Watch: Go Back in Time with Siskel & Ebert's TV Debut from 1975
by Ethan Anderton
July 2, 2014
This Independence Day weekend, Roger Ebert returns to the movies in the documentary Life Itself, based on the legendary film critic's memoir of the same name. Hoop Dreams director Steve James has painted a wonderful and honest portrait of the man known for putting his thumb up and down towards thousands of movies throughout his decorated career. So we figure there's no better time to look into the past when Ebert first took to TV with his would-be adversary and friend Gene Siskel, all the way back in 1975. Their first show was a mouthful, "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You," and it's full of 70s glory (and jumpy video like it's a bad VCR) with just a hint of the chemistry that makes these two a dynamic duo.
Here's the first episode of "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You" with Siskel & Ebert (via The Playlist):
Life Itself is directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams). In 2013, we lost Roger Ebert—arguably the nation's best-known and most influential movie critic. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself recounts Ebert’s fascinating and flawed journey—from politicized school newspaperman, to Chicago Sun-Times movie critic, to Pulitzer Prize winner, to television household name, to the miracle of finding love at 50, and finally his 'third act' as a major voice on the Internet when he could no longer physically speak. The documentary premiered at Sundance 2014 and online to Indiegogo supporters. Read Ethan's glowing review of the film here. Life Itself will arrive on VOD/iTunes and in limited theaters on July 4th.