1 Format 2 History
2.1 Post-Siskel and Ebert 2.2 Cancellation
3 See also 4 References 5 External links
Format The show featured two critics who would present short clips of movies in current release then debate the merits of the films, energetically defending their remarks if the other critic disagreed. A designated "dog of the week" was also featured, with "Spot the Wonder Dog" barking on cue as an introduction. Episodes from the first seven seasons ended with one of the hosts saying "See you at the movies." Many episodes from season eight ended with the hosts' reminder to "save us the aisle seats." Some episodes were known as Take 2 shows which replaced the review of recently released films with themed topics such as "Women in Danger", and slasher films of the 1970s and early 1980s. On one occasion, Siskel and Ebert invited the viewer into a day in their lives as they screened films. History
Title card from Opening Soon at a Theater Near You.
The show first aired in 1975 on a monthly basis under the name Opening
Soon at a Theater Near You, and after two successful seasons, was
renamed Sneak Previews. The show originally featured Roger Ebert, a
film critic from the
We both thought of ourselves as full-service, one-stop film critics. We didn't see why the other one was quite necessary. We had been linked in a Faustian television format that brought us success at the price of autonomy. No sooner had I expressed a verdict on a movie, my verdict, than here came Siskel with the arrogance to say I was wrong, or, for that matter, the condescension to agree with me. It really felt like that. It was not an act. When we disagreed, there was incredulity; when we agreed, there was a kind of relief. In the television biz, they talk about "chemistry." Not a thought was given to our chemistry. We just had it, because from the day the Chicago Tribune made Gene its film critic, we were professional enemies. We never had a single meaningful conversation before we started to work on our TV program. Alone together in an elevator, we would study the numbers changing above the door.
The tension between the two men made the show's production difficult and time-consuming at first:
Making this rivalry even worse was the tension of our early tapings. It would take eight hours to get one show in the can, with breaks for lunch, dinner and fights. I would break down, or he would break down, or one of us would do something different and throw the other off, or the accumulating angst would make our exchanges seem simply bizarre. There are many witnesses to the terror of those days. Only when we threw away our clipboards and 3x5 cards did we get anything done; we finally started ad-libbing and the show begin to work. We found we could tape a show in under an hour.
Over time the two men became close personal friends while remaining
professional rivals, and Ebert described their relationship before
Siskel's death as "no one else could possibly understand how
meaningless was the hate, how deep was the love".
Post-Siskel and Ebert
The success of the show led
At the Movies (U.S. TV series)
^ a b c d e f g "SISKEL and EBERT". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved 2010-11-30. ^ a b c Ebert, Roger (2009-02-17). "Remembering Gene". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 5, 2013. ^ a b "A Siskel & Ebert & Roeper timeline". Chicago Tribune. July 22, 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Up! Who Killed Bambi? Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens The Great Movies Ebertfest: Roger Ebert's Film Festival Ebert test Life Itself (film) RogerEbert.com