Roger Ebert, inarugably America's most prolific, popular and dedicated movie critic, has been slowing inching his way back into action following a dibilitating bout with jaw cancer and the multiple surgeries required as treatment.
His transitional critiques, posted on his website, rogerebert.com, have been short but no less engaging than an Ebert review in full throttle. They've been a reminder of what we've missed.
It's important to note that , during this period, Roger celebrated two milestones that have been largely overshadowed by his recuperation.
On June 18th, Roger turned 65, and of perhaps greater significance, last April 2nd marked the 40th anniversary of the date that he was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times. His first review for the Sun-Times was of "In Like Flint," published April 10, 1967.
For a glimpse of Early Ebert - for a portrait of the film critic as a young man - you might want to peruse his reviews of such '67 titles as "Hombre," "The Happening," "Hurry Sundown," "El Dorado," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Persona" and "The Graduate."
They will whet your appetite for more Ebert musings on movies because, as Roger himself said on his anniversary with the Sun-Times, "Forty years is not enough."
I, for one, can't wait.
Note in Passing: As far as longevity, Roger is in sound company. Richard Schickel, age 74, has been reviewing for Time magazine for 34 years now; David Ansen, 62, has been with Newsweek magazine for 30 years, and Richard Corliss, 63, also at Time, has reviewed there for 22 years. Roger's equal is limited to Gene Shalit, 75, who recently celebrated his 40 years with NBC's The Today Show, and they are both topped only by the venerable Stanley Kaufmann, who is 90 and has served as film critic for The New Republic for ... 49 years.
(Artwork: Critic and film enthusiast Roger Ebert)
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Anyone interested in perusing some 2060 of my film reviews, dating back to 1994, can do so by simply going to RottenTomatoes.Com