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1. "Citizen Kane" (Orson Welles, 1941)
Sometimes a cliche is a cliche for a reason. But Orson Welles wrote the language of modern cinema in 1941 while telling a riveting yarn of loss and gain, and how they are often inseparable. Had I been William Randolph Hearst, I might have shed a tear that something so human and so rich was the (not-so-subtle) cinematic testament to my life. Naturally, he saw things differently, but the metaphors of Xanadu and Rosebud endure as absolute truths.