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'Citizen Kane' Has A Rotten Day

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For some eight decades, Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" has been widely viewed as the greatest film ever made.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CITIZEN KANE")

ORSON WELLES: (As Charles Foster Kane) Rosebud.

CORNISH: That all changed this week, when a less-than-flattering 80-year-old Chicago Tribune Review surfaced.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The review was written under the pseudonym Mae Tinee. It reads, you've heard a lot about this picture, and I see by the ads that some experts think it's the greatest movie ever made. I don't.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CITIZEN KANE")

DOROTHY COMINGORE: (As Susan Alexander Kane) Charlie, he said my name would be dragged through the mud.

CORNISH: Who cares about a decades-old movie review? Well, the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes - that's who. Welles' masterpiece slipped from a 100% rating to a measly 99%. "Citizen Kane" now ranks below several other films, including "12 Angry Men," "Battleship Potemkin," "The Maltese Falcon" and...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PADDINGTON 2")

HUGH GRANT: (As Phoenix Buchanan) Your name is...

BEN WHISHAW: (As Paddington) Paddington Brown.

CORNISH: "Paddington 2" - yes, the animated bear.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CITIZEN KANE")

RUTH WARRICK: (As Emily Monroe Norton Kane) Sometimes I think I'd prefer a rival of flesh and blood.

WELLES: (As Charles Foster Kane) Oh, Emily.

KELLY: Director of the "Paddington" films Paul King told The Hollywood Reporter that it is lovely to be on any list which includes "Citizen Kane." And he added, I won't let it go too much to my head and immediately build my Xanadu, but I have been cooking up a model just in case.

CORNISH: Charles Foster Kane was haunted by the loss of Rosebud. We'll never know if Orson Welles might feel the same way about that elusive Rotten Tomatoes 100% fresh. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.