Roger Ebert

Easton Press Roger Ebert books

The Great Movies - signed first edition - 2002
Life Itself - signed first edition - 2011


Film critic Roger Ebert

Roger Joseph Ebert, born on June 18, 1942, in Urbana, Illinois, was a highly influential American film critic, journalist, and screenwriter. His journey into the world of cinema began early, with a childhood passion for movies that would later evolve into a prolific career. Ebert's love for writing and journalism became evident during his high school years, where he served as the editor of the school newspaper. He went on to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a degree in journalism in 1964. His early experiences as a journalist laid the groundwork for his future career in film criticism.

In 1967, Roger Ebert joined the Chicago Sun-Times as their film critic, a position he held for an impressive 46 years until his death in 2013. He gained national prominence through his thoughtful and engaging reviews, becoming the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1975. Ebert was known for his accessible writing style, his ability to connect with a broad audience, and his deep understanding of cinema. Ebert's influence extended beyond print media; he became a household name through his television work. Alongside Gene Siskel, a critic from the Chicago Tribune, Ebert co-hosted the popular film review show Siskel & Ebert at the Movies and later Ebert & Roeper, where the famous "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rating system was introduced. The show's success further solidified Ebert's status as a trusted and respected voice in film criticism.

In 2002, Ebert faced a significant challenge when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Despite undergoing multiple surgeries and losing the ability to speak, he continued to write prolifically, maintaining his presence in the world of film criticism through his blog and social media. Apart from his criticism, Roger Ebert authored numerous books, including memoirs, essay collections, and guides to movies. His autobiography, "Life Itself," published in 2011, provided a candid and introspective look into his life, career, and battles with illness. Roger Ebert passed away on April 4, 2013, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of film criticism. His contributions not only shaped the way audiences engage with movies but also elevated the role of the film critic as a cultural commentator. Ebert's impact on the industry and his ability to bridge the gap between critics and the general public make him a revered figure in the history of cinema.


The Great Movies

America’s most trusted and best-known film critic Roger Ebert presents one hundred brilliant essays on some of the best movies ever made.

Roger Ebert, the famed film writer and critic, wrote biweekly essays for a feature called "The Great Movies," in which he offered a fresh and fervent appreciation of a great film. The Great Movies collects one hundred of these essays, each one of them a gem of critical appreciation and an amalgam of love, analysis, and history that will send readers back to that film with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasm or perhaps to an avid first-time viewing.

Ebert’s selections range widely across genres, periods, and nationalities, and from the highest achievements in film art to justly beloved and wildly successful popular entertainments. Roger Ebert manages in these essays to combine a truly populist appreciation for our most important form of popular art with a scholar’s erudition and depth of knowledge and a sure aesthetic sense. Wonderfully enhanced by stills selected by Mary Corliss, the film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, The Great Movies is a treasure trove for film lovers of all persuasions, an unrivaled guide for viewers, and a book to return to again and again.

Life Itself

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

Roger Ebert's journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime's adventures.

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese.

This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.

"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out."


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