5. Who Heard Kane Say “Rosebud” in Citizen Kane?
Even though it was released way back in 1941, Citizen Kane is still considered one of the greatest movies of all-time. If you haven’t seen it, it revolves entirely around a reporter trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious last words of famous publishing millionaire Charles Foster Kane. The movie opens with Kane (Orson Welles) uttering the word “Rosebud” with his dying breath, but there’s a problem: no one was around to even hear him say it. The scene shows Kane alone in his bedroom, and a maid comes in shortly after to discover he has passed away.
At first, this seems like a major problem. How can you make a movie about something that no one actually knows happened? Who even heard his last word? If you’re paying close attention later in the film, though, you’ll notice that they actually closed this loophole pretty neatly. When the reporter is interviewing Kane’s butler, he mentions that he was with Kane when he died. So just because he didn’t appear in the opening scene, doesn’t mean he wasn’t standing in a corner, off-camera. So who heard Kane say “rosebud?”
The Butler did it.
Source: Screenshot via RKO Radio Pictures
4. Why Didn’t Malcolm Realize He Was a Ghost in The Sixth Sense?
Long before movie audiences knew to expect a twist ending from director M. Night. Shyamalan, The Sixth Sense came along in 1999 and blew people away. Bruce Willis was dead the whole damn time!?! No one saw it coming on their first watch through, but as the movie aged and fans took the time to re-watch it again and again, a glaring plot hole cropped up — how could Malcolm Crowe (Willis) not realize he was already dead?
The movie takes place over a number of weeks and months. Wouldn’t Malcolm realize that the only person who acknowledges his presence is his young friend Cole? He can’t even get a response from his own wife.
The movie plays tricks on the audience, making it seem like Malcolm is just being neglected. But the truth is there the whole time. In an early discussion about his ability to “see dead people,” Cole reveals that ghosts will subconsciously ignore the reality of their situations and instead see an alternate version of reality that convinces them they are still alive. That’s the reality that Malcolm sees, and also the reality that is shown to the audience at times, from his unique perspective.
Simply put: ghosts, by their very nature, don’t believe they are dead. They will twist the facts in their own mind to convince themselves of this, which is why it takes Malcolm so long.
Source: Screenshot via Buena Vista Pictures