Those TV Film Critics

While every word in Goldstein's blast at the inanity of TV film criticism is true, nevertheless, the holier-than-thou tone throughout turns the article into one long sour grape.

To fall back on that oldest of cliches, Goldstein should clean his own house first and remember that whatever flaws are found on TV can be equalled in the print media any day of the week.

Under "quirks" of the TV critics, Goldstein could have mentioned that most of The Times' reviewing staff is caught in a time-warp, unable to accept any other singer than Judy Garland, any other director except Orson Welles.

Another quirk not to be overlooked is Sheila Benson's ongoing and oft-mentioned habit of gushing about some film or performance (such as Anne Bancroft in "Garbo Talks") as if it were the greatest in film history, then not even mentioning it at year's end.

Some of Gary Franklin's and Rex Reed's favorite pictures strike Goldstein as weird. But every year Calendar runs a very detailed recap of print critiques from all over the country, showing that just about every film is loved by some print critic somewhere.

Weird is weird, Mr. Goldstein, whether in print or on TV.

In my book, the only Times reviewer worth being retained on salary is Charles Champlin. I may not always agree with his opinions--no two people since time began have ever agreed on everything--but I respect them because Champlin doesn't spend his time trying to play "Mr. Hip-Smart-Guy" and because his reviews contain a quality missing in Goldstein-Wilmington-Benson & Co.: Compassion.

Back to the bush leagues, Mr. Goldstein. You struck out again. Or as your friends Siskbert would say on TV, "Thumbs down."


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