Roger Ebert: 1942-2013

Summary

Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic whose thoughtful, witty reviews defined the profession for generations of moviegoers, died April 4 after a long battle with cancer. He was 70. Back to Article

Comments

Anthony L.

Anthony L.

Rest in Peace, Roger Ebert. You were the greatest movie reviewer of all time, and nobody will ever eclipse you. I have always read your reviews before a movie. The entire cinematic world mourns.

Apr 4 - 09:17 PM

David Miller

David Miller

I still hate his opinion on video games, but as for his opinion of film... he was probably the best around. I hope wherever he is he's happy (and gets to see all the films he could ever dream of).

Apr 4 - 09:21 PM

Barbara Artson

Barbara Artson

One didn't always agree with him but he made one THINK.

Apr 4 - 09:38 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

I've adored the art and craft of Film ever since I was 10, and Sneak Previews/At The Movies was probably the only show I would ever RESERVE time for on the television set while growing up. Why did the estimable Mr. Roger Ebert have to die on my birthday? WHY, OF ALL FUCKING DAYS!

Let me say this to everyone mourning for Ebert's loss: seek out a copy of BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS and watch it this weekend. I'm absolutely, 100% dead-on serious about this: it's a misunderstood masterpiece to many, not only an outlandish spoof on Jacqueline Susann's "Valley of the Dolls" (which was the book I was reading when Roger died...seriously, the timing of all these events is haunting me to the core), yet it's probably the finest satire of Hollywood ever made. The studio simply didn't get it: the Midnight Movie wayyyyyy before it ever became a phenomenon, thematically paralleling Fox's own ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW years later! When people ask me to describe BVD--and believe me, to many critics it is indescribable--I've always called it a brilliantly demented cross between ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and "Josie & The Pussycats", along with a dash of HELTER SKELTER, making it all the more surreal considering it came out mere months after the Manson slayings. (Even more eerie was the fact that the pregnant Sharon Tate had appeared in the Fox's original VALLEY OF THE DOLLS in 1966.)

To me, there will never EVER be another movie as quotable as BVD. The screenplay by Mr. Ebert contains some of the most awesome gold nuggets of dialogue you will ever experience. From Z-Man's "This is my happening and it freaks me out!" and "You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance" to Pet's "But YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO STUDY...YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO STUDY!" and Kelly's "I can't help myself...you've made me into a whore!"...seriously it's one of the few screenplays I own myself and it's really just one great line after another.

When I screened the film for some friends several months ago, they were just as blown away by the experience as I was when I first watched it in college (and, for the record, I knew nothing about Susann and her, um, "Dolls" legacy). One piece of dialogue came as a complete shocker to one guy who loves all kinds of music: when Harris tells Casey, "I just want to rap!" and she responds by saying, "Then rap!" THIS WAS 1970, MAN! Virtually everyone was in agreement in how insanely ahead of its time it was (much credit goes to Ebert's partner in filmmaking Russ Meyer), and they ADORED the songs by The Kelly Affair/Carrie Nations. I own 2 copies of the soundtrack myself!

At any rate, if I were going to do a Five Favorite Films list it would most definitely include BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS. It's a film that should be experienced and studied until the end of time: the quick shapshot of this tiny moment in American history is as vivid and authentic as it gets, making it one of the most unique films of all time. Critics have always been more favorable to it often than not, it's a must see for anyone who loved Ebert or films in general. RIP ROGER EBERT---TWO THUMBS UP, WAY UP!

And you know what: I forgive you for hating and boycotting I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, which is another highly misunderstood classic.

Apr 4 - 10:01 PM

Rongxuan Liu

Rongxuan Liu

RIP

Apr 4 - 10:10 PM

This comment has been removed.

Samya Mridha

Samya Mridha

i agree wid u. he gave good reviews to some very bad films. but overall he was a class apart. period.

Apr 4 - 11:09 PM

Observation 99

Observation 99

And you really feel the need to prove that, among all your rights, on his tribute column? Do your actual reviews just not get enough views?

Apr 7 - 12:59 AM

Observation 99

Observation 99

Must have accidentally clicked on Samya. I meant the guy Samya was responding to.

Apr 7 - 08:31 PM

Bob Smith

Bob Smith

I think you meant to say his tastes were different than yours. Welcome to the world of movie critics.

Apr 5 - 07:31 AM

todd123

Todd Garry

Couldn't disagree more...There are some films that he loved which I thought he would never even be able to relate to .

Apr 5 - 10:33 AM

Hud Wilson

Hud Wilson

he liked most movies most movies are bad

Apr 5 - 01:47 PM

Phil Miller

Phil Miller

I usually agreed more with Siskel.

Apr 5 - 05:27 PM

Samya Mridha

Samya Mridha

i agree wid u. he gave good reviews to some very bad films. but overall he was a class apart. period.

Apr 4 - 11:09 PM

Observation 99

Observation 99

And you really feel the need to prove that, among all your rights, on his tribute column? Do your actual reviews just not get enough views?

Apr 7 - 12:59 AM

Observation 99

Observation 99

Must have accidentally clicked on Samya. I meant the guy Samya was responding to.

Apr 7 - 08:31 PM

Nicholas Moore

Nicholas Moore

There are a few other critics that have opinions of film that I respect, and while I didn't always agree with Roger Ebert, he was the one I'd always come to, to see what his views are on films that I was interested in. I'm kind of at a loss for words; it's really sad to hear this. There are some people that you just can't imagine leaving this world, and if they had, you'd believe something were missing, and Roger Ebert is one of them; it's hard to imagine him gone.

He wasn't an actor or director of film, but he sure was a prominent figure in the industry and he'll surely be missed. I hope he gets a big mention at the next Oscars, otherwise I'll be shocked and disappointed. Aside from his reviews that I got from here, I grew up watching him talk about film, though admittedly a little late since it was in the time of Ebert & Roeper, though I did know of Gene Siskel before that.

Apr 4 - 11:11 PM

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton

I was shocked to hear this. Just yesterday I was reading about his plans to expand his diverse area of film review related media. He seemed very positive. He wasn't someone who sounded like he was about to leave this life. It's sad to see him go. I didn't always agree with his reviews, but I'll definitely miss hearing his opinions.

Apr 4 - 11:25 PM

Chris Middleton

Chris Middleton

Well said my friend. Well said.

Apr 4 - 11:28 PM

Connor Donegan

Connor Donegan

i can't believe it. i loved this guy. nobody is as good as him. really upset.

Apr 4 - 11:30 PM

Pio William Lumongsod

Pio William Lumongsod

He will be remembered as one of the greatest and perhaps the greatest critic ever.

Every time before I watch a certain movie, I always read about what he say in this movie, if he says it's good, it's good and if it's bad then it's bad. He is the only critic I respect.

He is one of the best. A great loss in mankind.

Apr 4 - 11:33 PM

David W.

David Walz

A giant of film and social commentary and a good man. I have no words that could do him justice, so I will attempt to pay tribute with the only way I know that could do such a man justice:

.

Apr 4 - 11:52 PM

R. Jayakrishnan

Jayakrishnan R

I am a person who was never actually influenced by critics, I hated them. Even then, I have preferred and read a lot of Ebert' reviews in the recent past. I felt that he was a real professional on his field of expertise.
May the works of Roger Ebert be known for long after his time, to be looked on and studied by the generations to follow.
R.I.P Mr. Ebert

Apr 5 - 12:42 AM

Kevin Rimney

Kevin Rimney

I was always impressed he turned reviewing films into such a profitable profession. Good for him.

Apr 5 - 12:54 AM

Warner Brown

Warner Brown

Never missed "Siskel & Ebert" every Sunday. Like Mazyar says, he was the go-to critic. Any review of any film I was interested in, I wanted his analysis first. While I didn't always agree (when he gave Speed 2 "RT 2%" thumbs up lol) He was still my favorite critic, jovial but thoughtful and real. I was saddened when he lost his voice, but what a courageous stand-up man. I will miss his FB posts, and his reviews. He had so much love for film. We've lost a great giant who is simply irreplaceable.

Apr 5 - 01:09 AM

Emile van Niekerk

Emile van Niekerk

He was an icon in the film reviewing world, although I disagreed with him on many movies and standpoints. His statement that videogames can never be art infuriated millions of gamers (and rightly so) and was obviously said out of total ignorance of the gaming world. He was sometimes inconsistent - giving a good movie like Wolf Creek 0% because of moral issues he had with it (something I think a reviewer should never do) and then praising other horror movies which did the exact same thing. But he wrote with style and when he got it right, he really got it right and one got a sense of the movie other than just whether it was good or not. Like I said, he was an icon and RIP, mr Ebert.

Apr 5 - 01:26 AM

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