‘Citizen Kane’ No Longer 100% Fresh After Rotten Tomatoes Adds An 80-Year-Old Negative Review
Well, you know what they say: You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
No movie, no matter how popular, is beloved by everyone — even a film that’s been widely regarded for decades as one of the greatest motion pictures of all time. For example, if you go to Rotten Tomatoes and search for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, you will find that it no longer has a perfect 100 percent rating. As observed by @Caulimovirus on Twitter, the site recently uploaded an 80-year-old negative review of the film, bumping it down to a 99 percent score, with 115 positive notices, and 1 pan.
The link on Rotten Tomatoes connects to a Newspapers.com page with a scan of the Kane review from 1941. (The date on Rotten Tomatoes reads March 2, 2021, indicating it was only added to the website this year.) The review, credited to “Mae Tinee” (a pseudonym used by film critics in the Tribune for many years), calls it a work of “magnificent futility” that’s “interesting” but “bizarre enough to become a museum piece.” It also says “its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
Everyone, even Mae Tinee, is entitled to their opinion, and he or she was and is not the only person who doesn’t like Citizen Kane. Even if this was the only negative review of Citizen Kane ever written, it wouldn’t be worth getting upset about — because in the grand scheme of things, who cares whether Citizen Kane has a 100 or a 99 on Rotten Tomatoes? It genuinely does not matter. Still ... why would you do this? Who would do this? Tracking down this ancient review of this film — which wasn’t even available on the Chicago Tribune’s website — couldn’t have been easy. Like, what was the point? That’s the part that baffles me.
No matter why this was done, it doesn’t change the fact that Citizen Kane is still a masterpiece — one that’s just as timely now as it was in 1941. It is currently streaming on HBO Max.
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