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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Benjamin Ross|
|Produced by||Su Armstrong
|Written by||Richard Ben Cramer
|Distributed by||Home Box Office|
|Release date(s)||November 20, 1999 (U.S.)|
|Running time||83 minutes|
|Budget||$12 million (est.)|
RKO 281 is a 1999 historical drama film directed by Benjamin Ross. It stars Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, Roy Scheider and Liam Cunningham. The film depicts the troubled production behind the 1941 film Citizen Kane. The film's title is a reference to the original production number of Citizen Kane.
In 1940, Orson Welles (Schreiber), RKO studio head George Schaefer (Scheider), and screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Malkovich) struggle in making what will be considered as the greatest American film of all time, Citizen Kane. After learning that Welles' film is actually a thinly-veiled and exceptionally unflattering biography of him, publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst (Cromwell) uses his immense power and influence to try to bury the picture.
Producer Ridley Scott wanted to film in the Hearst Castle, but was denied. The movie was filmed in the United Kingdom, mostly around London. The Gothic stairwell in Hearst Castle was filmed in the St Pancras Chambers, attached to St. Pancras Station. Hearst's private quarters and office, including a marble fireplace, were filmed in the high-ceilinged Gamble Room in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The fireplace seen in the room was saved from Dorchester House prior to that building's demolition in 1929. The Hearst castle dining hall and ballroom was filmed in the Great Hall of the London Guildhall.
- Gritten, David (1999-09-05). "The Los Angeles Times Television Section September 05, 1999". Retrieved 2010-10-23.
- "The City of London - Guildhall". Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- "RKO 281 Review". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 24, 2012.