Welles, Orson. "Orson Welles on Citizen Kane and Rosebud." Interview with Bernard Braeden. Canadian Broadcasting Company. Canada. 1960. <http://www.youtub.com/watch?v=ml3eBTMXSiU> 11 Nov. 2008.
This 1960 interview of Welles by Bernard Braeden on behalf of the Canadian Broadcasting Company was conducted in Welles’ Paris home. The interview as a whole is focused on Citizen Kane and Welles’ thoughts about the film almost 20 years after it’s release, but a significant portion is concerned more specifically with Welles’ conception of ‘Rosebud.’ In the tagged clip, at the two minute mark, Welles states that he is “ashamed of Rosebud,” that it is a “tawdry device” and a “dollar-book Freudian gag.” He calls it the thing he likes least about all of the film.
This interview is striking evidence of Welles ever changing explanation of ‘Rosebud.’ In this interview, he contradicts statements he had previously published about it’s meaning. This shift follows a shift in the type of criticism the film was receiving. Initially, viewers were left confused by the vagueness of the symbol, so Welles provided a concrete explanation (4). Here, conversely, Welles is responding to the critique that the use of the symbol ‘Rosebud’ is a hinderance to the creation of a complete portrait of Kane. In response, Welles is rejecting the concept as forcefully as possible. His criticism, in fact, seems to be a direct response to the explanation he published in 1941 about his purpose in making Citizen Kane. In his 1941 statement, he uses psychological concepts of transference and attachment to explain ‘Rosebud,’ whereas he calls it a “dollar book Freudian gag” in this interview. This is strong support for the idea that because ‘Rosebud’ carries no meaning separate from the theme of the film, Welles’ explanations for the symbol come in response to outside pressures.