By Mike Wilmington Wilmington@moviecitynews.com
Wilmington on Movies: Andrew Sarris (1928-2012)
ANDREW SARRIS (1928-2012)
Andy Sarris was my favorite movie critic because, in The American Cinema, he opened up a world for me, for all of us. That’s what a good critic, or a great one, does. Others opened doors as well, but Andy (no one I knew called him “Andrew”) opened it first and opened it wide– and took some lumps for doing it.
I don’t think everything in his book is gospel, or that auteurism doesn’t have some mistakes or misconceptions. I like every much some directors he at first low-rated (Lean, Wilder, Curtiz, Kazan). I feel he sometimes short-shrifted screenwriters in general. But what a world it was he gave us: from Hawks to Hitchcock, from Renoir to Rossellini, from Stanley Donen to Fritz Lang, from John Ford to Budd Boetticher to Chaplin to Ophuls to Orson Welles (“Rosebud!”) He gave us a great screening list, and a great companionable literary spirit to share it all with. And he could always revise his opinions — which I often wish he’d done for us, every five years. That would have been something to look forward to. Thanks Andy. Best to Molly. Goodbye, pal.
Lola Montes (Max Ophuls)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
The Searchers (John Ford)