Good fiction reveals feeling, refines events, locates importance and, though its methods are as mysterious as they are varied, intensifies the experience of living our own lives. – Vincent Canby
Born this date in 1924, Vincent Canby had the distinction of being both the chief film critic AND the chief theater critic for the New York Times – the only person to ever do so. As film critic from 1969-93 he reviewed more than 1,000 films. He then turned his critical eye to the theater where he did the theater reviews until his death in 2000.
He was such a respected writer and reviewer that Bob Hope requested that Canby be the one to write his obituary, but Canby died first. However, he still received the byline on Hope’s story since he had crafted most of the story prior to his own death and the Times didn’t think it could be topped.
The career of Vincent Canby is discussed in the film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, a wonderful and insightful piece of writing and movie-making that I highly recommend for all who love the silver screen and those who comment upon it.