On Thursday 4th April, the camera’s stopped rolling on the story of Roger Ebert, one of the film industry’s most respected and opinionated figures. The owner of the famous thumbs (two thumbs up if you were really lucky) for decades he amused the public and terrorized filmmakers.
Plagued by ill health for many years, Ebert (70) died in Chicago while undergoing radiation treatment for cancer. Even when it robbed him of his ability to speak, he still had a voice. He was the film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967 and presented TV shows from the balcony with Gene Siskel until his death in 1999 and then Richard Roeper. Since his death, figures from all corners of the industry have paid tribute to him. Even US President Barack Obama issued a statement through the Whitehouse, stating that “for a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies.”
Steven Spielberg said that “Roger loved movies, they were his life. His reviews went far deeper than simply thumbs up or thumbs down. He wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history, and in doing so, helped many movies find their audiences”.
Always quick with a poster worthy quote Ebert’s work garnered him a Pulitzer Prize in 1975.
In tribute to this great critic and true lover of films The People’s Movies presents some of its favourite Roger Ebert quotes.
“This movie made my heart glad. It is filled with innocence, hope, and good cheer. It is also wickedly funny and exciting as hell. E.T.—The Extra-Terrestrial is a movie like The Wizard of Oz, that you can grow up with and grow old with, and it won’t let you down.“
“The movie Ed Wood, about the worst director of all time, was made to prepare us for Stargate.“
Freddy Got Fingered, 2001
“This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.”
The Brown Bunny, 2003
“I had a colonoscopy once, and they let me watch it on TV. It was more entertaining than The Brown Bunny.”
The Last Airbender, 2010
“The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the balcony is now closed.
Here’s a nice tribute to Roger Ebert
Here’s a rarely seen episode of Siskel and Ebert show which looks at the worst of 1986 movies