Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Greg Goodsell

4/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Heavyset man introduced many to critical thinking and artistic analysis

For many years, Roger Ebert was known as the "fat one," his co-host Gene Siskel the "skinny one." They would chat about movies and say what they liked, or didn't like about the films they had seen that week, giving it a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on their syndicated TV show "At the Movies." Ebert was so, so much more - one among only three American journalists to win the Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism, but it was through this half-hour show that many were introduced to the world of analytical thought. Ebert has joined his co-host Siskel, who passed away in 1998, after losing his long battle with cancer at the age of 70.


Roger Ebert, right, with cohost of 'At the Movies,' Gene Siskel. Ebert insisted that he and Siskel, in all their years, were never social, and would only nod to one another if they spotted the other one riding their elevator.

Roger Ebert, right, with cohost of "At the Movies," Gene Siskel. Ebert insisted that he and Siskel, in all their years, were never social, and would only nod to one another if they spotted the other one riding their elevator.


By Greg Goodsell

Catholic Online (

4/5/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Rober Ebert, cancer, death, movie critic, Pulitzer Prize, Gene Siskel

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chicago Sun-Times reviewer had a very simple approach to film criticism: Find out what the director was trying to do, and see if he was successful. The author of countless books, he joined the newspaper part time in 1966 while pursuing graduate study at the University of Chicago. Wining the job of film critic the following year, his reviews were eventually syndicated to several hundred other newspapers, collected in books and repeated on innumerable Web sites. There's no question that he was the most influential film critic of his day.

His 1975 Pulitzer for distinguished criticism was the first, and one of only three, given to a film reviewer since the category was created in 1970. He got his first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.

Celebrating such legends as Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, he offered words of encouragement for then-newcomer Martin Scorsese.

Ebert did have his particular likes and dislikes. He would often call down films he felt went through the boundaries of good taste, and took such favorites as "A Clockwork Orange" and "Blue Velvet" for their brutality and violence.

People would then point to his earlier days as a screenwriter for nudie filmmaker Russ Meyer, penning the screenplay for "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" - an act of tasteless violence being perpetrated the very moment his name in the opening credits rolled on the screen.

It wasn't possible to dislike Ebert as the man loved movies. On his original TV show, Siskel and Ebert would host a "Dog of the Week," usually an exploitation or horror movie that was then playing New York City's 42nd Street. If they found the film worthy of attack, it was a sure sign to run right out and see it on the basis of their condemnation.

Ebert served as an even bigger inspiration when he lost portions of his jaw and the ability to speak, eat and drink after cancer surgeries in 2006. He overcame his health problems to resume writing full-time and eventually even returned to television. "You play the cards you're dealt," Ebert wrote. "What's your choice? I have no pain, I enjoy life, and why should I complain?"

Ebert, your seat has been saved and the movie is about to begin. Thank you.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Movies

Concluding chapter in 'Hunger Games' series - 'Mockingjay - Part 2' roaring into theaters Watch

Image of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, turns her efforts into overthrowing the oppressive government in


The concluding chapter in the "Hunger Games" sci-fi film series, "Mockingjay - Part 2" roars into theaters on November 30. Widely and wildly popular, the dystopian fantasy series is based upon a series of books by Suzanne Collins. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Serbian film 'Enclave' peeks into the lives of persecuted Christians living in Kosovo under Muslim rule Watch

Image of


Serbian filmmaker, Goran Radovanovic, provides a look into Christianity in Muslim-majority Kosovo through the film Enclave, which he wrote and directed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Radovanovic wrote and directed Enclave to tell the world about the suffering the ... continue reading

James Bond star Daniel Craig says he's into it for the money Watch

Image of Actor Daniel Craig says that while a dream role for many, the part of James Bond is an awful lot of hard work.


In a candid interview shocking in its forthrightness, actor Daniel Craig, who just finished playing the iconic superspy James Bond in "Spectre," was asked if he was going to play Bond immediately afterwards. "If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for ... continue reading

Director Steven Spielberg returns with Cold War drama 'Bridge of Spies' Watch

Image of Tom Hanks plays lawyer James B. Donovan into another of his patented Everyman characters. Hanks is careful not to come off as too virtuous by infusing scenes with dry humor.

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Director Steven Spielberg returns to the screen with "Bridge of Spies," an incisive look into Cold War-era America. His first feature film since "Lincoln," Spielberg focuses on the real-life trade off a Soviet Spy in exchange for an American service man downed ... continue reading

Masses of moviegoers move to see 'The Martian,' making it number one at box office Watch

Image of

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Martian," a space opera about astronaut Matt Damon being stranded on the Red Planet, is doing astronomical business at the nation's box offices. In the manner of "Gravity" in 2013, an outer space suspense yarn that took moviegoers by storm, many analysts ... continue reading

Braveheart screenwriter contributes success to God Watch

Image of Randall Wallace.


Randall Wallace, known for his films Braveheart, Heaven is For Real, Pearl Harbor and The Man in the Iron Mask, said he was unsuccessful in life until he asked God to help him.After he asked God for guidance, Wallace went from jobless to becoming one of Hollywood's ... continue reading

Horrific notorious abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, featured in documentary Watch

Image of Kermit Gosnell.


A new documentary has been created centered around abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, titled 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy. The trailer is set to be released Monday night. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The feature-length documentary has been in production ... continue reading

Filmmaker attempts to raise awareness of Christian persecution in the Middle East Watch

Image of 'Return to the Hiding Place' brings awareness of Christian persecution in the Middle East.


Film writer and director Peter Spencer has announced his attempt to raise awareness about the critical situation of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East through his film Return to the Hiding Place. It is about a group of people who fight to save the lives of ... continue reading

Faith-based film 'War Room' out grosses secular films such as 'No Escape' and 'We Are Your friends' Watch

Image of It pays to be frugal when producing films, as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A quiet domestic drama about a family who turns to prayer -- "War Room" opened at theaters nationwide this past weekend. "War Room" spoke to an unspoken need among moviegoers, as its box office receipts far overtook the debuting action drama "No Escape" and the ... continue reading

Horror film director Wes Craven, of 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series dies at 76 Watch

Image of A kindly man with a sly smile perpetually planted on his scholarly face, horror film director Wes Craven knew what he was doing.

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a director of horror films, Wes Craven definitely had his vicissitudes. He had some disappointments, and not all of his films spun gold at the box office. He would remain world-famous had he only directed three of his films, "Last House on the Left" in 1972, ... continue reading

All Movies News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 4:12-21
12 'Let the nations rouse themselves and march to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:27-28
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 10th, 2015 Image

St. Francis Borgia
October 10: Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. ... Read More