It’s been a rough week for Herman J. Mankiewicz, better known as MANK. The Netflix film bearing his name won only two of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, which is still one more Oscar than Citizen Kane won in 1942. (It famously lost Best Picture, then called Outstanding Motion Picture, to the dreadfully boring How Green Was My Valley.) Mank’s masterpiece with Orson Welles is also no longer part of the 100% Club on Rotten Tomatoes, which would annoy the two writers if they knew what the internet was and weren’t long dead.
Of the 116 reviews for Citizen Kane on the critical aggregation website, 115 are positive and one is negative. That one was published 80 years ago in the Chicago Tribune under the headline, “Citizen Kane Fails to Impress Critic as Greatest Ever Filmed.” (As noted by Boing Boing, it was written by Mae Tinée, a “collective pseudonym then used by the paper’s film critics.” Get it?) Why was it added to Rotten Tomatoes in 2021 (it was updated between late-February and mid-April)? It’s unclear, but my theory is that Welles owed money to the grandfather of someone who works at Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s an excerpt:
“You’ve heard a lot about this picture and I see by the ads that some experts think it ‘the greatest movie ever made.’ I don’t. It’s interesting. It’s different. In fact, it’s bizarre enough to become a museum piece. But its sacrifice of simplicity to eccentricity robs it of distinction and general entertainment value.”
Paddington 2 is a better film than Citizen Kane. I already knew this, but now it’s official.
Rotten Tomatoes literally dug up an 80 year old negative review of Citizen Kane and now the movie no longer has a 100% fresh rating pic.twitter.com/0I8cxvuGdd
— Screaming Pectoriloquy (@Caulimovirus) April 26, 2021
(Via Boing Boing)