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He and his critic are mismatched
Airdate: Saturday - December 3, 1983


Last Update: 11-13-2012

Show Description
In a more innocent time when going to the movies was not the project it seems to be today, due to high ticket prices, transportation and lousy film fare, we looked upon the movies as just the right form of relaxation (for) the average person .... Slowly, film became an art form, and gradually it seemed, the writer about film was suddenly more important than the person sitting in the theater. As such, a tremendous horde of people who proclaimed that they knew more about the ''Art-of-the-motion-picture" than the average schmoe started blasting us with their opinions of the latest fare at the "ARTSY CINEMA VII," which just 15 years earlier was called Bijou. All of a sudden, moviegoing became dictated by the film critic, who with a few negative remarks could have a movie out of a theater in less than a week. As such, films ... that do not meet THEIR standards disappear and wonderful little movies are quickly forgotten. I was almost ready to live with this situation when I became outraged by perennial cretin Rex Reed's revolting review of the film, "A Christmas Story." This film was written by a person who is clearly the modern day equivalent of Mark Twain, George Ade and Robert Benchley. His name is Jean Shepherd. And there is no one in America who has a better talent for chronicling the daily lives of the common man, as he has illustrated through his long career as a writer, monologist and radio and TV performer. This new film is clear illustration of the Shepherd humor as it gives us a kick in the gut and warms our hearts at the same time. Unfortunately, Rex Reed is oblivious to the world west of the Russian Tea Room, and his snotty Upper-East-Side wealth-flaunting friends. So a movie about a kid's Christmas experiences in 1940 Indiana must have seemed foreign to him. He is confused by a depiction of people earning less than $5,000 a year trying to make the best out of their lives. So after seeing the film, he squats in front of his computer terminal at the New York Post (a newspaper perfectly suited for Reed's talent) and types in the words, "Pure kiddie korn. Jean Shepherd makes me want to throw up!"... So the film will probably die at the box office, Rex Reed will continue to bore us on TV talk shows about his standards for a great film and poor Jean Shepherd will probably not be recognized as the master humorist he is until 25 years after he dies. The names of Flick, Schwartz and Ludlow Kissell will be meaningless to everybody except Shepherd's thousands of fans. And back we'll go to movies featuring superstars in drag, foul-mouth comedians and the 79th variation of "Awesome! Totally awesome!" tax write-offs for teen-agers. Now, That's Entertainment. PETER DELANEY Livingston (Ed. Note: So read John Hurley's reviews instead. He loved "A Christmas Story")
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