Tag Archives: Roger Ebert

A Love Letter to Roger Ebert

Rest in Peace Roger Ebert.
Roger Ebert could be looked at as simply just another film critic by some after a career spanning over 45 years. I looked at him as an art curator; a custodian and tour guide to the world of movies.  
There is no person on earth who inspired my brother and I to start writing this blog and posting our own reviews more than Roger Ebert. His career began as as a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He was a part of a newer movement of film goers that were lovers of both the old Hollywood style and the newer foreign and independent filmmakers. He was a fresh and open-minded critic who had an amazing ability to cut through the film and see into the hearts of those who worked on it. He never just bashed a film because it was commercial nor did he just love a film because it was vanguard and low budget.  
He was an ambassador for the audience that let you know whether the film delivered a quality experience. I can speak from my own experiences reading his reviews and watching his “At The Movies” show with Gene Siskel that I rarely would get so excited to hear someone’s opinion on anything. I pre-ordered his Movie Home Companion every year from the book store, I was a subscriber to his Ebert Club online, and I had his website bookmarked in my web browser for daily viewing. He had a writing style that was intelligent and well though out yet accessible and easy to understand, and it earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He oozed love for the movies. They weren’t just films to him. They were reflections of our collective human imaginations and communications through art. He also was the best at writing negative reviews. They were not only hilarious and cutting but they served a purpose. He held producers, actors, writers, and directors accountable when they sullied the world of movies with trash. He took it as an insult to the audience when movie companies would dare deliver a crap film and ask for viewers hard earned money to see it. I will miss him dearly. I have been reading and watching his work for over 30 years. He has had a profound influence on my life and love for film that I will carry all my days. I hope one day to chat with him again.  
But, until then…..the balcony is closed.

Tony Curtis, dead at 85


If you’re on the cover of The Beatle’s album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” then you’re bigger than Jesus.

Tony Curtis is nestled into the second row along with 19th century British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, Sigmund Freud, Marilyn Monroe, H. G. Wells and Karl Marx.

Curtis died Thursday at the age of 85, leaving behind a legendary career and personal life.

Famous for his thick Bronx accent and good looks, Tony Curtis’ career is the stuff of legend. He had more than 130 films on his resume, including classics like Stanley Kubrick’s “Spartacus,” his crossdressing role in “Some Like it Hot,” and his Oscar-nominated performance in 1958’s “The Defiant Ones.”

One of my favorite interviews with Tony Curtis was a very honest and candid look at the actor by Roger Ebert in 1985 at Cannes Film Festival, where even in his 50s he shouts to a girl below passing his hotel room on the street to come up, and she does.

Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz in New York to poor Hungarian immigrants on June 3, 1925. He quit school to join the navy during World War II, serving on a submarine tender, and pursued acting after his discharge. He was a notorious lady’s man, and was married six times. His first wife was actress Janet Leigh, famous for the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic “Psycho.” They had two children, actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis.

He was an alcoholic and drug user, and had two stints at the Betty Ford Clinic. While fighting his various addictions throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Curtis still managed to work, mostly in television. He’s one of the few remaining from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and his films will live on. We’ll remember him more for his fantastic films that his wild life.