10 Films That Changed Filmmaking

'Citizen Kane' (1941)
Orson Welles wrote, directed and starred in 'Citizen Kane' -- and pioneered a time-distorted narrative as well as the use of lighting to capture mood. RKO Radio Pictures/Getty Images

If you haven't seen the Baz Luhrmann's flashy interpretation of "The Great Gatsby," don't. Instead, spend a couple of hours with "Citizen Kane," a more gratifying story of the perils of the American Dream that was loosely based on the "Gatsby"book.

Often at the top of lists for the best movies ever made, "Citizen Kane" tells the tale of a publishing tycoon's ill-fated quest for glory. Also, something about a rosebud ... Written by Orson Welles and Herman Mankiewicz, the movie's central figure is an approximation of real-life media giant William Randolph Hearst.

Welles also directed and starred in this cinematic masterpiece that set the bar for movies a couple notches higher. It embraced a time-distorted narrative, used lighting to capture mood and relied on deep focus shots – in which the entire frame of each shot remains in focus at all times – to let viewers search the screen for the answer to the "rosebud" riddle [sources: Perez, Brown].