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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "American" or "John Citizen, U.S.A")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/welles.htm
USA 1941

Orson Welles’ timeless masterwork is more than a groundbreaking film. Presented here in a magnificent 70th anniversary digital transfer with revitalized digital audio from the highest quality surviving elements, it is also grand entertainment, sharply acted and superbly directed with inspired visual flair. Depicting the controversial life of an influential publishing tycoon, this Best Original Screenplay Academy Award Winner (1941) is rooted in themes of power, corruption, vanity—the American Dream lost in the mystery of a dying man’s last word: “Rosebud.”

 

Posters

It is widely believed that William Randolph Hearst was the inspiration for Charles Foster Kane, but there are some differences in the details of their personal lives. Hearst was married once and had a longtime affair with actress Marion Davies. Kane, on the other hand, needed two tungsten wedding bands for his wives, Emily Monroe Norton and singer Susan Alexander. Kane began an affair with Susan while he was still married to Emily, which was obviously inspired by Hearst's illicit relationship with Marion Davies.

Theatrical Release: May 1st, 1941 - USA

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                                  DVD Reviews

 

Associated Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

This is Orson Welles
by Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Rosenbaum
Orson Welles on Shakespeare: The W.P.A. and Mercury Theatre Playscripts
by Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Richard France
Orson Welles: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperbacks))
by Orson Welles, Mark W. Estrin
The Trial
by Franz Kafka
Orson Welles : The Stories of His Life
by Peter Conrad
Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles
by David Thomson
Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great Filmmakers)
by Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine, John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, Thomas L. Erskine
Chimes at Midnight: Orson Welles, Director (Rutgers Films in Print)
by Bridget Gellert Lyons

Comparison:

Warner - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Warner (3-disc Ultimate CE) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Boxset View (for R1 is 3 disc set with same transfer as 2 disc)
Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0  - NTSC

Universal Pictures (UK)
Region 0 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

Warner also offer an identical Blu-ray package (entitled 70th Anniversary) WITH the inclusion of The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD for about $10 more - exclusive to Amazon.

Runtime 1:59:20 1:54:16 (4% PAL speedup) 1:59:23.823
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.40 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.90
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,071,793,601 bytes

Feature: 30,815,545,344 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.65 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes

Bitrate:

Warner

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 821 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 821 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Polish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and none English, Spanish, French and none English (SDH), Czech, French, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  • Single-sided, dual-layered disc (SS-DL)
  • Dolby Digital mono (English)
  • English, Spanish, French, Portuguese subtitles, and English closed-captioning
  • Audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich
  • Audio commentary by Roger Ebert
  • Four-minute theatrical trailer with footage different from the film
  • Newsreel footage (one minute) from the New York premiere, in May, 1941
  • Storyboards gallery (three minutes)
  • Call sheets gallery (50 seconds)
  • Eleven-minute stills gallery with commentary by Roger Ebert
  • One-minute gallery of material relating to a deleted scene
  • Gallery of advertising and poster art (90 seconds)
  • Original press book gallery (45 seconds)
  • Gallery of stills and materials relating to the film's opening night (90 seconds)
  • Seven-screen bio of Welles
  • Fifteen-screen production history of Kane
  • Six screens of "postscripts" on post-Kane careers of participants
  • Two-screen list of awards and honors
  • Cast and crew credits
  • Animated, musical home menu with 31-chapter scene-selection

Disc Two: "The Battle Over Citizen Kane"

  • Black and white and color
  • Full frame (1.33:1)
  • Single-sided, single-layered disc (SS-SL)
  • Dolby Digital English 2.0
  • English subtitles and close captioning
  • Welles filmography
  • Web link to PBS material about the documentary
  • Advertisement for WGBH catalog
  • Ads for other WGBH documentaries
  • Static menu with 11-chapter scene-selection


• Number of discs: 2

DVD Release Date: September 24, 2002
Dual DVD Digi-pak with slipcase

Chapters 31

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures Studio

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  • Disc One:
  • Re-mastered and restored feature
  • Audio commentary by Film Historian Ken Barnes
  • Original theatrical trailer (4 mins)

 

  • Disc Two:
  • Anatomy Of A Classic' documentary presented by Film Critic Barry Norman (49 mins).
  • 'Restoration Comparison' featurette (9 mins)
  • What Kane Cost' - the original budget
  • 'The War Of The Worlds': a featurette that looks at the furor caused by Orson Welles' radio adaptation in which some Americans believed a Martian landing was actually taking place (57 mins)
  • 12 cast and crew profiles
  • Stills gallery
  • 'The Original Film Budget' featurette
  • 'Original 1945 Orson Welles recording of Oscar Wilde's 'The Happy Prince' with Bing Crosby and music by Bernard Hermann (13 mins)

DVD Release Date: July 21st, 2003
Bookstyle case with transparent plastic holder and photos behind

Chapters 20

 

NOTE: None of the special features come with captions or subtitles

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,071,793,601 bytes

Feature: 30,815,545,344 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 30.65 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

Disc One:

  • Bonus Disc: American Experience: The Battle Over Citizen Kane Documentary (see below)
  • Bonus Disc: RKO 281 (see below)
  • Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich
  • Commentary by Roger Ebert
  • Opening: World Premier of Citizen Kane Vintage Featurettes (1:08)
  • Interview with Ruth Warrick (5:40)
  • Interview with Robert Wise (3:04)

'The Production' (15:01 in total)

  • Storyboards
  • Call Sheets
  • Still Photography with Commentary by Roger Ebert

'Post Production' (5:11)

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Ad Campaign
  • Press Book
  • Opening Night
    10/30/38 Mercury Theatre Broadcast of War of the Worlds (Audio Only)
  • 10/28/40 KTSA, San Antonio Broadcast of H.G. Wells Meets Orson Welles (Audio Only)
  • Theatrical Trailer (3:46)

Disc Two: "The Battle Over Citizen Kane"

  • Black and white and color
  • Full frame (1.33:1)
  • Single-sided, single-layered disc (SS-SL)
  • Dolby Digital English 2.0
  • English subtitles and close captioning
  • Welles filmography
  • Web link to PBS material about the documentary
  • Advertisement for WGBH catalog
  • Ads for other WGBH documentaries
  • Static menu with 11-chapter scene-selection

Disc Three: "RKO 281" (1999)

  • Color (1.78:1)
  • Single-sided, single-layered disc (SS-SL)
  • Dolby Digital English 2.0
  • English, French, Spanish subtitles
  • Cast and Crew Bio static screens
  • Static menu with 12-chapter scene-selection


 Number of discs: 3

Package includes a book, booklets and title cards etc.

Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th, 2011
Custom Digipack

Chapters 31

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

NOTE: We have added The Magnificent Ambersons DVD to our existing comparison HERE.

ADDITION: Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 11': Looks like we got exactly what we had hoped back in 2003! - "What would have been best would be the integrity and film grain of the Universal (and sound!) and the detail and clarity of the Warner... and the Extras of both... and no PAL speedup...".

Warner's new 1080P Blu-ray transfer is thick with marvelously textured grain - looking positively film-like, especially, in comparison to Warner DVD. The image is authentically darker and I don't see us losing any detail (the rain in Bernstein's office has returned!) - even beside the boosted Warner SD transfer. It no longer appears cropped and is, of course, in theatrical running time. The audio is lossless, original mono exporting some perceived depth - sounds solid. Extras include everything from the 2002 package plus a third disc (the film RKO 281 from 1999) and a wonderful hardcover book, a souvenir program, title cards and more! We strongly suggest paying the extra $10 for the Blu-ray set (found HERE) called the '70th Anniversary Edition' (an Amazon Exclusive) with The Magnificent Ambersons on SD which we will eventually obtain and add to our existing DVD comparison.

I'm going to work my way through much more of this incredible package and report more (example - I am assuming the second disc 'The Battle Over Citizen Kane' is the exact single-layered one as in the 2002 release). We also assume this transfer etc. is the exact same as in the Ambersons included one (found HERE) - but we will report if we find any discrepancies. As for now this has our recommendation!

***

ON THE DVDs: The Universal PAL edition has aptly been called the "Technical Edition" of Citizen Kane on DVD. It shows wonderful film grain. The Warner NTSC version has been brightened, enough for scholars to notice in some shadowy scenes. The sound in the Warner is quite poor where the Universal has been beefed up a bit. The Ken Barnes commentary on the PAL edition focuses quite heavily on the technical aspects which is certainly important and illuminating. Bogdanovich and Ebert's commentary on the Warner is likewise interesting and informative. I can't rightly say one is "better" than the other, but I personally enjoyed the Warner more. 

The Universal version is less smooth in comparison (look at the newspaper text in the first large capture). I found the PAL version so dark that it actually eliminates some information from the screen (see the head on the right side of the 3rd large capture). I can't help but feel the Universal is saturated as well as having the PAL speedup issue which is not adhering to an original viewing experience. I expect the debate with "Kane" scholars can go on indefinitely. What would have been best would be the integrity and film grain of the Universal (and sound!) and the detail and clarity of the Warner... and the Extras of both... and no PAL speedup... and no cropping. I expect that true buffs (and there are many!) should buy both versions. It is nice at least for the rest of us to have a choice.

 - Gary W. Tooze

NOTE (from this HTF Forum thread - Andrew Markworthy): the scene in Bernstein's office (Chapter 9 in the R2 edition, I think Chapter 10 in the R1) there is rain coming down pretty heavily outside, which you can see through the window - or at least, you *should* be able to see it. In the R1 version, you can see the rain coming down in the top third of the window, but after that the rain seems to disappear. The allegation is that the digital clean-up was over-zealous and erased the rain, thinking it was visual noise.

Okay, cut to the chase - in the new R2 version you can see *exactly* what's going on. Outside is a light source that makes the upper third of the rain brighter, so it's far easier to see. The lower two thirds are visible, but in contrast, this portion is much dimmer than the top third (indeed, you see rather more of the rain running down the window). I think that what Greg Tolland (the cinematographer) was trying to do here was to give an impression of an illuminated sign or logo outside the window, as you see on the side of big corporate HQ buildings. These are always placed high up on buildings, and of course Bernstein, being the big cheese, will have an office high up the building. I think this is yet another example of the meticulous planning that went into CK, right down to the subtle reinforcement by visual cues. It didn't have to be there, but it just adds that slight extra edge
.


DVD Menus

(Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Disc 2

(Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Universal - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

RKO 281 DVD as included with the Blu-ray package

 


Universal - PAL version opens with a Board Certification card:

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample from Blu-ray

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Bernstein's Office - the rain has returned!


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

DVD Box Covers

Boxset View (for R1 is 3 disc set with same transfer as 2 disc)
Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0  - NTSC

Universal Pictures (UK)
Region 0 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region FREE  - Blu-ray

Warner also offer an identical Blu-ray package (entitled 70th Anniversary) WITH the inclusion of The Magnificent Ambersons on DVD for about $10 more - exclusive to Amazon.

 


Associated Reading (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

This is Orson Welles
by Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Rosenbaum
Orson Welles on Shakespeare: The W.P.A. and Mercury Theatre Playscripts
by Orson Welles, Simon Callow, Richard France
Orson Welles: Interviews (Conversations with Filmmakers (Paperbacks))
by Orson Welles, Mark W. Estrin
The Trial
by Franz Kafka
Orson Welles : The Stories of His Life
by Peter Conrad
Rosebud : The Story of Orson Welles
by David Thomson
Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great Filmmakers)
by Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine, John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, Thomas L. Erskine
Chimes at Midnight: Orson Welles, Director (Rutgers Films in Print)
by Bridget Gellert Lyons



 

 

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Gary Tooze