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To Jakeem, TopBilled & LawrenceA, what info do you are anybody else have on BOSLEY CROWTHER?


spence
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Now Bosley Crowther-(l905-l98l) write one of my fattest books in my library titled: THE MOVIES   more than a coffee table book it's so fat & absolutely TREMENDOUS-(anyone else have this book or know of it by the way? Very frustrating on here because most don't seem to also save moviebooks, next to my files-(started around 1982) my most prized possessions

 

OOPS, THE MOVIES is not him, but they often cite Crowther in it, It's authors were>Richard Griffith, Arthur Mayer & Eileen Bowser

Still please send/[pops details on Mr. Crowther, because his name usually pops up with such greats as >JAMES AGEE-(l909-55) scripter for NIGHT OF THGE HUNTER & AFRICAN QUEEN & is arguably the finest critic of all-time, think he drank himself to death at only 46. SEE *Eastwood's good (***) & only made $1 million 1990 WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART

 

(P.S. Wish the now 87 year old & also an *Oscar winner: *William Goldman-(l931-) did more reviews as PREMIERE MAGAZINE-(l9897-2002) sometimes included him, at finish of his *Oscar predictions & reviews he'd say GUNGA DIN (l939-RKO) was the best ever made

 

THANX

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If you want to read a bunch of actual Crowther films, I would recommend buying one of those 1,000 Greatest New York Times Movie Reviews books. There have been at least two different editions. While he curiously is not listed as an author on the cover, I would suspect the majority of reviews in the book, given his very long tenure at the newspaper, are by him. His career was pretty much over, I guess, after he refused to soften his hateful review of Bonnie and Clyde, and increasingly everyone else began to look at him as seriously old and out of touch.

Edit: Oops, that should have read "Crowther film reviews", not "Crowther films!"

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks sewhite2000 and ChristineHoard for helping Spence.

Crowther certainly was an influential film critic.

THANMX TO ALL AGAIN!  Do you have any info on his all-time favorite's as well?  Of the old timers I have Pauline Kael's top ten, she's still more famous on her 1972 RAISING KANE article

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I remember reading him in the New Your Times. He was a bit of a jerk at times and definitely, looking back through the lens of time, got some films wrong.

Bosley Crowther just doing a google search:

Bosley Crowther (July 13, 1905 – March 7, 1981) was an American journalist and author who was film critic for The New York Times for 27 years. His work helped shape the careers of many actors, directors and screenwriters, though his reviews, at times, were perceived as unnecessarily mean.

Perhaps conscious of the power of his reviews, his style was considered by many to be scholarly rather than breezy.

In the 1950s, Crowther was an opponent of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusade targeted Hollywood and blacklisted alleged Hollywood Communists. He opposed censorship of movies, and advocated greater social responsibility in the making of movies. Crowther approved of movies with social content, such as Gone With the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Citizen Kane(1941), The Lost Weekend (1945), All the King's Men (1949) and High Noon (1952).

Crowther also had a barely concealed disdain for Joan Crawford when reviewing her films, referring to her acting style as "artificiality" and "pretentiousness," and would also chide Crawford for her physical bearing. In his review of the Nicholas Ray film Johnny Guitar (1954), Crowther complained that, "no more femininity comes from (Crawford) than from the rugged Mr. Heflin in Shane (1953). For the lady, as usual, is as sexless as the lions on the public library steps and as sharp and romantically forbidding as a package of unwrapped razor blades".

Crowther had a reputation for admiring foreign-language films including many of the Italian neorealist films such as Rome, Open City (1945), Shoeshine (1946) and The Bicycle Thief (1948). However he was critical of some iconic releases as well. He found Kurosawa's classic Throne of Blood (1957, but not released in the US until 1961), derived from Macbeth, ludicrous, particularly its ending; and called Gojira (Godzilla) (1954) "an incredibly awful film".

 Crowther dismissed Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) as "a blot on an otherwise honorable career,"[citation needed] but later reassessed the film considering it one of the top ten films of the year, writing that Psycho was a "bold psychological mystery picture....

The end of Crowther's career was marked by his disdain for the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. He was critical of what he saw as the film's sensationalized violence. His review was negative

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Most of his film reviews have not "stood the test of time".

He had the soul of a suburban husband who could not really "see" films.

His review of George Stevens' great film, "The Diary of Anne Frank", is a case in point.

His review of Barbara Stanwyck in "No Man of Her Own" is totally blind.

And he predicted that Doris Day would not have a future in films.

How he held on to his job as long as he did is a mystery.

 

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James Agee is my favorite film critic...I guess because I sense a kindred soul in his writing, and because his reviews have always expanded my vocabulary without seeming to be didactic. And I appreciate how he usually weaves a bit of positivity into his most negative comments. You can never say Agee totally hates a film. He always finds something of value in it. His biases are towards silent filmmaking, which when he was writing in the 40s already means there was considerable nostalgia about silent film, at least from his perspective. His favorite actor was Robert Preston, his favorite actress was Frances Dee, his favorite cinematographer was Lee Garmes, and I would venture to say his favorite film during those years was MONSIEUR VERDOUX. You learn a lot about a man when you read all his reviews.

Pauline Kael is my second favorite film critic. I have this wonderful book that contains many of her reviews. I've never read this book from cover to cover, the way I read the book with Agee's reviews. I have a different approach with Kael. I will usually watch something, and I will say, I bet I can guess what Kael said. Then I go to the book and find the review. About 90% of the time I'm right in predicting what she'll say.

I think Kael's a very consistent reviewer. Her biases are not hidden, but if you respect how she words her biases, and especially if you agree with them, then her most "severe" criticisms are easy to take. The thing I love most about Kael is that she puts film up on a very high pedestal, so everyone has to strive to be as good as her idea of perfection. Other critics practice a type of relativism, comparing one director to another, or one actor to another. Not Kael. She compares all of them to some ideal film that is usually just out of everyone's grasp. She is basically telling us there's no such thing as a perfect film but if we have in mind what a perfect film might be, we can come close to achieving it.

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I remember the age of Bosley Crowther at The Times, although I don't remember much about his reviews.  I also remember Janet Maslin, who was a film critic for The Times through the 1980s and 1990s. She seemed to like nothing, as I recall.

One of my favorite film critics of that period was Noel Carroll, who wrote for the Soho Weekly News and other papers. I also liked Brendan Gill, who wrote for The New Yorker. Those were the days of celebrity film critics -- I think they have waned.

I am not a fan of Graham Greene as a critic. Too British/literary for American film, I think.

 

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3 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

Bosley Crowther just doing a google search:

In the 1950s, Crowther was an opponent of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusade targeted Hollywood and blacklisted alleged Hollywood Communists.

Joe, far be it from me to stick up for McCarthy, but I do stick up for facts. The google info suggests that McCarthy targeted Hollywood, when in fact, his "investigation" targeted the State Department and the Army. It was HUAC that targeted Hollywood. Last time I checked, McCarthy was in the Senate, not the House.

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I come across his reviews all the time as I browse titles. He had a reputation for being tough to please; hard-as-nails; conservative; and even a bit of 'wet-blanket' and 'stick-in-the-mud'. Very reluctant to accept new trends.

He also had a penchant for curt, dismissive, titles festooning the tops of his often scathing, acidic essays. He panned a whole slew of great films which we today consider cream-of-the-crop.

I've been planning to read one of his actual books (didn't he do a biography of Goldwyn or some other Moghul?) but its not been urgent enough.

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4 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

Joe, far be it from me to stick up for McCarthy, but I do stick up for facts. The google info suggests that McCarthy targeted Hollywood, when in fact, his "investigation" targeted the State Department and the Army. It was HUAC that targeted Hollywood. Last time I checked, McCarthy was in the Senate, not the House.

WIKI called him Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, at the top. I guess they (wiki authors) must conflate the two to simplify that ol' "Witch Hunt" mentality. no?

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5 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

I come across his reviews all the time as I browse titles. He had a reputation for being tough to please; hard-as-nails; conservative; and even a bit of 'wet-blanket' and 'stick-in-the-mud'. Very reluctant to accept new trends.

He also had a penchant for curt, dismissive, titles festooning the tops of his often scathing, acidic essays. He panned a whole slew of great films which we today consider cream-of-the-crop.

I've been planning to read one of his actual books (didn't he do a biography of Goldwyn or some other Moghul?) but its not been urgent enough.

Louis B. Mayer.

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