Vincent Canby (July 27, 1924 – October 15, 2000) was an American
film and theatre critic who served as the chief film critic for The
New York Times from 1969 until the early 1990s, then its chief theatre
critic from 1994 until his death in 2000. He reviewed more than one
thousand films during his tenure there.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
5 External links
Canby was born in Chicago, the son of Katharine Anne (née Vincent)
and Lloyd Canby. He attended boarding school in Christchurch,
Virginia, with novelist William Styron; and the two became friends. He
introduced Styron to the works of
E.B. White and Ernest Hemingway; and
the pair hitchhiked to Richmond to buy For Whom the Bell Tolls.
After war service in the Pacific theater, he attended Dartmouth
He obtained his first job as a journalist in 1948 for the Chicago
Journal of Commerce. In 1951, he left
Chicago for New York and was
employed as a film critic by Variety for six years before, finally,
starting to work for The New York Times.
Canby was an enthusiastic supporter of many filmmakers; notably
Stanley Kubrick, Spike Lee, Jane Campion, Mike Leigh, Rainer Werner
James Ivory and Woody Allen, who credited Canby's rave
Take the Money and Run
Take the Money and Run as a crucial point in his career.
On another hand, Canby was also heavily critical of some otherwise
acclaimed films, such as Rocky, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the
Jedi, Night of the Living Dead, After Hours, Blazing Saddles, A
Christmas Story, Witness, Mask, The Natural, Rain Man, The Exorcist,
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Deliverance, The Godfather Part
II, Alien and The Thing. Among the best known texts written by Canby
was an extremely negative review of the movie Heaven's Gate by Michael
In the early 1990s, Canby switched his attention from film to theatre;
he was named the chief theatre critic in 1994.
Canby, was also an occasional playwright and novelist, penning the
novels Living Quarters (1975) and Unnatural Scenery (1979) and the
plays End of the War (1978), After All (1981) and The Old Flag (1984),
a drama set during the civil war.
The career of
Vincent Canby is discussed in the film For the Love of
Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism by contemporary critics
such as The Nation’s Stuart Klawans, who talks of Canby’s
influence for a quarter century as America’s most prominent
"make-or-break" critic, and A.O. Scott, who praises his New York Times
predecessor for "always finding the right tone" in his reviews.
Canby never married, but was, for many years, the companion of English
author Penelope Gilliatt. He died from cancer in
October 15, 2000. Almost three years later, upon the death of Bob
Hope, the late Canby's byline appeared on the front page of The New
York Times. Canby had written the bulk of Hope's obituary for the
newspaper several years before.
^ Canby, Vincent. "
Vincent Canby Reviews – Best Movie Reviews –
Movies – New York Times". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved
Vincent Canby Biography (1924–2000)". Filmreference.com.
^ Carvajal, Doreen (November 11, 2000). "Recalling the Civilized Voice
Of a Critic, Vincent Canby". The New York Times. Retrieved February
^ a b "Vincent Canby, Prolific Film and Theater Critic for The Times,
Is Dead at 76". The New York Times. October 16, 2000.
Take the Money and Run
Take the Money and Run (1969)",
The New York Times
The New York Times review by
Vincent Canby, August 19, 1969.
^ Anderson, John. "Movie Reviews, Showtimes and Trailers – Movies
– New York Times – The New York Times". Movies2.nytimes.com.
^ a b Malcolm, Derek (October 17, 2000). "Obituary: Vincent Canby".
The Guardian. London. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
^ "Bob Hope, Comedic Master and Entertainer of Troops, Dies at 100".
The New York Times. July 28, 2003.
Vincent Canby Reviews at The New York Times
Vincent Canby on IMDb
ISNI: 0000 0000 4981 2959
BNF: cb135954598 (data)