Citizen Kane Minute #11 – Dinners with Emily

CITIZEN KANE MINUTE #11 - Dinners with Emily

The greatest film of all time, five minutes at a time.

  • Minutes 50:00-55:00
  • Special Guest: Musician Terry O'Malley

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5 responses to “Citizen Kane Minute #11 – Dinners with Emily

  1. An amazing breakdown of an amazing 5 minutes.

    As you say Rob, the dissolution of that marriage is evident in those breakfast scenes. Things are getting colder and colder there. It works beautifully. And I don’t know if I caught all the details Terry did so I am certainly glad that this show exists.

    It is interesting that we get scenes like this, memories retold by Leland when he isn’t there. These are memories of someone telling him their memories. We all know personal memories aren’t always perfect. So suddenly there is a Rashomon sort of feel to things here. Just another lens to watch this mirror through.

    1. Mank’s original idea was for all of the interviews to contradict each other to keep the audience guessing about Kane, but Wells thought that would be too much for the audience. I wonder if this was a holdover from that?

  2. When Terry mentioned the hint of anti-semitism in Emily’s remark about Bernstein’s nursery gift, my jaw dropped. I had never considered that before, but it is an intriguing possibility. Another good episode, Rob! I’m really looking forward to hearing more insights into this film.

  3. An earlier draft of the script, which you can read summarized in Harlan Lebo’s book, Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker’s journey has Kane pursuing a scandal which he believes the President is involved in, which Emily disapproves of, as well as an attempted assassination of the president, the would-be assassin with a folded editorial from the Inquirer critical of the President. During this, you would see their marriage devolve over a longer period of time, and also it is clear that Emily has very strong anti-Semitic views. Wells scrapped all of that and condensed their story to the brilliant piece of filmmaking that we get here, with the one line remaining about her opinions in that regard. So, great catch, Kerry. 🙂

    The bit about Jed as the Truth Teller was a really neat idea that I’m going to ponder for awhile. It compliments my wife’s pet theory that Jed was in love with Kane and the reason he was able to describe Charles and Emily’s deteriorating relationship so well is that he knows exactly what it’s like to fall out of love with Kane.

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