I have been watching At the Movies for years. (Yep… Years ago, when it aired on PBS!) I started watching it when Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewed the current movies. Their discussions never ceased to entertain my husband and me. We were saddened by Gene Siskel’s death. I always got the feeling that Siskel and Ebert respected and liked one another, even though they rarely agreed on a movie.
Enter Richard Roeper…
My husband and I continued watching At the Movies throughout Roeper’s tenure. The show used the same format to review the current movies. We were very sorry when Ebert left the show (due to illness) but continued to watch (and enjoy!) as Roeper had guest hosts fill Roger’s seat on the aisle.
Enter Lyons and Mankiewicz…
My husband watched the first two shows of this duo’s At the Movies, but refused to watch after that. Not only did the show have these two men reviewing the current movies, but they also had three more reviewers rating the movies and then “tabulating” their scores. (What a waste of time!!!) I had enjoyed Ben Mankiewicz on the Turner Classic Movies channel, but found that the rapport between him and Lyons just didn’t cut it.
Enter A. O. Scott and Michael Phillips…
YAHOO!!! These two critics were by far our favorite guest hosts who appeared with Roeper during Ebert’s illness. So while I’m sorry that Ebert decided not to come back to the show that he and Siskel started, and while I’m sorry that Roeper is no longer on At the Movies, I am not sorry that the show is back up to the standards I enjoyed oh-so-many years ago!
Joe Siegler says
Hey, caught your story. You actually watched more episodes with the two bens than I did. I checked out in the first episode, couldn’t take it.
Anyway, I recently wrote a long story on my blog about Siskel & Ebert (& Roeper). Check it out:
Danna - cozy mystery list says
Oh my gosh>>> It was called Sneak Previews back then. How did I forget that?!?
I enjoyed going down memory lane, while reading your very in-depth blog about the history of the show.Your article brought back those days when (you’re correct!!!) it was the only way to get reviews of current movies.
Thanks for posting your entry, very well-researched and an enjoyable read!