If one considers that "Citizen Kane" is the consensus Best American
Film (it appears at the top of most lists), then the answer is
obvious. Except for the Best Original Screenplay, "Citizen Kane" was
snubbed by the Academy, probably for reasons of internal politics,
i.e., the opposition of Hearst. Of the movies that were nominated that
year ("How Green Was My Valley," "The Maltese Falcon," "Sergeant
York," "The Little Foxes," etc.) none comes close to achieving the
same universal approbation.
Consider further that none of the supporting Mercury cast -- Joseph
Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Ruth Warwick, Everett Sloane, Agnes
Moorehead -- received a nomination.
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
"AFI ANNOUNCES 100 GREATEST AMERICAN MOVIES OF ALL TIME CITIZEN KANE
-CASABLANCA, THE GODFATHER, GONE WITH THE WIND AND LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
complete the top five movies;"
1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
2. CASABLANCA (1942)
3. THE GODFATHER (1972)
4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
7. THE GRADUATE (1967)
8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
The Oscar FAQ ?????
"Q. For how many Academy Awards was CITIZEN KANE nominated?
A. CITIZEN KANE was nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories:
Leading Actor (Orson Welles), Art Direction (Black-and-White) (art
direction Perry Ferguson, Van Nest Polglase; interior decoration Al
Fields, Darrell Silvera), Cinematography (Black-and-White) (Gregg
Toland), Directing (Orson Welles), Film Editing (Robert Wise), Music
(Music Score of a Dramatic Picture) (Bernard Herrmann), Best Picture
(Mercury) and Sound Recording (RKO Radio Studio Sound Department, John
Aalberg, Sound Director). It won the Oscar for Writing (Original
Screenplay) (Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles). "
University Film Society Reviews: Citizen Kane
"Every 10 years there is a poll of international film critics to name
the top 10 films of all time. Every 10 years, Citizen Kane is at the
top of the poll. It also topped the Director's Guild of America's top
hundred films of the century."
"With a huge mulitmedia empire behind him, Hearst conducted a smear
campaign against Welles. Many in the film industry supported this,
happy to see the golden boy fall flat on his face. The film and its
studio, RKO, were banned from all his papers and Welles was branded a
communist. After many threats RKO stood firm and eventually released
the film in May 1941 but it was never widely exhibited. Hearst even
had influence over the Oscars and the film only picked up one Academy
Award despite 9 nominations. In Match 1942 the studio withdrew the
film with a $150,000 loss (a considerable sum back then)."