In the very beginning of the movie we see the death of Charles Foster Kane, and his last word was "Rosebud." and he dropped a snow globe.
The rest of the movie is about "what was Rosebud?" We follow a reporter around city to city as he tried to uncover the meaning behind the very unlikely last word of the great Kane.
We discover all abobut his life after coming into his money. He came to run many very sucessful newspapers all around the country. He married two women, one of whom died after their divorce, and the other left him. He was involved in many scanrdrals, and lost all chance of becoming a polotician. None of these seemed to effect him though. Or the begging question of "Rosebud."
After learning all about Kanes life the reporter finally comes to the conclusion that "Rosebud" had no meaning for the man that had everythign and wanted nothing. Nothing could have meant that much to him in the past or present and it was just a word that Kane said.
The only thing that every really effected him in his life, the only thing tht made him who he was the day he died was being taken as a child from his real family to be able to "benefit" from his huge sums of money.
The scene where he was taken away we saw Kane playing on a sled. Enjoying himself like any healthy happy child would be doing in the snow. The last shot we see in the movie is of that same sled. Printed on it is "Rosebud" as if burns in the fire.
The only thing that ever mattered to Kane was the fact that his life was completely different than he thought it should be. He was ripped of his right to have a "normal" life. What would the man who has everythign and wants nothing have that was that menaingful. His forgotten past meant more to him than anything. So that was the last thought on his mind, as he remembered playing in the snow as he starred at the snowglobe.
I can see why the AFI has voted Citizen Kane one of the best films ever. The angles and techniques are stunning. They reflect the mood of each scene just like they should be. A lot of the angles are fantastic for showing thw power of each person as well. I noticed that a lot throughout the whole movie. The person with the most power was always larger in the shot.
I didn't find the plot a "number one" spot polt though. It was good, and set up a lot of future movie plots and such, but it really isn't that interesting in this day in time.
There were ground-breaking things used. There would be one person in focus right infront of the camera and on the other side of the room that person would be just as infocus and the person up close. And the shot that they used for Suzanne Alexander Kanes place that went from her sign and then through it and to the glass-top roof. That was probably the first shot like that ever.
The weather also always relfected the moods. And as the movie prgressed the weather showed less sadness. I'm not sure if any other movies of that time were doing that quite as well as Orson Wells.
Those could be the reasons it is top ten all time. If there was a more interesting plot to go with the imaging I feel it would have earned the ranking. They might have been looking at a lot more details that not every movie hits on.
I would say maybe top fifty movies because it was wonderfully shot and put you in every scene and mood of the scene perfectly. It is too difficult of a decision for one person who only gets one view of the move to make. They have made the decision many years ina row so Orson Wells and the whole cast and crew did something right to get the honor.
We can't get in the minds of everyone. Just like they never could find out the meaning of "Rosebud." It might have explained everything