“Citizen Kane”, “Magnificent Ambersons”, and Notes to Self #502 and 503

I attended the Orson Welles double feature at the Heights of Citizen Kane and Magnificent Ambersons. Kane impressed, again, on so many levels–the back and forth storytelling, the aging of the characters, the sets, the transitions between scenes. It _is_ a masterpiece, and one that’s also enjoyable to watch.

But that brings me to the second film of the double feature, and Note to Self #502: I don’t like Magnificent Ambersons. I find it boring. Perhaps this makes me an unappreciative cretin; so be it. The sets I found stunning in Kane felt precious and overwrought in Ambersons. The characters, save Agnes Moorhead, felt thin and didn’t interest me. (Moorhead did give a delicious cackle at one point that foreshadowed her later work on Bewitched.) I was fighting to stay awake for the saccharine ending. Yes, as the second in a double feature, my attention and energy are going to be compromised. But nothing in Ambersons, which I think I’ve seen once before, made me want to rally.

And that brings me to Note to Self #503: A Pumpkin Pie Blizzard for the first movie, and buttered popcorn for the second were, indeed, overkill, even though I bought each in size small. As I’ve said before, I thought it wasn’t a good idea, and I did it anyway.

One Response to ““Citizen Kane”, “Magnificent Ambersons”, and Notes to Self #502 and 503”

  1. pussreboots Says:

    Magnificent Ambersons was meant to be very different than it turned it out due to studio interfering and budget concerns. It was supposed to be darker. I don’t know if that would have made you enjoy it any more than you did.

    I happen to prefer Ambersons to Citizen Kane on a personal level even though Citizen Kane is Orson Welles’s best constructed films. (I’m also very fond of Lady from Shanghai, a late Welles film and absolute dog of one).