RKO 281

RKO 281

5.0 2
Director: Benjamin Ross

Cast: Benjamin Ross, Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith

     
 

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Benjamin Ross' docudrama about the making of Citizen Kane, RKO 281, comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround, while a Spanish soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. English,See more details below

Overview

Benjamin Ross' docudrama about the making of Citizen Kane, RKO 281, comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround, while a Spanish soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include cast and crew biographies. Although the lack of extras is a disappointment, the inexpensive list price and the solid picture and sound quality make this a disc worth looking at, especially for anyone interested in film history.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Mining the controversy behind a certified masterpiece, RKO 281 is a film about the greatest film ever made -- namely, Citizen Kane. With visual gusto and verbal economy, it lushly dramatizes the story of 25-year-old theater wunderkind Orson Welles, whose stunning film debut incurs the wrath of media mogul William Randolph Hearst -- the inspiration for Citizen Kane's complex and corrupt title character. Hearst's furious campaign against the film nearly convinced the moguls to burn the negative before its release. Scream veteran Liev Schreiber plays Welles as a bullying genius, at turns cruel to his party-prowling screenplay writer Herman Mankiewicz (John Malkovich) and condescending to his sympathetic RKO studio boss George Schaefer (Roy Scheider). Director Benjamin Ross, inspired by the American Experience documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane," frames the story as a battle of colossal egos -- Welles, the artist, versus Hearst (James Cromwell), a bitter patrician on the brink of bankruptcy. He doesn't stray much into Citizen Kane itself or the political atmosphere of the time, and keeps the ride taut. That, and the wonderful performances by Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies (Hearst's mistress) and Brenda Blethyn as gossip crone Louella Parsons, make it a ride well worth taking.
Barnes & Noble
Mining the controversy behind a certified masterpiece, RKO 281 is a film about the greatest film ever made -- namely, Citizen Kane. With visual gusto and verbal economy, it lushly dramatizes the story of 25-year-old theater wunderkind Orson Welles, whose stunning film debut incurs the wrath of media mogul William Randolph Hearst -- the inspiration for Citizen Kane's complex and corrupt title character. Hearst's furious campaign against the film nearly convinced the moguls to burn the negative before its release. Scream veteran Liev Schreiber plays Welles as a bullying genius, at turns cruel to his party-prowling screenplay writer Herman Mankiewicz (John Malkovich) and condescending to his sympathetic RKO studio boss George Schaefer (Roy Scheider). Director Benjamin Ross, inspired by the American Experience documentary "The Battle Over Citizen Kane," frames the story as a battle of colossal egos -- Welles, the artist, versus Hearst (James Cromwell), a bitter patrician on the brink of bankruptcy. He doesn't stray much into Citizen Kane itself or the political atmosphere of the time, and keeps the ride taut. That, and the wonderful performances by Melanie Griffith as Marion Davies (Hearst's mistress) and Brenda Blethyn as gossip crone Louella Parsons, make it a ride well worth taking.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/25/2000
UPC:
0026359157622
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Hbo Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
86,083

Special Features

Interactive menus; Cast & crew bios; Language/subtitles and chapter selections

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Liev Schreiber Orson Welles
James Cromwell William Randolph Hearst
Melanie Griffith Marion Davies
John Malkovich Herman Mankiewicz
Brenda Blethyn Louella Parsons
Roy Scheider George Schaefer
David Suchet Louis B. Mayer
Fiona Shaw Hedda Hopper
Liam Cunningham Gregg Toland
Lucy Cohu Dolores Del Rio
Kerry Shale Bernard Herrmann
Tim Woodward Jack Warner
Ron Berglas David O. Selznick
Geoffrey Hutchings Harry Cohn
Roger Allam Walt Disney
Jay Benedict Darryl F. Zanuck
Anastasia Hille Carole Lombard

Technical Credits
Benjamin Ross Director
John Altman Score Composer
Su Armstrong Producer
David Daniels [countertenor] Asst. Director
Clive Derbyshire Sound/Sound Designer
Maria Djurkovic Production Designer
Lora Kennedy Casting
Diane Minter Lewis Executive Producer
John Logan Screenwriter
Alex Mackie Editor
Joyce Nettles Casting
Tony Scott Executive Producer
Ridley Scott Executive Producer
Mike Southon Cinematographer
Chris Zarpas Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. Main Title/Orson Makes a Wish [4:14]
2. "Good Evening, Mr. Hearst" [8:57]
3. "Take My Hand, Mank." [8:27]
4. Genius at Work [5:58]
5. RKO 281 Begins [7:13]
6. "Come Back, Mank." [4:07]
7. RKO 281 Wraps [3:17]
8. The First Screening [5:22]
9. Hearst Strikes [10:11]
10. Pressure Builds [8:41]
11. Hollywood vs. Welles [8:35]
12. End Game [11:29]

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