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Hollywood’s Gatekeeper

The single greatest day in the history of American film criticism is August 14, 1967–the day that Bosley Crowther slammed Bonnie and Clyde in the New York Times.  You laugh!  That day film criticism became a full-intellectual-contact sport.  Crowther was nearly crucified in letters he received from outraged readers.  The “younger generation,” it appeared, did not share Crowther’s standards for movie violence nor his distaste for anti-heroes.  Crowther’s colleagues excoriated him in print–Pauline Kael famously began her unusually long review of the film, “How do you make a good movie in this country without being jumped on?”  Kael’s influence rose Read more