RKO 281 1999

RKO 281

Critics Consensus

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93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 14

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,936
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Movie Info

Orson Welles (Liev Schreiber), all charisma and stubborn vision, is signed to direct films for RKO Pictures with a startling amount of creative freedom. Welles decides to make production number 281 a disguised biopic of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst (James Cromwell), a film which would come to be known as "Citizen Kane." But Welles doesn't understand just how much clout Hearst yields. When he gets word of the unflattering production, Hearst does everything in his power to stop it.

Cast & Crew

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
Anastasia Hille
Carole Lombard
Simeon Andrews
John Houseman
Ridley Scott
Executive Producer
Tony Scott
Executive Producer
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Critic Reviews for RKO 281

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for RKO 281

  • Apr 24, 2016
    Schrieber brings Orson Welles to life with a fantastic performance telling the story of making "Citizen Cane". There's much more drama and humor to it than I expected. Like the recent "Trumbo" film, this is a work best enjoyed by Hollywood history fans and cinema geeks.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2012
    Having watched this directly after first experiencing Citizen Kane, I found RKO to be insightful, informative, and rewarding. Liev Schreiber was great as Orson Wells, as was John Malkovich. The film had its limitations, it was only focused on the creation of, and aftermath of, Citizen Kane; I wish it had been more expansive in its look at Welles. The depiction of Hearst also felt inadequate, but it was passable considering the short running time. That said, what time the film did spend on both characters was effective. Overall a good film, and definitely a good companion piece to Citizen Kane. 3.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2011
    Another great HBO independent film.
    Sean G Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2009
    about how Hollywood nearly burned the movie Citizen Kane before it could be released
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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