Citizen Kane
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Citizen Kane

(BFI Film Classics)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Citizen Kane's unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest films in all cinema is matched only by the accumulation of critical commentary that surrounds it. What more can there be to say about a masterpiece so universally acknowledged? As Laura Mulvey shows in a fresh and original reading, the richness of the film, both thematically and stylistically, is inexhaustible. In a l ...more
Paperback, 87 pages
Published December 27th 1992 by British Film Institute (first published 1992)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Citizen Kane, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Citizen Kane

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  192 ratings  ·  12 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Mitchell
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Laura Mulvey declares herself from the outset to be a feminist critic. She then quickly admits that a feminist reading of Citizen Kane wouldn't be that fruitful. However, she says that she will put the movie through the rigors of what she things is the cornerstone of feminist criticism - Freudian analysis. I am not familiar (or interested) enough in either Freudian analysis or feminist criticism to know if the result in this book is successful in either discipline. I can say that it made for p ...more
Zohal
Jul 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was interesting, but there was nothing really groundbreaking about it.
Josh
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
My wife picked up a stack of the BFI's classic film series books at a library sale, and if this one is any indication, it will be a pleasure to read them. Laura Mulvey is an experimental filmmaker and an academic focusing on feminist and psychoanalytic theory, and she brings these varied strands of her background together in her analysis of Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. To my relief, she avoids the dry, overcooked insularity that plagues a lot of academic writing, presenting her ideas and analysis ...more
afoty boy
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
i really wish this had been structured properly. it's free association style leaves a lot of loose ends which are glossed over real higgledy-piggledy - although that was the first time i'd read that term in an academic text and it was very exciting. Mulvey's problem seems to be in finding the proper structure to accommodate her compelling views. although i did find mulvey's notion of an ideological transition from kane as a radical leftist to staunch conservative/protofascism to be weak as it ne ...more
Matt

Wrapped itself a little too much in Freudian analysis. I'm pretty partial to it, myself, but it's a not what you do its the way that you do it kind of situation.

I did appreciate how she tied the film in with the geopolitical situation of the time- Kane (hearst) is a conservative, rabidly conservative, isolationist. Earlier drafts of the script made more of this tie-in with fascism (or at least fascist sympathies- at that point in history, for Americans, not altogether that much of a difference)
...more
Caroline
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it
With a film as complex as "Citizen Kane," the possibilities of interpretation and analysis are really countless. Mulvey does a solid job of giving her own perspective on what is below the surface, and one that is interesting and insightful. She talks a lot about psychoanalytical factors or potential reasons for characters' actions or the structure of the film. I enjoyed reading her thoughts about "Citizen Kane" and think it's definitely worth reading, as I think there's a lot of validity to her ...more
Danny
Feb 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
My expectations for this one were simply a bit of a recap of the story along with some possible ways of interpreting it. As long as you don't expect an encyclopedia, I think this will prove very rewarding and useful.

There's a lot of background stuff regarding what happened in the making of the film, which was what I mostly wanted from a book like this. At the same time, it touches upon the various themes and topics that you might think about in relation to the film, which is why it works - seri
...more
James F
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cinema
Another in the BFI Film Classics series. Although I have never been one of those who consider Citizen Kane the greatest film of all time, it definitely represented a landmark in cinema history, and this book explains why. It points out the many ways in which the film differs from the average Hollywood movie, and some of the innovations, both technically and thematically, which made it so outstanding. It also gives a psychoanalytic reading of the film which goes beyond the superficial Freudian interp ...more
Sps
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 700s, language
Precise, economical, assured, but offered with a certain humility too. She manages to talk about the film's political and historical context and give a thorough analysis of the story's development without neglecting detailed examination of particular shots and choices of lighting, framing, cuts, script revisions, etc.

"The appeal to read the scene is made, and also frustrated." (28)

On Susan Alexander Kane: "as spectacle, attempting to impersonate the erotic codes essential for woman
...more
Castille
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
LOVE this series! This particular book is particularly one-sided towards the left, though, so be prepared for that. As someone who sees Kane neither as a protagonist or antagonist, but rather a person like any other who has great qualities as well as demons, I appreciated Mulvey's perspectives, even though she definitely seems mostly opposed to Kane.
Sagar Jethani
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, mythology
Nice little bit of analysis. Brought out aspects of the film I had never noticed before. Could have done without all the Freudian interpretation, but I suppose that reflects contemporaneous literary analysis.
Thomas
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
A bit too much feminist psychoanalist approach and comparison with William Randolph Hearst for my taste. Other BFI Film classic titles I read favoured the direct contact with the film (which I prefer also). But if you're into Mulvey you may be fully satisfied.
Víctor R. Ramos
rated it it was amazing
Jul 31, 2016
Luísa
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2014
kenneth parris
rated it really liked it
May 30, 2016
Tony
rated it it was amazing
Sep 03, 2011
Jude Brigley
rated it liked it
Feb 27, 2011
Jeremy Barlow
rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2015
NaJuana Prudencia
rated it it was ok
Jan 14, 2018
Nedduh Simonson
rated it really liked it
May 28, 2012
Andrew
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2018
Thomas Raymond
rated it liked it
Dec 19, 2014
Lisha Davis
rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2017
Steven Felicelli
rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2014
Jillian
rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2010
Jackie Arias
rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2017
Jennifer Whitman
rated it really liked it
Sep 24, 2018
Tom Lobban
rated it liked it
Aug 08, 2018
Emefa
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2013
Harry Feng
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Blade Runner
  • The Birds
  • Cahiers du Cinema, the 1950s: Neo-Realism, Hollywood, New Wave
  • The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder
  • A History of the French New Wave Cinema
  • Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage
  • Godard on Godard: Critical Writings
  • The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt
  • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
  • Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society
  • Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic
  • The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960
  • Retrofitting Blade Runner: Issues in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory
  • The Silence of the Lambs
  • Hitchcock's Films Revisited
  • The Parade's Gone By...
  • Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death
See similar books…
46 followers
Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film theorist. She was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. She is currently professor of film and media studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She worked at the British Film Institute for many years before taking up her current position.

Mulvey is best known for her essay, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", written in 1973 and published in
...more

Other books in the series

BFI Film Classics (1 - 10 of 180 books)
  • Stagecoach
  • Double Indemnity
  • The Big Heat
  • The Seventh Seal (Det Sjunde Inseglet)
  • Greed
  • Blackmail
  • Boudu Saved from Drowning
  • It's a Gift
  • Meet Me in St Louis
  • Lolita
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »