BOOTLEG FILES 731: “Sneak Previews” (PBS series starring Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived reissue value.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
In 1975, the Chicago public television station WTTW debuted a monthly show with the somewhat awkward title “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You.” The show featured two of Chicago’s most prominent film critics, Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, in a half-hour discussion regarding the merits and flaws of films in release. Clips from the films in question gave audiences a sampling of what they could expect on the big screen.
“I’ll see you at the movies.” – Roger Ebert’s Final Written Words.
It’s as I said in my review for “Starting Out in the Evening”: Come obscurity, irrelevance, success, or fame, a writer still has to write, regardless. In Roger Ebert’s case it was, come disease, sickness, and life altering illness, a writer still has to write. And Roger Ebert, no matter what he faced in his life, had to write. In the end, whether you agreed with him, hated his ability to raise controversy, or just had a relative indifference toward him, very few movie critics changed the world of cinema and the landscape of writing as he did. It’s with a heavy heart that I write about the passing of my favorite movie critic of all time, as Roger was a man who seemed to almost know he was dying.