Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane quotes

65 total quotes (ID: 692)

Charles Foster Kane
Jedediah Leland
Mr. Bernstein
Multiple Characters

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.

Bernstein: There's a lot of statues in Europe you haven't bought yet.
Charles: You can't blame me. They've been making statues for some two thousand years, and I've only been collecting for five.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Switzerland... he was thrown out of a lot of colleges.

Politician: The words of Charles Foster Kane are a menace to every working man in this land. He is today what he has always been - and always will be - a Fascist!

Walter Parks Thatcher: Mr. Charles Foster Kane, in every essence of his social beliefs, and by the dangerous manner in which he has persistently attacked the American traditions of private property, initiative, and opportunity for advancement, is in fact, nothing more or less than a Communist!

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.

A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn't think he'd remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all, but I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I haven't thought of that girl.

I can remember everything. That's my curse, young man. It's the greatest curse that's ever been inflicted on the human race: memory.

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.

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.

It's also my pleasure to see to it that decent, hard-working people in this community aren't robbed blind by a pack of money-mad pirates, just because they haven't had anybody to look after their interests...

I suppose he had some private sort of greatness, but he kept it to himself. He never gave himself away. He never gave anything away, he just left you a tip, hmm? Ha. He had a generous mind. I don't suppose anybody ever had so many opinions. But he never believed in anything except Charlie Kane. He never had a conviction except Charlie Kane in his life. I suppose he died without one. It must have been pretty unpleasant. Of course, a lot of us check out without having any special convictions about death, but we do know what we believe in, we do believe in something.

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.

[Susan is leaving Kane]
Susan: Goodbye Charlie.
Charles: Susan. Please don't go. No. Please, Susan. From now on, everything will be exactly the way you want it to be, not the way I think you want it, but - your way. You mustn't go. You can't do this to me!
Susan: I see. So it's you that this is being done to. It's not me at all. Not what it means to me. [laughs] I can't do this to you? [odd smile] Oh, yes I can.

A toast, Jedediah, to love on my terms. Those are the only terms anybody ever knows - his own.