Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States metonymously referred to as Hollywood, has had a large effect on the film industry in general since the early 20th century. The dominant style of American cinema is classical Hollywood cinema, which developed from 1917 to 1960 and characterizes most films made there to this day. While Frenchmen Auguste and Louis Lumière are credited with the birth of modern cinema, American cinema soon came to be a dominant force in the industry as it emerged, it produces the total largest number of films of any single-language national cinema, with more than 700 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand produce films in the same language, they are not considered part of the Hollywood system. Hollywood has been considered a transnational cinema. Classical Hollywood produced multiple language versions of some titles in Spanish or French. Contemporary Hollywood offshores production to Canada and New Zealand.
Hollywood is considered the oldest film industry where earliest film studios and production companies emerged, it is the birthplace of various genres of cinema—among them comedy, action, the musical, horror, science fiction, the war epic—having set an example for other national film industries. In 1878, Eadweard Muybridge demonstrated the power of photography to capture motion. In 1894, the world's first commercial motion-picture exhibition was given in New York City, using Thomas Edison's kinetoscope; the United States produced the world's first sync-sound musical film, The Jazz Singer, in 1927, was at the forefront of sound-film development in the following decades. Since the early 20th century, the US film industry has been based in and around the 30 Mile Zone in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Director D. W. Griffith was central to the development of a film grammar. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane is cited in critics' polls as the greatest film of all time; the major film studios of Hollywood are the primary source of the most commercially successful and most ticket selling movies in the world, such as The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Star Wars, E.
T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Avatar. Moreover, many of Hollywood's highest-grossing movies have generated more box-office revenue and ticket sales outside the United States than films made elsewhere. Today, American film studios collectively generate several hundred movies every year, making the United States one of the most prolific producers of films in the world and a leading pioneer in motion picture engineering and technology; the first recorded instance of photographs capturing and reproducing motion was a series of photographs of a running horse by Eadweard Muybridge, which he took in Palo Alto, California using a set of still cameras placed in a row. Muybridge's accomplishment led inventors everywhere to attempt to make similar devices. In the United States, Thomas Edison was among the first to produce such a device, the kinetoscope; the history of cinema in the United States can trace its roots to the East Coast where, at one time, Fort Lee, New Jersey was the motion-picture capital of America.
The industry got its start at the end of the 19th century with the construction of Thomas Edison's "Black Maria", the first motion-picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey. The cities and towns on the Hudson River and Hudson Palisades offered land at costs less than New York City across the river and benefited as a result of the phenomenal growth of the film industry at the turn of the 20th century; the industry began attracting both capital and an innovative workforce, when the Kalem Company began using Fort Lee in 1907 as a location for filming in the area, other filmmakers followed. In 1909, a forerunner of Universal Studios, the Champion Film Company, built the first studio. Others followed and either built new studios or who leased facilities in Fort Lee. In the 1910s and 1920s, film companies such as the Independent Moving Pictures Company, Peerless Studios, The Solax Company, Éclair Studios, Goldwyn Picture Corporation, American Méliès, World Film Company, Biograph Studios, Fox Film Corporation, Pathé Frères, Metro Pictures Corporation, Victor Film Company, Selznick Pictures Corporation were all making pictures in Fort Lee.
Such notables as Mary Pickford got their start at Biograph Studios. In New York, the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, was built during the silent film era, was used by the Marx Brothers and W. C. Fields; the Edison Studios were located in the Bronx. Chelsea, Manhattan was frequently used. Picture City, Florida was a planned site for a movie picture production center in the 1920s, but due to the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, the idea collapsed and Picture City returned to its original name of Hobe Sound. Other major centers of film production included Chicago, Texas and Cuba; the film patents wars of the early 20th century led to the spread of film companies across the US Many worked with equipment for which they did not own the rights and thus filming in New York could be dangerous. By 1912, most major film companies had set up production facilities in Southern California near or in Los Angeles because of the region's favorable year-round weather. In early 1910, director D. W. Griffith was sent by the Biograph Company to the west coast with his acting troupe, consisting of actors Blanche Sweet, Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and others.
They started filmi
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone is an American actor, director and producer. He is well known for his Hollywood action roles, including boxer Rocky Balboa in the Rocky series, soldier John Rambo in the five Rambo films, mercenary Barney Ross in the three The Expendables films and structural engineer Ray Breslin in the three Escape Plan films, he wrote or co-wrote most of the 16 films in the first three popular franchises and directed many of them. Stallone's film Rocky was inducted into the National Film Registry, had its props placed in the Smithsonian Museum, his use of the front entrance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the Rocky series led the area to be nicknamed the Rocky Steps, Philadelphia has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum. It was announced on December 7, 2010, that he was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the non-participant category. In 1977, Stallone was nominated for two Academy Awards for Rocky, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor.
He became the third man in history to receive these two nominations for the same film, after Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles. He received positive reviews, as well as his first Golden Globe Award win and a third Academy Award nomination, for reprising the role of Rocky Balboa in Ryan Coogler's 2015 film Creed. Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone was born in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, on July 6, 1946, the elder son of Francesco "Frank" Stallone Sr. a hairdresser and beautician, Jacqueline "Jackie" Stallone, an astrologer and promoter of women's wrestling. His Italian father was born in Gioia del Colle and moved to the U. S. in the 1930s, while his American mother is of French and Ukrainian-Jewish descent. His younger brother is musician Frank Stallone. Complications suffered by Stallone's mother during labor forced her obstetricians to use two pairs of forceps during his birth; as a result, the lower left side of his face is paralyzed, an accident which gave him his signature snarling look and slurred speech.
He was baptized Catholic. His father moved the family to Washington, D. C. in the early 1950s to open a beauty school. In 1954, his mother opened a women's gym called Barbella's. Stallone attended Notre Dame Academy and Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, as well as Charlotte Hall Military Academy, prior to attending Miami Dade College and the University of Miami. While Stallone was in Switzerland, he played a restaurant patron, in a scene with Robert Redford and Camilla Sparv, in the sports drama, Downhill Racer. Stallone had his first starring role in the softcore pornography feature film The Party at Kitty and Stud's, he was paid US$200 for two days' work. Stallone explained that he had done the film out of desperation after being evicted from his apartment and finding himself homeless for several days, he has said that he slept three weeks in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City prior to seeing a casting notice for the film. In the actor's words, "it was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end – the end – of my rope".
The film was released several years as Italian Stallion, in order to cash in on Stallone's newfound fame. Stallone starred in the erotic off-Broadway stage play Score which ran for 23 performances at the Martinique Theatre from October 28 to November 15, 1971, was made into the 1974 film Score by Radley Metzger. In 1972, Stallone appeared in the film No Place to Hide, re-cut and retitled Rebel, the second version featuring Stallone as its star. After the style of Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily?, this film, in 1990, was re-edited from outtakes from the original movie and newly shot matching footage redubbed into an award-winning parody of itself titled A Man Called... Rainbo. Stallone's other first few film roles were minor, included brief uncredited appearances in Pigeons as a party guest, Woody Allen's Bananas as a subway thug, in the psychological thriller Klute as an extra dancing in a club, in the Jack Lemmon film The Prisoner of Second Avenue as a youth. In the Lemmon film, Jack Lemmon's character chases and mugs Stallone, thinking that Stallone's character is a pickpocket.
According to actor Elliott Gould, Stallone confessed to being in MASH as an extra. He had his second starring role in The Lords of Flatbush, in 1974. In 1975, he played supporting roles in Farewell, My Lovely, he made guest appearances on the TV series Police Kojak. Stallone gained worldwide fame with his starring role in the smash hit Rocky. On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight; that night Stallone went home, after three days and 20 straight hours, he had written the script, but Stallone subsequently denied that Wepner provided any inspiration for it. Other possible inspirations for the film may have included Rocky Graziano's autobiography Somebody Up There Likes Me, the movie of the same name. Wepner filed a lawsuit, settled with Stallone for an undisclosed amount. Stallone attempted to sell the script to multiple studios, with the intention of playing the lead role himself. Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff became interested and offered Stallone US$350,000 for the rights, but had their own casting ideas for the lead role, including Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds.
Stallone refused to sell unless he played the le
Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Richard Donner, produced by Joel Silver, written by Shane Black. It stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover alongside Gary Busey, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, Mitchell Ryan. In Lethal Weapon, a pair of mismatched LAPD detectives – Martin Riggs, a former Green Beret who has become suicidal following the death of his wife, Roger Murtaugh, a 50-year-old veteran of the force – work together as partners; the film was released on March 6, 1987. Upon its release, Lethal Weapon grossed over $120 million and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing, it spawned a franchise that includes a television series. Shortly after his 50th birthday, LAPD Homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh is partnered with Sergeant Martin Riggs, a transfer from narcotics. Riggs, a former Special Forces soldier who lost his wife in a car accident three years prior, has turned suicidal, has been taking his aggression out on suspects, leading to his superiors requesting his transfer.
Murtaugh and Riggs find themselves facing off with each other. Murtaugh is contacted by Michael Hunsaker, a Vietnam War buddy and banker, but before they can meet, Murtaugh learns that Hunsaker's daughter, Amanda committed suicide by jumping from her apartment balcony. Autopsy reports show Amanda to have been poisoned with drain cleaner, making the case a possible homicide. Hunsaker tells Murtaugh that he was concerned about his daughter's involvement in drugs and pornography, was trying to get Murtaugh to help her escape that life. Murtaugh and Riggs attempt to question Amanda's pimp, but find a drug lab on the premises, leading to a shootout. Riggs saves the life of Murtaugh, who starts to tolerate his new partner. Though the case seems closed, Riggs is aware that the only witness to Amanda's apparent suicide was Dixie, another prostitute, working away from her normal streets, they attempt to question Dixie at her home. Riggs finds parts of a mercury switch from bomb debris; the pair approach Hunsaker before Amanda's funeral, where he reveals that he had been part of "Shadow Company," a heroin-smuggling operation run by former special forces operators from the Vietnam War, masterminded by retired General Peter McAllister and his right-hand chief enforcer, Mr. Joshua.
Hunsaker had been laundering the money, but wanted to get out, when McAllister found out he had contacted Murtaugh, the general had Amanda killed in retaliation. As Murtaugh tries to get Hunsaker to reveal everything he knows about Shadow Company, Joshua arrives in a helicopter and kills Hunsaker. Shadow Company attempts to kill Riggs in a drive-by shooting, but he is saved by a bulletproof vest. Murtaugh and Riggs fake his murder to gain the upper hand. Shadow Company kidnaps Murtaugh's daughter Rianne and demand that Murtaugh turn himself over to them for her return. Murtaugh and Riggs plan an ambush at the exchange at El Mirage Lake with Riggs providing sniper support, but Riggs is caught by McAllister and the trio are taken to an unknown location. Murtaugh and Riggs are tortured for information, but Riggs manages to overpower the captors, frees Murtaugh and Rianne, they escape to find themselves at a busy nightclub used as a front for Shadow Company. With their cover blown, McAllister and Joshua attempt to escape separately.
Joshua manages to get away, but McAllister's driver is shot by Murtaugh, causing the general's car to veer out of control and get struck by a bus on Hollywood Boulevard, McAllister is killed when a fire causes hand grenades in the car to detonate. Murtaugh and Riggs race to Murtaugh's home, knowing that Joshua will come after his family for revenge, they arrive in time to prevent him, Riggs beats Joshua in a violent brawl on the front lawn. As backup officers arrive to take Joshua into custody, he breaks free and steals a gun from one of the patrolmen, but Murtaugh and Riggs pull their guns and shoot Joshua dead. After visiting his wife's grave, Riggs spends Christmas with the Murtaughs, having become best friends with Murtaugh and bonding with the rest of the family. Riggs gives Murtaugh a symbolic gift: a hollow-point bullet which he had been saving to commit suicide, as he does not need it anymore. Recent UCLA graduate Shane Black wrote the screenplay in mid-1985. Black stated that his intention was to do an "urban western" inspired by Dirty Harry where a violent character "reviled for what he did, what he is capable of, the things he believed in" is recruited for being the one that could solve the problem.
The protagonists would be everymen policemen, "guys shuffling in a town like Los Angeles searching for something noble as justice when they're just guys in washed and worn suits seeking a paycheck". According to Black, his original first draft of the script was different and much darker than the final film, it was 140 pages long and both the plot and characters were different, action scenes were much bigger. The ending of the script contained a chase scene with helicopters and a trailer truck full of cocaine exploding over Hollywood Hills with cocaine snowing over the Hollywood sign. Black hated this first draft and discarded it but picked it up again and re-wrote it into the new drafts that were used for filming, his agent sent the Lethal Weapon script to various studios, being rejected before Warner Bros. executive Mark Canton took a liking to it. Canton brou
Comedy horror is a literary and film genre that combines elements of comedy and horror fiction. Comedy horror has been described as able to be categorized under three types: "black comedy and spoof." It crosses over with the black comedy genre. Comedy horror can parody or subtly spoof horror clichés as its main source of humour or use those elements to take a story in a different direction, for example in The Cabin in the Woods or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. Author Bruce G. Hallenbeck cites the short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving as "the first great comedy horror story"; the story made readers "laugh one moment and scream the next", its premise was based on mischief found during the holiday Halloween. Horror and comedy have been associated with each other since the early days of horror novels. Shortly after the publication of Frankenstein, comedic parodies appeared. Edgar Allan Poe put humor and horror on the same continuum, many nineteenth century authors used black humor in their horror stories.
Author Robert Bloch called them "opposite sides of the same coin". In comedy horror film, gallows humor is a common element. While comedy horror films provide scares for audiences, they provide something that dramatic horror films do not: "the permission to laugh at your fears, to whistle past the cinematic graveyard and feel secure in the knowledge that the monsters can't get you". In the era of silent film, the source material for early comedy horror films came from stage performances instead of literature. One example, The Ghost Breaker, was based on a 1909 play, though the film's horror elements were more interesting to the audience than the comedy elements. In the United States following the trauma of World War I, film audiences sought to see horror on screen but tempered with humor; the "pioneering" comedy horror film was One Exciting Night, written and produced by D. W. Griffith, who noticed the stage success of the genre and foresaw a cinematic translation. While the film included blackface performances, Griffith included footage of a hurricane for a climactic storm.
As an early experiment, the various genres were not well-balanced with horror and comedy, films improved the balance and took more sophisticated approaches. Charles Bramesco of Vulture.com identifies Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein as the first commercially successful comedy horror film. Its success established it as commercially viable. List of comedy horror films List of genres Zombie comedy – a subgenre involving zombies Hallenbeck, Bruce G.. Comedy-Horror Films: A Chronological History, 1914–2008. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-3332-9. Och, Dana. Transnational Horror Across Visual Media: Fragmented Bodies. Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies. Taylor & Francis. Pp. 201–208. ISBN 978-1-136-74484-6. Carroll, Noël. "Horror and Humor". Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 235–253
Espionage or spying is the act of obtaining secret or confidential information without the permission of the holder of the information. Spies help agencies uncover secret information. Any individual or spy ring, in the service of a government, company or independent operation, can commit espionage; the practice is clandestine, as it is by definition unwelcome and in many cases illegal and punishable by law. Espionage is a method of intelligence gathering which includes information gathering from public sources. Espionage is part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern. However, the term tends to be associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage. One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about the enemy is by infiltrating the enemy's ranks; this is the job of the spy. Spies can return information concerning the strength of enemy forces, they can find dissidents within the enemy's forces and influence them to defect.
In times of crisis, spies sabotage the enemy in various ways. Counterintelligence is the practice of thwarting enemy intelligence-gathering. All nations have strict laws concerning espionage and the penalty for being caught is severe. However, the benefits gained through espionage are so great that most governments and many large corporations make use of it. Information collection techniques used in the conduct of clandestine human intelligence include operational techniques, asset recruiting, tradecraft. Today, espionage agencies target terrorists as well as state actors. Since 2008, the United States has charged at least 57 defendants for attempting to spy for China. Intelligence services value certain intelligence collection techniques over others; the former Soviet Union, for example, preferred human sources over research in open sources, while the United States has tended to emphasize technological methods such as SIGINT and IMINT. In the Soviet Union, both political and military intelligence officers were judged by the number of agents they recruited.
Espionage agents are trained experts in a targeted field so they can differentiate mundane information from targets of value to their own organizational development. Correct identification of the target at its execution is the sole purpose of the espionage operation. Broad areas of espionage targeting expertise include: Natural resources: strategic production identification and assessment. Agents are found among bureaucrats who administer these resources in their own countries Popular sentiment towards domestic and foreign policies. Agents recruited from field journalistic crews, exchange postgraduate students and sociology researchers Strategic economic strengths. Agents recruited from science and technology academia, commercial enterprises, more from among military technologists Military capability intelligence. Agents are trained by military espionage education facilities, posted to an area of operation with covert identities to minimize prosecution Counterintelligence operations targeting opponents' intelligence services themselves, such as breaching confidentiality of communications, recruiting defectors or moles Although the news media may speak of "spy satellites" and the like, espionage is not a synonym for all intelligence-gathering disciplines.
It is a specific form of human source intelligence. Codebreaking, aircraft or satellite photography, research in open publications are all intelligence gathering disciplines, but none of them is considered espionage. Many HUMINT activities, such as prisoner interrogation, reports from military reconnaissance patrols and from diplomats, etc. are not considered espionage. Espionage is the disclosure of sensitive information to people who are not cleared for that information or access to that sensitive information. Unlike other forms of intelligence collection disciplines, espionage involves accessing the place where the desired information is stored or accessing the people who know the information and will divulge it through some kind of subterfuge. There are exceptions to physical meetings, such as the Oslo Report, or the insistence of Robert Hanssen in never meeting the people who bought his information; the US defines espionage towards itself as "The act of obtaining, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation".
Black's Law Dictionary defines espionage as: "... gathering, transmitting, or losing... information related to the national defense". Espionage is a violation of United States law, 18 U. S. C. §§ 792–798 and Article 106a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice". The United States, like most nations, conducts espionage against other nations, under the control of the National Clandestine Service. Britain's espionage activities are controlled by the Secret Intelligence Service. A spy is a person employed to seek out top secret information from a source. Within the United States Intelligence Community, "asset" is a more common usage. A case officer or Special Agent, who may have diplomatic status and directs the human collector. Cutouts are couriers who do not know the case officer but transfer messages. A
Freebie and the Bean
Freebie and the Bean is a 1974 American action-comedy film about two off-beat police detectives who wreak havoc in San Francisco attempting to bring down a local organized crime boss. The picture, a precursor to the buddy cop film genre popularized a decade stars James Caan, Alan Arkin, Loretta Swit and Valerie Harper. Harper was nominated for the Golden Globe for New Star of the Year for playing the Hispanic wife of Alan Arkin; the film was directed by Richard Rush. An article in Rolling Stone magazine alleged that Stanley Kubrick called Freebie and the Bean the best film of 1974. Arkin and Caan would not appear in another movie together until the 2008 film adaptation of Get Smart. Freebie and Bean are a pair of maverick detectives with the SFPD Intelligence Squad; the volatile, gratuity-seeking Freebie is trying to get promoted to the vice squad to garner perks for his retirement while the neurotic and fastidious Bean has ambitions to make lieutenant. Against a backdrop of Super Bowl weekend in San Francisco, the partners are trying to conclude a 14-month investigation, digging through garbage to gather evidence against well-connected racketeer Red Meyers, when they discover that a hit man from Detroit is after Meyers as well.
After rejecting their pretext arrest of Meyers to protect him, the district attorney orders them to keep him alive until Monday. After locating and shooting the primary hit man, distracted by Bean's suspicions that his wife is having an affair with the landscaper, they continue their investigation seeking a key witness against Meyers who can explain and corroborate the evidence. In the midst of this, they foil a second hit on Meyers by a backup team, leading to a destructive vehicle and foot pursuit through the city, after which they learn that Meyers is planning to fly to Miami before Monday. Tailing him, they receive word that their witness has been located and a warrant issued for Meyers' arrest. Unbeknownst to them, the hooker Freebie has picked up is a female impersonator and another hit man. During the arrest attempt Bean is shot by the hit man, who flees with Meyers into the stadium where the Super Bowl is underway. Freebie corners the hit man in a women's restroom, despite being shot himself, rescues a hostage and kills the hit man.
The D. A. arrives after the shootings and tells Freebie that the warrant is canceled because the witness was assassinated on the way to the station. Freebie goes nuts and demands to be allowed to arrest Meyers, only to find that he has died of a heart attack. Freebie is further demoralized to learn that the evidence they gathered was planted by Meyers' wife in an extra-marital conspiracy with the lieutenant in command of their squad. Bean is not dead after all, in the ambulance the two wounded partners engage in a free-for-all, blaming each other for their injuries, causing yet another accident. James Caan as Freebie Alan Arkin as Bean Loretta Swit as Mildred Meyers, Red's wife Jack Kruschen as Red Meyers Alex Rocco as the D. A. Mike Kellin as Lt. Rosen Paul Koslo as Whitey Valerie Harper as Consuelo Linda Marsh as Freebie's Girl Christopher Morley as Transvestite Maurice Argent as Tailor The comedy followed on the heels of two popular action films about the San Francisco Police and Dirty Harry, incorporates plot elements prominent in both.
Key scenes were shot on location in early 1973 in San Francisco at Candlestick Park home of the Major League Baseball San Francisco Giants, the home of the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers. The plot includes the protagonists’ repeated "totaling" of a series of their own unmarked police vehicles during three different chase-crash sequences. One sequence was filmed on an elevated portion of the since-demolished Embarcadero Freeway, ending with their police vehicle car crashing into an apartment building. After the car lands in an elderly couple's bedroom as they are watching television, Arkin’s character collapses from nervous shock against the wall as Caan’s character calls for a tow truck, adding that their location is “on the third floor”; the couple retains their aplomb throughout. Plans to distribute the film in early 1974 were shelved due to concerns about competition with Peter Hyams' similar Busting. Freebie and the Bean was issued as a Christmas release, became a substantial box office success.
It earned rentals in North America of $12.5 million. The film was released on DVD in 2009 through Warner Home Video's Warner Archive label. A short-lived nine-episode television series based on the film and sharing its title, starring Tom Mason and Héctor Elizondo in the title roles, was broadcast on CBS on Saturday nights at 9:00 PM in December 1980 and January 1981. Tom Mason as Freebie Héctor Elizondo as Bean William Daniels as the District Attorney Mel Stewart as Rodney "Axle" Axel Carmen Filpi as Wally the Wino List of American films of 1974 Brooks and Marsh, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946–Present Freebie and the Bean on IMDb Freebie and the Bean at the TCM Movie Database
Roger Joseph Ebert was an American film critic, journalist and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, followed by several variously named At the Movies programs; the two verbally traded humorous barbs while discussing films. They created and trademarked the phrase "Two Thumbs Up", used when both hosts gave the same film a positive review. After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert continued hosting the show with various co-hosts and starting in 2000, with Richard Roeper. Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times said Ebert "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic", Tom Van Riper of Forbes described him as "the most powerful pundit in America", Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him "the best-known film critic in America".
Ebert lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands beginning in 2002. In 2006, he required treatment necessitating the removal of his lower jaw, leaving him disfigured and costing him the ability to speak or eat normally, his ability to write remained unimpaired and he continued to publish both online and in print until his death on April 4, 2013. Roger Joseph Ebert was born in Urbana, the only child of Annabel, a bookkeeper, Walter Harry Ebert, an electrician, he was raised Roman Catholic, attending St. Mary's elementary school and serving as an altar boy in Urbana, his paternal grandparents were German his maternal ancestry was Irish and Dutch. Ebert's interest in journalism began when he was a student at Urbana High School, where he was a sports writer for The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois. In his senior year, he was class president and editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, The Echo. In 1958, he won the Illinois High School Association state speech championship in "radio speaking", an event that simulates radio newscasts.
Regarding his early influences in film criticism, Ebert wrote in the 1998 parody collection Mad About the Movies: Ebert began taking classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as an early-entrance student, completing his high school courses while taking his first university class. After graduating from Urbana High School in 1960, Ebert attended and received his undergraduate degree in 1964. While at the University of Illinois, Ebert worked as a reporter for The Daily Illini and served as its editor during his senior year while continuing to work as a reporter for the News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; as an undergraduate, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and president of the U. S. Student Press Association. One of the first movie reviews he wrote was a review of La Dolce Vita, published in The Daily Illini in October 1961. Ebert spent a semester as a master's student in the department of English there before attending the University of Cape Town on a Rotary fellowship for a year.
He returned from Cape Town to his graduate studies at Illinois for two more semesters and after being accepted as a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, he prepared to move to Chicago. He needed a job to support himself while he worked on his doctorate and so applied to the Chicago Daily News, hoping that, as he had sold freelance pieces to the Daily News, including an article on the death of writer Brendan Behan, he would be hired by editor Herman Kogan. Instead Kogan referred Ebert to the city editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim Hoge, who hired Ebert as a reporter and feature writer at the Sun-Times in 1966, he attended doctoral classes at the University of Chicago while working as a general reporter at the Sun-Times for a year. After movie critic Eleanor Keane left the Sun-Times in April 1967, editor Robert Zonka gave the job to Ebert; the load of graduate school and being a film critic proved too much, so Ebert left the University of Chicago to focus his energies on film criticism.
Ebert began his career as a film critic in 1967. That same year, he met film critic Pauline Kael for the first time at the New York Film Festival. After he sent her some of his columns, she told him they were "the best film criticism being done in American newspapers today"; that same year, Ebert's first book, a history of the University of Illinois titled Illini Century: One Hundred Years of Campus Life, was published by the University's press. In 1969, his review of Night of the Living Dead was published in Reader's Digest. Ebert co-wrote the screenplay for the 1970 Russ Meyer film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and sometimes joked about being responsible for the film, poorly received on its release yet has become a cult classic. Ebert and Meyer made Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, Up!, other films, were involved in the ill-fated Sex Pistols movie Who Killed Bambi? Starting in 1968, Ebert worked for the University of Chicago as an adjunct lecturer, teaching a night class on film at the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.
In 1975, Ebert received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. As of 2007, his reviews were syndicated to more than 200 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Ebert publish