Random Factoid #471

11 11 2010

I know I have spoken quite vocally about the influence that Roger Ebert has had on my film criticism, but today, I think it would appropriate to recognize the other big influence: Gene Shalit.

The Today Show‘s resident film critic for over 4o years, Shalit would often offer his take on the weekend’s releases every Friday as I was walking out the door for school.  And for a good chunk of my life, I listened.  I recall many times getting dressed and hearing my mom yell, “Marshall, Gene Shalit is on!”  Upon hearing this, I would accordingly rush what I was doing and run to the TV.

Today marks Shalit’s last day on The Today Show, a sad day for all those who know what great influence the man with the afro and the mustache have had on the craft of reviewing movies.  I’ll forever miss the theatrical aspect of his weekly reviews and the fun he brought to them.  The way movie reviews are done today, one would think they are meant to be taken entirely seriously and academically.  Yet thanks to what I learned from Shalit, I know that reviews can be fun – and I hope they have been for everyone who reads them.



One response

13 11 2010

Hard to believe it has been that long – I remember Mr. Shalit fondly if not so much for his big do and stach but for his wit and often poignant film moments. I agree with you regarding Mr. Ebert too – I think an era is fading quickly, the era of the meaningful big name reviewers to be replaced by a room full of some with something to say and others with a whole lot of hot popcorn.


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