Eddie Muller. Without missing a beat, Muller invokes the name Bosley Crowther during his post-screening discussion, referencing the critic's near-irrational pan of an otherwise solid film.
After quoting a lengthy portion of Crowther's scathing attack on Karlson and his star John Payne in particular - with the venomous quote also superimposed as an on-screen caption (Chyron) - Muller digs into his bag of words and accurately designates Crowther a "gasbag."
At long last.
Like a certain body part, everybody has one, as the old saying goes (cleaned up here). An opinion, that is. But there are educated opinions, the kind smoothly espoused by Muller - and the kind that seem to evade most professional, working critics, represented by critics like Crowther.
Finally, the impressively knowledegable Muller, who is nothing less than sophsticated, erudite and astute in his taste and brings panache and snap to his presentations, then flings himself into a long overdue critique of Bosley Crowther, equally scathing. Well done. There's a reason why Muller self-describes as "wordslinger, impresario and noirchaelogist."
Muller is an esoteric wordsmith, refreshingly idiosyncratic at times.
As for Crowther, in many other quarters, he was dismissed as "unnecessarily mean" and was particularly questioned about the cluelessness of his take on Arthur Penn's ”Bonnie and Clyde”and his refusal, unlike other reviewers, to re-evaluate it following the controversy of his attack. Instead, he doubled down and retired not long after that.
Yes, Eddie Muller nailed Bosley Crowther with "gasbag."
* * * * *
~Eddie Muller, TCM's host of "Noir Alley"
~photography: Turner Classic Movies 2018©
~Poster art for Phil Karlson's "Kansas City Confidential"
~photography: United Artists 1952©
~N.Y. Times tear sheet containing Bosley Crowther's review of "Bonnie and Clyde"