Citizen Kane is often regarded as one of, if not the best movie of all time and is considered by many to be Orson Welles’s magnum opus. However, what you probably don’t know about this 1941 drama movie is that dinosaurs are technically canon in Welles’s masterpiece. Yep, you read right, dinosaurs.
Citizen Kane tells the story of a slew of reporters scrambling to uncover the meaning behind a wealthy publishing tycoon’s last words. Directed by, written by, and starring Orson Welles, the filmmaker was given complete creative control in crafting the legendary picture, as well as a sizable budget of half a million dollars. However, even with the huge amount of cash at his disposal, Welles struggled to stay within the confines of his budget, resulting in some makeshift (and sometimes prehistoric) production decisions.
In a scene of a lavish party in Citizen Kane, we see the use of ‘rear projection’ – pre-recorded footage of background shots used in the ’40s before the times of green screen. In this particular moment of the film, the recorded scenery is jungle-like, complete with…flying pterodactyls?
The inclusion of these dinosaurs was supposedly due to budgetary concerns, as the footage was actually from the 1933 monster movie The Son of Kong. So yeah, in short – Citizen Kane may just be set in the same Dino infested modern world as Jurassic Park, thanks to its cost-cutting measures.
However, despite Citizen Kane using B-roll from a King Kong movie, the film isn’t any less impressive. In fact, dinosaurs or not, we should all take the time to appreciate the team’s resourcefulness in the face of financial worries.