TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz on Why ‘Citizen Kane’ Will Never Have a Remake

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Ben Mankiewicz has a family lineage unlike many. His father was a big political figure and his grandfather was one of the great screenwriters of all-time. Ben is the host at Turner Classic Movies and an esteemed critic in his own right.

He is hosting the TCM Big Screen Classics Series, and the next one up is a classic in its own right, Citizen Kane. Ben joined a panel of journalists, including yours truly, for a roundtable discussion about all things Citizen Kane, his famous grandfather, and how Citizen Kane has been a big part of his life.


Another great discussion with Ben. He’s one of my favorite people to listen to talking about movies. His a cinema historian and extremely knowledgeable and informed. One of the true great voices on film. This was another good group of familiar journalists. I enjoy being part of the discussion with them, they ask really interesting questions. I thought Ben gave very thoughtful answers.

It’s amazing to hear about Ben’s family lineage. It’s also what prompted me to ask him about how important it is to him to connect with his ancestry. It’s crazy to think three generations of Mankiewicz boys had so much impact on society and the arts.

I agreed with Ben’s assessment that Citizen Kane won’t be rebooted, in part due to the pressure and expectations it would have to live up to the original. It would be impossible to make it better. It’s just something you don’t mess with.

Another fun chat with Ben. Always enjoyable.

TCM Big Screen Classics Series CITIZEN KANE

The film will screen in theaters around the country from Sunday, September 19 through Wednesday, September 22nd, get your tickets to the Fathom screenings of Citizen Kane

Check out Nick Davis (Ben’s cousin) book “Competing With the Idiots” about the Mankiewicz brothers

About Post Author

Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues.
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