Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane quotes

65 total quotes (ID: 692)

Charles Foster Kane
Jedediah Leland
Mr. Bernstein
Multiple Characters


[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.


Note: ranked #17 in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema.

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...

Reporter: [Asking about the potential for war in Europe] Isn't that correct?
Charles: Don't believe everything you hear on the radio. Read the 'Inquirer'!
Reporter: How did you find business conditions in Europe?
Charles: How did I find business conditions in Europe, Mr. Bones? With great difficulty. [He laughs heartily]
Reporter: You glad to be back, Mr. Kane?
Charles: I'm always glad to be back, young man. I'm an American. Always been an American. Anything else? When I was a reporter, we asked them quicker than that. Come on, young fella.
Reporter: What do you think of the chances for war in Europe?
Charles: I've talked with the responsible leaders of the Great Powers - England, France, Germany, and Italy - they're too intelligent to embark on a project which would mean the end of civilization as we now know it. You can take my word for it. There'll be no war.

As Charles Foster Kane who owns eighty-two thousand, six hundred and thirty-four shares of public transit - you see, I do have a general idea of my holdings - I sympathize with you. Charles Foster Kane is a scoundrel. His paper should be run out of town. A committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of one thousand dollars.

Susan: ...My singin'. I'm through. I never wanted to do it in the first place.
Charles: You will continue with your singing, Susan. I don't propose to have myself made ridiculous.
Susan: You don't propose to have yourself made ridiculous?! What about me? I'm the one who's got to do the singin'. I'm the one who gets the razzberries. Why don't you let me alone?

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: 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.

[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.

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.

President's niece, huh? Before Mr. Kane's through with her, she'll be a president's wife.

I always gagged on that silver spoon.

I don't think there's one word that can describe a mans life.

[to Jedediah Leland] Mr. Kane is finishing the review you started - he's writing a bad notice. I guess that'll show you.