“Rosebud Was the Sleigh” and 5 Other Things You Don’t Know About Citizen Kane on Account of Being a Total Fucking Idiot

We here at Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place like to assume that our readers are of at least average intelligence. For the most part, that’s true, but Jesus Christ do you have a bizarre blind spot when it comes to Citizen Kane. Orson Welles’ towering masterpiece is one of the most revered works of pop culture in American history yet you still know jack shit about it even after seeing twice. Here are the 6 biggest things you get wrong about Citizen Kane on account of being a dullard 

6. Rosebud was the name of Charles Foster Kane’s sleigh

We’re not sure how you could have gotten this impression, but after watching Citizen Kane, you genuinely thought “Rosebud” must have been one of Kane’s ex-lovers and wracked your feeble little brain trying to figure out who it might be. 

 Note that this is a sleigh, not a woman.

Note that this is a sleigh, not a woman.

Uh, hello, Einstein? It’s established pretty fucking clearly that Rosebud is Charles Foster Kane’s childhood sled and represents a lost Eden of boyhood innocence, blah, blah, blah. It’s only one of the most famous symbolic items in all of pop culture. Of course, that’s no reason an ignorant mouth-breather like you would know something that, literally almost everybody else knows. Christ, have you ever taken a film class? ? They cover this shit in every Film Studies 101 class. Crack a film history book, much? It doesn’t sound like you do. 

5. Citizen Kane was not based on a video game

Where would you even get an idea like that? The timelines don’t make sense at all. Besides, what the fuck kind of a video game would Citizen Kane be based on? Do they really make video games chronicling the Shakespearean melodrama of the life and times of a complicated man in a complicated society, in all of its glory and horror? 

 There's a reason this album doesn't include a song called "Do the Citizen Kane Shuffle"

There's a reason this album doesn't include a song called "Do the Citizen Kane Shuffle"

Did they make those kinds of video games in 1941? Of course not, genius. They wouldn’t make even primitive video games like Pong for decades to come, yet you somehow live in a world where classic video games include Pac-Man, Street Fighter 2, NBA Jam and that wonderful early 1940s rise-and-fall-of-a-newspaper-magnate side-scroller Citizen Kane. 

Does it hurt being that stupid? 

4. Citizen Kane was directed by star and co-writer Orson Welles, not Alfred Hitchcock, you moron

It’s a good thing you don’t talk about Citizen Kane with your friends (of course that would assume you have friends, which you probably don’t), because if you were to, say, try to impress them by calling Citizen Kane “one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films”, they’d probably either laugh at you to your face, or snigger and make fun of you behind your back. 

 What if I told you these were actually YOUNG actors? #Mindblown

What if I told you these were actually YOUNG actors? #Mindblown

Seriously, how can you not know that Welles directed Citizen Kane? It’s only the single most acclaimed directorial debut of all time if not the most acclaimed film, period. Yet for some reason you think Alfred Hitchcock made it. Gosh, maybe if you knew the names of more than 5 directors, you wouldn’t screw up so much. Oh well, it could be worse. At least you don’t think Steven Spielberg (another of the 5 directors you know) directed it.  

3. Makeup was used to allow young actors like Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten to play older versions of their characters. 

It’s a good thing you’ve always watched Citizen Kane by yourself because if you were to watch it with a friend and then ask, “Who was that older actor who played the elderly Charles Foster Kane? I’m not sure I’ve seen him in anything else but I thought he was divine!” you’d look even sillier and more ridiculous than you already do know. 

We can’t believe that you genuinely thought an old character actor was playing Charles Foster Kane rather than Welles under layers of make-up, but then you’re not too bright, are you? 

I suppose it could be argued that it is a testament to the artistry and genius of both Citizen Kane’s actors and make-up artists that, like the waste of space you are, you somehow imagined that the film employed a much older actor to play the ancient Kane, but honestly, you’re just dumb as fuck, and get pretty much everything wrong.  

2. Citizen Kane was not based on the life story of the man who founded USA Today

We suppose we should just be glad that you’re familiar with newspapers at all, given your incredible mental deficits. We’re kind of surprised you didn’t think it was based on the creation of Buzzfeed or Vice but it isn’t much better that you think Citizen Kane is a loosely fictionalized portrayal of the founding of USA Today. 

Considering what an enormous dumbass you are, we don’t expect you to know who William Randolph Hearst (the film's inspiration) is, just because, you know, he’s probably the most famous newspaperman ever, but USA Today didn’t even begin publication until the 1980s. How the fuck is Orson Welles (who directed Citizen Kane, incidentally, you rube, not Alfred Hitchcock or Steven Spielberg) supposed to make a movie based on a newspaper that wouldn’t exist for over forty years? 

God, you’re dense.

 It's a pertinent questions. WHY are you so dumb? 

It's a pertinent questions. WHY are you so dumb? 

1. Rosebud was reportedly also William Randolph Hearst’s nickname for his mistress’ clitoris

Actually, that’s kind of obscure. We’re not surprised you didn’t know that. Honestly, it’d be a little weird if you did.

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