Study Guide

Citizen Kane Scene 22

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Scene 22

Scene 22

  • Thompson wanders down into Kane's main floor, where a ton of people are appraising all of Charles Kane's most valuable statues and possessions.
  • They pass a trophy that Kane's staff made to celebrate his return form Europe back when he was a young man.
  • One guy asks what it would spell if you put all of Kane's possessions together. Thompson suggests, "Charles Foster Kane" while another dude says "rosebud."
  • The folks want to know what Thompson found out about Kane, but Thompson says there isn't much.
  • At the end of the day, Thompson thinks that even figuring out what "rosebud" meant wouldn't have made sense of Charles Kane's life. At best, it would have just been one piece in a jigsaw puzzle. And with that, Thompson leaves for his train.
  • For our final shot of the movie, the camera pans over the hundreds and hundreds of crates in Charles Foster Kane's mansion and all the expensive objects that are supposed to go in them.
  • One guy grabs a child's sled and throws it into an incinerator with a bunch of other worthless junk.
  • As the camera pans in, we see that it's the sled that Charles Kane gave up on the day he left his parents' home as a boy. And of course, the sled's name is Rosebud.
  • If you didn't already know the ending to this movie, it's okay to gasp now.
  • We cut to an outside look at Xanadu, where the smoke from Rosebud is lifting into the night sky. Then in a mirror image of the opening scene, the camera pans down to the "No Trespassing" sign that sits on the chain-link fence surrounding the mansion.
  • So there you have it—the greatest movie ever made according to many of the world's top critics.

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