Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane quotes

65 total quotes (ID: 692)

Charles Foster Kane
Jedediah Leland
Mr. Bernstein
Multiple Characters


Charles: ...Whatever I do, I do because I love you.
Susan: You don't love me. You want me to love you. [She mimicks him] 'Sure, I'm Charles Foster Kane. Whatever you want, just name it and it's yours. But you've gotta love me!'
[Kane slaps her.]
Susan: Don't tell me you're sorry.
Charles: I'm not sorry.


Charles: [after his afair with Susan is revealed] I'm staying here. I can fight this all alone.
Emily: Charles, if you don't listen to reason, it may be too late.
Charles: Too late. For what? For you and this public thief to take the love of the people of this state away from me?
Susan: Charlie, you got other things to think about. Your little boy, you don't want him to read about you in the papers.
Charles: There's only one person in the world who decides what I'm going to do, and that's me.
Emily: You decided what you were going to do, Charles, some time ago.

Charles: Are we going to declare war on Spain, or are we not?
Leland: The Inquirer already has.
Charles: You long-faced, overdressed anarchist.
Leland: I am not overdressed.
Charles: You are too. Mr. Bernstein, look at his necktie.

Charles: Hello, Jedediah.
Leland: Hello, Charlie. I didn't know we were speaking...
Charles: Sure, we're speaking, Jedediah: you're fired.

Charles: I set back the sacred cause of reform, is that it? All right, that's the way they want it, the people have made their choice. It's obvious the people prefer Jim Gettys to me.
Leland: You talk about the people as though you owned them, as though they belong to you. Goodness. As long as I can remember, you've talked about giving the people their rights, as if you can make them a present of Liberty, as a reward for services rendered...Remember the working man?
Charles: I'll get drunk too, Jedediah, if it'll do any good.
Leland: Aw, it won't do any good. Besides, you never get drunk. You used to write an awful lot about the workingman...He's turning into something called organized labor. You're not going to like that one little bit when you find out it means that your workingman expects something is his right, not as your gift! Charlie, when your precious underprivileged really get together, oh boy! That's going to add up to something bigger than your privileges! Then I don't know what you'll do! Sail away to a desert island probably and lord it over the monkeys!
Charles: I wouldn't worry about it too much, Jed. There'll probably be a few of them there to let me know when I do something wrong.
Leland: Mmm, you may not always be so lucky...You don't care about anything except you. You just want to persuade people that you love 'em so much that they ought to love you back. Only you want love on your own terms. Something to be played your way, according to your rules.

Charles: Now look, Mr. Carter, here's a front-page story in the Chronicle about a Mrs. Harry Silverstone in Brooklyn who's missing. Now, she's probably murdered. Here's a picture of her in the Chronicle. Why isn't there something about it in the Inquirer?
Carter: 'Cause we're running a newspaper...
...
Carter: There's no proof that that woman is murdered, or even that she's dead...It's not our function to report the gossip of housewives. If we were interested in that kind of thing, Mr. Kane, we could fill the paper twice over daily.
Charles: Mr. Carter, that's the kind of thing we are going to be interested in, from now on.

Charles: Read the cable.
Bernstein: "Girls delightful in Cuba. Stop. Could send you prose poems about scenery, but don't feel right spending your money. Stop. There is no war in Cuba, signed Wheeler." Any answer?
Charles: Yes. "Dear Wheeler: you provide the prose poems. I'll provide the war."

Charles: This gentleman was saying...
Boss Jim Gettys: I'm not a gentleman. [To Emil] Your husband's only trying to be funny calling me one. I don't even know what a gentleman is. You see, my idea of a gentleman...Well, Mrs. Kane, if I owned a newspaper and I didn't like the way somebody was doing things, some politician say, I'd fight him with everything I had. Only I wouldn't show him in a convict's suit with stripes so his children could see the picture in the paper, or his mother.

Charles: You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man.
Walter Parks Thatcher: Don't you think you are?
Charles: I think I did pretty well under the circumstances.
Walter Parks Thatcher: What would you like to have been?
Charles: Everything you hate.

Emily: He happens to be the president, Charles, not you.
Charles: That's a mistake that will be corrected one of these days.

Emily: Really Charles, people will think-...
Charles: - -what I tell them to think.

Emily: Sometimes, I think I'd prefer a rival of flesh-and-blood.
Charles: Oh Emily, I don't spend that much time on the newspaper.
Emily: It isn't just the time. It's what you print - attacking the President.
Charles: You mean Uncle John.
Emily: I mean the President of the United States.
Charles: He's still Uncle John, and he's still a well-meaning fathead who's letting a pack of high-pressure crooks run his administration. This whole oil scandal...
Emily: He happens to be the President, Charles, not you.
Charles: That's a mistake that will be corrected one of these days.

Female reporter: If you could've found out what Rosebud meant, I bet that would've explained everything.
Thompson: No, I don't think so; no. Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn't have explained anything... I don't think any word can explain a man's life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a... piece in a jigsaw puzzle... a missing piece.

Leland: Bernstein, am I a stuffed shirt? Am I a horse-faced hypocrite? Am I a New England school marm?
Bernstein: Yes. If you thought I'd answer you any differently than what Mr. Kane tells you...

Leland: These men who were with the Chronicle. Weren't they just as devoted to the Chronicle politics as they are now to our policies?
Bernstein: Sure, they're just like anybody else. They got work to do, they do it! Only they happen to be the best men in the business!
Leland: Do we stand for the same things the Chronicle stands for, Bernstein?
Bernstein: Certainly not. Listen, Mr. Kane, he'll have them changed to his kind of newspapermen in a week!
Leland: There's always a chance, of course, that they'll change Mr. Kane, without his knowing it.