The history of film is a relatively new subject area, not yet two centuries old. So trying to determine a film to take the title "greatest movie ever made" could prove to be a difficult task. After all, innovations and films are still being made today. However, we can find the greatest innovations in film's early years, like in the movies Casablanca and Citizen Kane. These two films are often thought to be the best ever, and for good reasons.
I feel the first thing we should address is: what makes a film the best ever? It takes more than just public opinion to answer the preceding question. First, there is innovational merit. We must identify what new techniques and technologies the movie in question introduces. Next, I think it is highly important to note the influences a movie has had on the film industry. More specifically, to acknowledge the influences made on following films created. Lastly, we should take into account public opinion, when the movie was released and ...view middle of the document...
Director Orson Wells and Cinematographer Gregg Toland utilized the technique of deep focus. That is the use of a larger depth of field, which creates very sharp images in both the foreground and background. This technique became popular in the 1940’s and is no longer popular today. The narrative style is prevalent throughout the film. As stated before, Citizen Kane has a story line that is conducted through narration using flashbacks. The Narrative Style is what made this movie.
This brings us to the matter of public opinion; in theaters where the film was released, Citizen Kane did very well and received positive reviews. The problem was trying to get theaters to show the film, and I believe the debate created by Orson wells over authorship of screenplay to be the cause. In today’s film industry this movie has influenced the likes of Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and the Coen Brothers. In summary this movie fulfills all the merits of the greatest film ever made, but what about Casablanca?
The American romantic-drama, Casablanca, was released in 1942, and was set during World War II. This film deals with the struggle of the protagonist, Rick Blaine, who must decide whether to pursue his love of a woman, or to help her husband escape Casablanca. Casablanca won three Academy Awards and is currently ranked near the top of the list for greatest films ever made. So how does Casablanca fit in with Citizen Kane?
While Citizen Kane’s foundation was built off of innovation, Casablanca climbed the “greatest” charts through its popularity. The music, dialogue, and characters have become iconic, and this film is considered to be greatly loved, even more so than Citizen Kane. Of course there are other aspects to this film but its innovations and technologies do not compare to those of Citizen Kane. The influences made on the film industry are not as notable either.
In conclusion, both movies exhibit great strengths in one or more of the areas previously discussed as to what makes a movie the greatest ever. While one relies on its innovative advancements and great story line the other uses its great plot and the beloved public opinion. So it is in my opinion that Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever made. It met all three areas of criteria I mentioned and this is why I have dubbed it so.