Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane quotes

65 total quotes (ID: 692)

Charles Foster Kane
Jedediah Leland
Mr. Bernstein
Multiple Characters


Newsreel Narrator: Kane helped to change the world, but Kane's world now is history. The great yellow journalist himself lived to be history. Outlived his power to make it...


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.


[referring to Kane's 'Declaration of Principles'] I'd like to keep that particular piece of paper myself. I have a hunch it might turn out to be something pretty important, a document...like the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, and my first report card at school.

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!

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.

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...

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!

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.

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.

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.

Old age. It's the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don't look forward to being cured of.

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

[On Kane finishing Leland's bad review of Susan's opera singing]
Thompson: Everybody knows that story, Mr. Leland. But why did he do it? How could a man write a notice like that?
Leland: You just don't know Charlie. He thought that by finishing that notice he could show me he was an honest man. He was always trying to prove something. The whole thing about Susie being an opera singer, that was trying to prove something. You know what the headline was the day before the election, "Candidate Kane found in love nest with quote, singer, unquote." He was gonna take the quotes off the singer.