First Thoughts

Andrew Sarris

Andrew Sarris (October 31, 1928 – June 20, 2012) was an American film critic, a leading proponent of the auteur theory of criticism.

Pauline Kael David Bordwell Village Voice Roger Ebert Armond White John Ford Kent Jones Citizen Kane Lois Smith David Thomson Clint Eastwood Alfred Hitchcock Ray Bradbury Dirty Harry New York Observer Fresh Air Chris Marker


I know Dave Kehr's writing pretty well. He's an auteurist, almost a disciple of Andrew Sarris.
But is not one of them (and much less a Bazin, Agee, Farber, Godard, Truffaut, Serge Daney, or Andrew Sarris).
Andrew Sarris recognized his wrong view of B. Wilder in The American Cinema. Do you have the intellectual honesty to do that?
Never one to blink at a challenge, John Huston hired Ray Bradbury to help him adapt Melville's "Moby *** (1956). I seem to remember Andrew Sarris writing decades ago that Huston should have played Ahab and hired good friend Orson Welles to direct. Hmmm..
Should there be an Oscar category for superb movie criticism? A few years ago a precedent was created when film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow was given a lifetime achievement Oscar, in the main for his preservationist efforts. If so, who would be the first movie analyst you would give the award to? And what film critics do you enjoy reading for their thoughts on film? I've gained a lot of insight over the decades of my movie love reading people like James Agee, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael, Roger Ebert and currently Richard Brody of the New Yorker magazine. Share your thoughts on an Oscar for serious film criticism and who would you give the honor to? (And if you have complete disdain for all movie critics, this would be a question you would skip.)
Check out this unearthed 1977 letter from Clint Eastwood to film critic Andrew Sarris, wherein Eastwood thanks Sarris for his Village Voice article on the "Dirty Harry" franchise, titled "Is Harry Too Dirty?" Eastwood gets to expound on the perceived messages in his films, complaining that ones with…
Clint Eastwood's letter to Andrew Sarris re: his 'Dirty Harry' review. Dated 2/25/77. Great stuff! via
In nearly three decades as a member of the esteemed New York Film Critics Circle, CityArts editor Armond White has served with the greats, including Andrew Sarris and his rival, Pauline Kael. Today, the Gotham critics voted to expel White, the group's chair in 1994, 2009, and 2010. His ultimate crim...
Comparing the writing styles/observations of Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris. Fascinating.
In the last 15 months, we've lost some of cinema's most potent and enduring voices: Andrew Sarris, Roger Ebert and now Stanley Kauffmann.
Now this is a film critic worthy of the mantle of Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael, Dave Kerr, and Roger Ebert.
Andrew Sarris offers a dissent in the Voice (Don't think Pauline Kael weighed in but not sure)
Andrew Sarris once called "Lola Montès" the greatest film ever made. I saw it today and must admit he might have been onto something.
Today is the birth date of the late New Yorker film critic, Pauline Kael. When I was coming of age as a film critic, the two titans who stood over the Film Commentary community were Kael and Andrew Sarris (also here pictured). Supposedly critics were aligned in one camp or the other. I personally learned a lot about the nature of films and writing about them from both of them.
FROM THE FOUNDER: We all love movies. We all have different taste in genres of films. Some we like more than others & some absolutely say "no way". Some that are "so bad their good" & others we say *** was Hollywood thinking?" Although the vast majority of Americans go to the movies to be entertained, there are politics in movies & moviemaking too. Sometime we have trouble choosing a film we might want to see (at $10 plus a movie, the last thing we want to do is waste it on a really bad movie) & sometimes we want to know more about it before we pay to see it. Many times we turn to movie critics for just that & get their opinions on the movies we'd like to see. Since the vast majority of movie critics that work for the newspapers/news media are predominantly liberal & liberal leaning in their reviews (such as Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Joel Siegel, Peter Travers, Gene Shalit, Andrew Sarris, Leonard Maltin, Rex Reed, Richard Roeper, David Ansen & Kenneth Turan). But there are Conservatives film critics out . ...
About last nights Oscars as quoted from Kim Morgan "The In Memoriam reel was extra sad Yes, among others, Ernest Borgnine, Celeste Holm, Ulu Grosbard, Herbert Lom, Andrew Sarris, Michael Clarke Duncan, Charles Durning, Tony Scott, Nora Ephron, Frank Pierson, Chris Marker, Ray Bradbury and Marvin Hamlisch were all represented, but where was Ann Rutherford (she was in "Gone With the Wind," for heaven's sake), Levon Helm (so wonderful in "Coal Miner's Daughter"), Phyllis Diller, Davy Jones ("Head," people!), Larry Hagman and for the love of God, Andy Griffith, who starred in one of Elia Kazan's greatest pictures, "A Face in the Crowd." And I'm sure they missed more. For shame." I agree, shame to miss memorializing some great actors we lost. I understand that the behind the scenes people are sometimes missed when too many great actors pass in one year but you could cut some of the stupid bits done for laughs to show all that deserve to be in the Memoriam each and every year.
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At last, a stretch of genuine feeling and sobriety, the In Memoriam section included the great critic Andrew Sarris and ended with La Streisand singing "The Way We Were" as a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. I could complain that I hate the score from OUT OF AFRICA used to accompany the images of those who passed, but this still looked like a segment from a different show. The cultural amnesia cloaking the show tonight made the rundown of many familiar faces doubly depressing.
Hmmm... Oscar necrology. Three-four seconds a legend (great inclusions=Chris Marker and Andrew Sarris), then a complete cessation to lets Babs do her Marvin Hamlisch Vegas-y tribute. I have absolute zero interest in BS (those are her initials), but I am impressed by her greasy verbal intro and that interpolated line about memories (she's been studying old Sandler and Young LPs?). Hamlisch most certainly had his moment (I personally prefer his "Bananas" score to "The Way We Were," but that's just me), but was he the most significant person included? Not even a little bit -- but it gave them the chance to avoid FILM CLIPS again to get back to musical numbers (which the Tonys and Grammys do best, and the Oscars suck at).
I'll always miss Ernie Borgnine, Erland Josephson, Charles Durning, and a major film critic inspiration and nice man, Andrew Sarris.
So glad several friends made the memorium: Andrew Sarris and Lois Smith, great influences and mentors.
Andrew Sarris (with lovely sound bite) and Lois Smith in In Memoriam. All is forgiven, foremerly unforgiveable
POST YOUR COMMENTS HERE. In the words of film critic Andrew Sarris "Citizen Kane" was "the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since 'Birth of A Nation'."
My sis got me books by Pauline Kael & Andrew Sarris for Xmas, somehow the books didn't chew each other to bits in transport
Andrew Sarris on Francis Ford Coppola in 1968: "[He] may be heard from more decisively in the future".
I consider Daniel Craig to be the most effective and appealing of the six actors who have played 007, and that includes Sean Connery.- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer columnist. I have been reading Fleming since I was in the eighth grade. I have been watching the movies since 1969. And that first one I saw in 1969 I have always thought the best. Till now. Skyfall is the best presentation of Fleming's Bond in film. Craig does not match Fleming's physical description of Bond, but he is beyond doubt the character.
"Perhaps [it] is one brutal *** film too many" - Andrew Sarris on Lawrence of Arabia (cc
Dammit, man, reign in your vocabulary. David Thomson and Andrew Sarris were never that pretentious with their prose.
At least he admits that he hated it because he didn't understand it. Andrew Sarris' review is loaded with ignorance.
: Robert Caro,Red Barber,Andrew Sarris,seeking greatness & trying to grok it. gift not bias.
"Rohmer’s ultimate masterwork. No film I can recall in years has provided such a profound insight into the human condition. A singularly ennobling episode in the history of cinema."—Andrew Sarris (on SUMMER)
I was just reading both Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael's pans of 'Chinatown.' Interesting how consensus changes.
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"Movies are a mythological art form..." (the late) film critic Andrew Sarris
Radio programme about reputation of Citizen Kane has Peter Bogdanovich talking about his debate with Pauline Kael over the authorship of the film, but does not mention Andrew Sarris?!
Vertigo was all-time favorite film of Andrew Sarris' longtime TA at Columbia when I was there in 1980s... he's smiling tonight
When I fact checked Andrew Sarris I learned about cinema and how to write about film. But not movies. list:
Andrew Sarris on his '62 ballot listed 4 films less than 7 years old (1955-62). That would never happen today.
Robin Wood and Andrew Sarris would be proud of Vertigo topping Sight & Sound's all-time list:...
Influential NY Film Critic Andrew Sarris Dies (most responsible for auteur theory that movies shaped by director’s POV)
The 1962 S&S Poll came out almost simultaneously with the publication of Andrew Sarris' Notes on the Auteur Theory
Love and Other Infectious Diseases: A Memoir: For 15 years, Molly Haskell and her husband, Andrew Sarris, both n...
Andrew Sarris could be very funny when writing on comedy, though he was never given proper credit for this.
Andrew Sarris saw THAT HAMILTON WOMAN 83 times. Guess I'm not crazy, doctors.
Andrew Sarris was champion of the auteur director - Join Talk at:
They would rather be tortured by Antonioni, bored by Satyajit Ray, or preached to by Stanley Kramer." - Andrew Sarris (2/2)
The late great Andrew Sarris on 10 Criterion films and how they impacted him, as excerpted by Kent Jones
Many a great films were discovered (or re-discovered) after reading one of his critiques.
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If I pay $15 for a movie, I expect epaulets and Andrew Sarris from the staff :-D
The NYT obits for both Tom Davis and Andrew Sarris note they did drugs while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey
Someone explain to me how The NY Observer kept Rex Reed but let Andrew Sarris go.
I did forget that was his nickname -- Andrew "Nicholas Sparks Is My Jam" Sarris
to be fair, that guy's son was possessed by the spirit of Andrew Sarris.
Kev, did you not read ANY of the eulogies for Andrew Sarris? How is inaugural r (
Anyway, am sure it's stunning in 70mm. Especially on weed. That's not stoner logic, that's legendary critic Andrew Sarris, yo!
On June 20, the film world lost a giant — former Village Voice and New York Observer critic Andrew Sarris. That barely begins to articulate Sarris' importance to serious film study in the U.S. and around the world, and numerous articles, obituaries and tributes from recent weeks provide a full...
A transcript of a talk given by Sarris on March 12, 1987
Bad time for film. Andrew Sarris and Amos Vogel have passed away. Film as art is in serious trouble. I will need you all to see The Hired Hand tomorrow so you can help me screen past these dark times.
Wonderful Andrew profile by Kent Jones from a few years back
I think this is what Andrew Sarris wrote about the film too.
in the era of Hitler and the bomb the artist is not paranoid he is being persecuted-rip Andrew sarris
This is why Andrew Sarris kind of *** one of the reasons a whole generation of critics is steeped in elitism (J. Hoberman, Armond White, NYT critics, etc.), no matter how high of quality their writing may be.
Andrew Sarris passed away? How did I miss this? Most people don't know who he is, but owe their perception of cinema to him.
Andrew Sarris, who the auteur theory and was called the "dean of American film critics," died on Wednesday. He was 83. Fresh...
Andrew Sarris discusses the career trajectory of John Ford in this clip:
...The academicians are right of course. Dreyer simply isn’t cinema. Cinema is Dreyer." Andrew Sarris on Carl Dreyer's Gertrud
6.30am On the bus reading Andrew Sarris "The American Cinema 1929-1968" I think that qualifies me as a geek :/ *morning world*
An interview with the legendary film critic - Andrew Sarris. Directed and Edited by Casimir Nozkowski Cinematography by Pete Fonda Original Music by Alexande...
The influence of Andrew Sarris' film crticism has become so omnipresent it is now invisible, part of the received wisdom of how we approach and watch movies. This has only become clearer after his death last week at the age of 83.
favorite excerpts from Sarris' work:
Remembering critic Andrew Sarris and the age of
Vagabond Scholar's blog post about film scholar, Andrew Sarris. Oh, nights spent reading of the auteur theory and Kael.
The mid-year awards of Armond White framed in a tribute to film critic Andrew Sarris:
Andrew Sarris (1928-2012) In a lifetime of meaningful disagreements, Andy was smarter than all the rest.
This week's survey discusses Andrew Sarris' legacy and underrated auteurs, check it out:
The quintessential film critic wrote about radio & TV for us in the 1990s
Rest in peace, Andrew Sarris, the greatest American film critic.
33. THE AMERICAN CINEMA by Andrew Sarris. This book is an essential and insightful argument starter. Terrific writing.
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RIP Mr. Andrew Sarris. Brody on Sarris: "The one indispensable American film critic." | NYT:
Foundas calls Sarris: "1 of the key reasons why it is even possible to speak about film criticism as an art"
So sad to have just heard of the death of Andrew He was very kind to me and his book "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet" is so smart.
Trying to use the recent passing of Andrew Sarris to jump into this Anderson review. An Auteur Theory thing...just not working...ugh...
"Casablanca is the most decisive exception to the auteur theory": Andrew Sarris.
I ordered Andrew Sarris' book The American Cinema at Book Soup. A pleasure to do it the old-fashioned way with a clerk handwriting the form.
"Only in film history is half a century treated as a millennium." - Andrew Sarris
Some little known writing on radio & TV by the quintessential film critic
Andrew Sarris passed away. Sad. We'll have to talk about him in the past tense now, in UBC's Film Criticism grad class.
there's absolutely no point in doing it all. I was thinking of stuff along the lines of Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, Cahiers.
I was out of town when Andrew Sarris died. I worked with him on a screening series for the then Museum of Television & Radio, along with Ron Simon. Here is some little known writing of the distinguished film critic, looking at great stage & film actors in the newer mediums.
Sullivan's Travels Movie Trailer - watch all clips click to subscribe A director (Joel McCrea) of escapist films goes o...
Filmmaker/writer Peter Bogdanovich reflects on the passing of Andrew Sarris, the famed film critic responsible for introducing the...
We lost a legend this week Andrew Sarris, great interview here
Film critic Andy Sarris died on June 20. He gave me an A+ on my last paper, pushed me into journalism. He'll be missed
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Professor Andrew Sarris: Film critic who played a leading role in promoting the ‘auteur’ theory
Here’s a wonderful discussion, from a few years ago, by the film critic Andrew Sarris who sadly passed away last week:
Andrew Sarris, influencial movie critic, dies
Andrew Sarris is making me want to see all the John Ford movies. Like, right now.
"Those who would be led, Sidney Lumet will guide. Those who would lead, Lumet will follow". Andrew Sarris (1928-2012)
Celebrating the illustrious career of Andrew Sarris
If you thought Andrew Sarris was bold for for smoking weed before reviewing 2001 wait till I get caught jerking off for my Magic Mike review
Why were the critics of Andrew Sarris’ generation so important, famous, so widely read, discussed, debated? More at...
Hindu A bit of critical thinking: Lights, Camera, Conversation: The demise of Andrew Sarris, like that of Paulin...
An interview with film critic Andrew Sarris
finds it somewhat bittersweet that Andrew Sarris' last film review at Film Comment happened to be for the Peruvian film "October."
It was renowned (and recently deceased) film critic Andrew Sarris who popularized the “auteur theory” in American cinema. In extreme short
Leading film critic Andrew Sarris dies at 83: No longer was the big screen just entertainment. Thanks to film st...
The death of Andrew Sarris last week isn’t just a saddening moment for those of us who admire exhilarating film criticism. It also reminds us how much American culture can owe to a single person.
Andrew Sarris, a film critic famous for his support of the European auteur theory, which states that a film holds the director’s personal vision, has passed away at the age ...
In my eight years as a professional film critic, this is probably the article I have most looked forward to writing, yet least looked forward to writing. Andrew Sarris, the most influential voice in American criticism and scholarship, and an overall brilliant individual, died last week at the age o...
Influential film critic Andrew Sarris, who helped introduce a generation of American movie goers to Europe’s new wave of directors in the 1960s and ‘70s, has died at the age of 83. Sarris di...
"It reminds you of the joke about the starlet so dumb she slept with the screenwriter" David Bordwell on Andrew Sarris:
Andrew Sarris, greatest American film critic Andrew Sarris, who died on Wednesday at age 83, was the greatest film critic this country has ever produced. [...] Sarris knew that just as siblings can look alike and yet one be ugly and the other beautiful, so can two movies, with a family resemblance...
Movie Geeks United explores the legacy of legendary film critic Andrew Sarris, who passed away on June 20, 2012. Featuring special guest and Time Out NY film...
Andrew Sarris, who died today, at the age of eighty-three, is the one indispensable American film critic. He brought to American film criticism its crucial idea, its crucial word (“auteur”), and the crucial taste that it signifies: the recognition...
A discussion with Andrew Sarris and J. Hoberman of Bresson's Au Hazard Balthasar, including reminiscences of Sarris' career. NYC 12-06
David Bordwell on a life at the movies with Andrew Sarris. This is wonderful:
Recently watched REPULSION. Why? The movies I pick are totally random. Anyway, it's a trippy movie, but as Andrew Sarris might have said, there's less there than meets the eye. Insight into mental illness it's not; a lot of cool shots of hands coming out of the walls it most definitely is. Influential and cool but empty.
Excellent piece by David Bordwell on the late Andrew Sarris:
A glorious, personal obit of Andrew Sarris, from David Bordwell.
So Andrew Sarris died recently. Dude basically changed the way we view a director's authority over a film and thus film criticism in general. Read this. It's all sorts of great.
Octave’s hop: Andrew Sarris. By David Bordwell in Observations on film art
Here's a nice David Bordwell post in his great blog on the late Andrew Sarris.
"History, and not just the history of movies, was on his side." David Bordwell on Andrew Sarris
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Levon Helm, Ray Bradbury, and now Andrew Sarris-my few living heroes are dying, one by one.
Excerpts from a 1990 interview with Andrew Sarris,
ICYMI. A smart piece from on Andrew Sarris, "the one indispensable American film critic."
"The lasting legacy of Andrew Sarris, 1928-2012"
Andrew Sarris, Film Critic, Dies at 83 courtly describes him
Memories of Andrew Sarris, professor; or, Notes on the Theory of "Whadya Think?"
New blog post: Film critic Andrew Sarris — peace at last?:   “Wars go on and some folks die,” sang a character i...
Andrew Sarris, leading proponent of the auteur theory — that directors' work reflects their distinctive styles,...
Andrew Sarris in 1970 confessed he returned to Kubrick's 2001 "while under influence of a smoked substance ... stronger than oregano."
Underappreciated Andrew Sarris fact: he also wrote about BASKETBALL. Did great piece on Wilt Chamberlain in Village Voice.
"I once said, you know, that only a good film teaches you how to live, but even a bad movie can teach you how to die." - Andrew Sarris
Champion of the auteur theory Andrew Sarris RIP. FFF have a collection of links to his writings here:
In memory of Andrew Sarris, the most influential American film critic. (rt)
Sad to hear of Andrew Sarris' passing. Enjoyed reading the arguments around auteur theory, of which he was part.
Andrew Sarris in the documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story ...
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Sarris was primarily responsible for the auteur theory of film criticism, which in a nutshell said great directors and their visions make for great movies. I think that’s especially applicable to NM. If we are to develop a long term, sustainable business model it needs to be not only below the line ...
Andrew Sarris dies at 83; longtime film critic: Andrew Sarris, a critic for the Village Voice and the New York O...
Film critic Andrew Sarris passed away this week. Sarris was a leading advocate of auteur theory. . .
Very sorry to hear of the passing of Andrew Sarris. He was a kind gentleman whom I had the pleasure of meeting on one occasion.
J. Hoberman, film critic extraordinaire, remembers his great colleague Andrew Sarris:
One of the most influential American film critics, Andrew Sarris, passed away yesterday. A heartfelt tribute from...
And it's farewell to critic Andrew Sarris. If you never read him, you'll know his name: they used it for the villain in Galaxy Quest.
Hail and farewell to the great Andrew Sarris>
I'm honored that my friend Kent Jones asked me to contribute to this Film Comment eulogy for Andrew Sarris:
I loved Pauline Kael, but she made two huge blunders: on the authorship of Citizen Kane and in her appraisal of Andrew Sarris.
So sad to hear that Andrew Sarris has died. I'm on my third copy of "The American Cinema".
Sarris remembered by Kent Jones, Phillip Lopate, et al. over at
On this week's show, Stephen Becker and I wish for a little more weirdness from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. We also talk to Lynn Shelton about her new love triangle comedy Your Sister's Sister. Finally, we pay tribute to Andrew Sarris, a giant of film criticism who died this week at the ...
Influential American film critic behind the 'auteur theory'
If you haven't read the work of the late critic Andrew Sarris, here are some good places to begin.
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Andrew Sarris, "who loved movies" (as Roger Ebert described him), was long considered the "dean of American film critics." Reading the accounts and appreciations of him today, I was surprised to see how many people perpetuated the myth that Sarris and Pauline Kael were like the print era's Siskel &...
Wow, I almost forgot that I did read an Andrew Sarris book some years back called 'Politics and Cinema'. I didn't mean to forget it, I guess it just got lost amid the many I have read. But I do remember it being massively insightful and pointed, and a lot of other adjectives I won't use now, except to say it was a good book.
Andrew Sarris has taught at Columbia University, Julliard, Yale and New York University. He is one of those rare educators who doesn’t burn out. The reason is his passion for his topic has been powerful enough to engage him intellectually, to go the distance, and a half a century is quite a distance...
Billy Wilder's acid media satire forever branded him the sometimes overstated label of "cynic." Ace in the Hole was too acerbic for 1951 movie-goers and revi...
ANDREW SARRIS' FAVOURITE FILMS, one of thousands of movie lists from "Best of" to "Top 10s" written by people who love film on mubi.com.
A great film critic died today at the age of 94: Andrew Sarris. I heard an old interview being re-broadcast on "Fresh Air." I noted that the film he admired most was Max Ophuls's "The Earrings of Madame X." I have never seen it. In fact, I know Ophuls's son's work better than Max's--which is silly. So I ordered it. It might be fun to organize a "Criterion Film Festival" for the college, where we watch films that enjoy great reputations that we have somehow missed.shouldn't be difficult to find four or five, at least.
Ironic that some of the critics who are now praising Andrew Sarris -- who died yesterday and who elevated films in genres like horror and the western to the status of art -- take an automatically dismissive attitude toward the emerging superhero genre. What do they think Sarris was saying, anyway?
Andrew Sarris, who loved movies, is dead at 83. He was the most influential American film critic of his time, and one of the jolliest. More than anyone else, he was responsible for introducing Americans to the Auteur Theory, the belief that the true author of a film is its director. Largely because ...
Film buffs who weren’t around in the 1960s and ‘70s might not appreciate how important Andrew Sarris was in those days before home video, the Internet, and the blogosphere, where everyone has an opinion and isn’t shy about expressing it. His landmark essays about the auteur theory and reviews of cur...
The auteur theory, of which film criticAndrew Sarris was the leading American proponent, holds that artistry in cinema can be largely attributed to film directors, who, while often working against the strictures of studios, producers, and scriptwriters, manage to infuse each film in their oe...
Here is a link to my obit for Andrew Sarris, one of the most influential and important of America's film writers:
Kent Jones has written the best and most useful reflection on the importance of Andrew Sarris. Film Comment:
And here's David Edelstein on Sarris: "Accused in the last three decades of resting on his status and quoting himself instead of doing fresh thinking, he was actually forever adjusting his judgments, shifting directors in and out of favor as he re-watched and rethought their work. What anchored his criticism — what made him rewarding to read even when you vigorously disagreed — was that he viewed The American Cinema as a work in progress."
RIP, Andrew Sarris. If you want a snapshot of the man's legacy, stop by any given film class for a moment and listen to the discussion. His words are usually part of it. I spent an entire class once debating Sarris' auteur theory, which I personally disagree with, but it speaks volumes that his work can spark such debate decades after it was written.
UNL Film Studies professor Wheeler Winston Dixon describes the auteur theory of filmmaking.
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Monster-of-the-Week: In honor of prehistoric turtle sex, it's Gamera! Also, RIP Andrew Sarris & Richard Lynch:
like the late Andrew Sarris I am "in flight from the laborious realities of careerism”
Back in my youth I was a film nerd. My high school buddy Jim and I would call each other up when the TV Guide came out on Wednesday and gleefully inform each other that Hatari! was on Channel 11 on Monday.
In memory of world renowned film critic and beloved Professor Emeritus Andrew Sarris.
Sarris was best known for his work with the Village Voice.
This is a remembrance of film critic Andrew Sarris (1928-2012).
The erudite dean of American film critics -- Pauline Kael's rival and promoter of the "auteur theory" -- dies at 83
The spine on my paperback edition of Andrew Sarris' The American Cinema gave out decades ago, but when it did a spare copy was at hand. It was the first book I ever gave my wife as a gift, hoping, I suppose, that it would prove as indispensable to her [...]
Andrew Sarris, the auteur behind auteur theory, is dead...
"Andrew Sarris was a vital figure in teaching America to respond to foreign films as well as American movies," fellow critic David Thomson said Wednesday. "As writer, teacher, friend and husband he was an essential. History has gone." Sarris started with the Voice in 1960 and established himself as a major reviewer in 1962 with the essay "Notes on the Auteur Theory." Acknowledging the influence of French critics and even previous American writers, Sarris argued for the primacy of directors and called the "ultimate glory" of movies "the tension between a director's personality and his material."
Andrew Sarris, the American writer who popularised auteur theory, championed Alfred Hitchcock and had a print feud with Pauline Kael, has died in New York
He changed the way people look at movies. He wrote the most influential book on American films. He was a mentor and a friend. He is irreplaceable.
All over the Internet, critics are honoring a great critic with heartfelt appreciations -- and we've got links to as many of them as we could find.
Andrew Sarris, the father of American film criticism, died yesterday. RIP. Thank you for the inspiration.
I was on a program one time with Spike Lee, and we got into it. I said he has a problem. Very often right in the middle of a movie he's making he tries to make an aesthetic statement. There's a kind of pretentiousness in what he does sometimes. I think the best film by an African-American direc...
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To paraphrase Jean Cocteau on Picasso, there was American film criticism before Andrew Sarris and there was American film criticism after Andrew Sarris, so it's hard not to view his death Wednesday at age 83 as the end of an era.
I’m saddened that Andrew Sarris (1928-2012) didn’t live longer than 83, even though he had a very rich and rewarding career as a film critic.
A sad day: the man who made us all aware that a love for film is something to be proud of, now is no longer among us. Fare ye well, Mr. Sarris.
The film critical community and cinema at large lost an indelible and irreplaceable voice. I amongst many others will sorely miss you, Andrew Sarris.
The film critic Andrew Sarris helped to foster the idea that American movies had real artistic merit.
“The liquidity of the scene and the film was truly magical, especially to someone not many years out of the womb himself.” --Film critic Andrew Sarris, on his experience of watching his first film at the age of 3. He passed away yesterday
R.I.P. Andrew Sarris - I will go through "The American Cinema" and start watching some of those films again.
Leading film critic Andrew Sarris has died at 83 - Centre Daily Times
I'll join the chorus with an RIP to Andrew Sarris. Though I question auteur theory more than I used to, I would still say I'm a reluctant adherent and Sarris was obviously the key figure promoting it stateside decades ago. I'll second what Steve Bliss said about it becoming too reductive as practiced by many, but too his credit even Sarris painted it more gray-shaded tones as the years went on. As newspapers cut staff to the bone and criticism is viewed as something anybody with a blog and an opinion can do, it's good to remember that generation that made film criticism matter to the general public. There are, of course, still great critics working...in print and online. But it's a little sad that the rigorous discourse that shaped the form is now so far out of the general public's eye.
What a great picture of Andy and his excellency.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. With Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette, Jessica Tandy. A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in...
When you say "a Wes Anderson film" or "a Steven Spielberg film", that's the influence of Andrew Sarris. The idea that films are the products of their directors is what made him the indispensable voice of American film criticism. What is the proper sendoff for a revolutionary?
LeRoy Neiman has died at 91 , Andrew Sarris has died at 83 , one an renowned Artist, the other a renowned critic of film. RIP
Andrew Sarris, a very influential movie critic, has died. His unique voice will be missed. And no, I generally did not agree with him.
"Even art films have to make money and even commercial films have to make some statement. To put it another way, more and more critics are demanding that there should be more fun in art, and more art in fun. In the process... it has become possible to speak of Alfred Hitchcock and Michelangelo Antonioni in the same breath and with the same critical terminology." -- Andrew Sarris (1928-2012)
The fact that most of what passes for film criticism these days is largely written by *** was vaguely tolerable as long as Andrew Sarris was alive. Alas, no longer. An authentic legend.
It is perfectly appropriate that a Google image search of Andrew Sarris today offers more pictures of the luminaries and fictional worlds illuminated by his half-century body of work than it does of the man himself.
Hill as Auteur? (RIP Andrew Sarris.) But BH did do some really funny-clever stuff using badly edited film, miscued sound etc
Andrew Sarris, the erudite and influential film critic and teacher who brought the “auteur” theory to America, died today in Manhattan at the age of...
Today's lesson: pay attention to more critics like Andrew Sarris, not critics like Armond White.
I owe Andrew Sarris thanks for my appreciation of John Ford, Howard Hawks and Robert Altman, at the very least.
Had the privilege of taking a course taught by Andrew Sarris in college. Forever in his debt for exposing me to "Mildred Pierce." R.I.P.
Andrew Sarris (1928– 2012) brought auteurism to American shores & had a fierce, commendable battle with Pauline Kael:
The great film critic Andrew Sarris, remembered chiefly for his advocacy of the “auteur theory” in America, has died at age 83, due to complications from a fall.
Forget Pauline Kael - I've always allied myself with the Sarristes. Andrew Sarris, Influential Film Critic, Dies at 83
R.I.P. Andrew Sarris. He is headed to the great balcony in the sky where he and Pauline Kael will eternally argue.
Andrew Sarris, on the Mount Rushmore of film criticism, died today.
Sorry to hear Andrew Sarris died today. I was in his class the day Pauline Kael died. We're running out of real film critics.
The sparring essays of Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael was invigorating reading as a young, wannabe film theorist.
The Provincetown Film Society wishes to note the passing of film critic and Festival friend Andrew Sarris. We...
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Andrew Sarris, the film critic who brought the auteur theory to the US and was Pauline Kael's worthy rival, died today.
He's with Pauline Kael now. R.I.P. Andrew Sarris. Raised the bar on the art of criticism.
Today, we're thinking of Andrew Sarris, one of the most revered and influential film critics of all time, who has died at 83.
RIP, Andrew Sarris. Thanks for setting an example for movie scribes like me. via
RIP Andrew Sarris. I took six or seven seminars from him (and his wife, Molly Haskell) during undergrad. A feisty legend. Most memorable were his rants about Pauline Kael. A feud for the ages.
I'll never forget the Andrew Sarris lecture at Columbia grad film school on how Cybill Shepherd's inverted nipples bugged Bogdanovich.
Somewhere in movie heaven Andrew Sarris is mud wrestling with Pauline Kael...
R.I.P. Andrew Sarris. A great writer and always taking chances (even if Harold Ramis doesn't agree).
If you've never read it, Kent Jones's appreciation of Andrew Sarris "Hail the Conquering Hero" (indeed) is a must:
Andrew Sarris, veteran film critic and proponent of the auteur theory, passes. I've read so much of his legendary clashes with Pauline Kael
I take great comfort in knowing that if there's a heaven, Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris just started arguing in it. RIP Mr. Sarris.
I can't find my favorite Andrew Sarris line, from his review of Raging Bull, anywhere online, so I will have to paraphrase: "Maybe Jake La Motta repented of the beatings he inflicted on the women in his life, or maybe his arms just got tired".
Andrew Sarris just passed away; somewhere in Valhalla, Pauline Kael prepares for battle again. Forecast: thunderstorms.
While I was more of a Pauline Kael kid, few critics are truly gamechangers. Andrew Sarris was one.
RIP Andrew Sarris. Now you and Pauline Kael are debating in critic heaven (regular people ***
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I suppose Andrew Sarris and Pauline Kael will meet again and argue at length about auteur theory.
Andrew Sarris, influential American film critic, has died. Perhaps best known for impassioned polemics vs. Pauline Kael
Andrew Sarris. The eternal opponent of Pauline Kael, and a pioneering film critic when movies mattered.
"All of us will always owe him everything." Jean-Luc Godard said that about Orson Welles. I'll say that about Andrew Sarris.
Andrew Sarris put Miller's Crossing on his 1990 top 10 but not GoodFellas. That's kinda bizarre...
“That’s O.K., I’ll go to Molly’s next wedding.”: Pauline Kael when invited to Andrew Sarris wedding. Sarris obit.
“Every aesthete in New York, Paris, and London wants to make a musical,” film critic Andrew Sarris joked at the height of French New Wave. As the Vietnam War escalated, one could have made a parallel assumption about another popular genre: Every Marxist intellectual wants to write a Western. The mos...
TCM at 2pm: THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING (1935) was a rare jaunt for John Ford in Frank Capra territory (the film was a Columbia release written by Robert Riskin and co-starring Jean Arthur). Edward G. Robinson plays a dual role, his typical Little Caesar-esque mobster and a meek, civilized man of taste closer to the man himself. The actor confronting his movie persona in the same frame was a trendy technique at the time (Boris Karloff in THE BLACK ROOM, Ronald Colman in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA), and it made for some clever, if overly explicit Manichean moralizing. The film is witty, but for auteurists the main interest is in the inflections Ford brings to the Capra model, in Andrew Sarris's view the director treats the scenario in the broad manner of a tall story rather than a folksy vignette.
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