Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane quotes

65 total quotes (ID: 692)

Charles Foster Kane
Jedediah Leland
Mr. Bernstein
Multiple Characters


Rawlston: It isn't enough to tell us what a man did. You've got to tell us who he was.


Rosebud... Opening line; his last word as he dies.

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.

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

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!

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!

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.

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.

Susan: Oh sure, you give me things. But that don't mean anything to you.
Charles: You're in a tent, darling. You aren't at home. I can hear you very well if you speak in a normal tone of voice.
Susan: What's the difference between giving me a bracelet or giving somebody else a hundred thousand dollars for a statue you're gonna keep crated up and never even look at? It's just money, it doesn't mean anything! You never really give me anything that belongs to you, that you care about!
Charles: Susan, I want you to stop this.
Susan: I'm not gonna stop it.
Charles: Right now!
Susan: You never gave me anything in your whole life. You just tried to bribe me into giving you something.
Charles: Susan!

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.

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.

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.

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.

He married for love. Love. That's why he did everything. That's why he went into politics. It seems we weren't enough, he wanted all the voters to love him too. Guess all he really wanted out of life was love. That's Charlie's story, how he lost it. You see, he just didn't have any to give. Well, he loved Charlie Kane of course, very dearly, and his mother, I guess he always loved her.

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.