Nothing here deserves to be characterized as morbid. Indeed, quite the opposite.
Film critics Richard and Mary Corliss composed this poem to commemorate Roger Ebert's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It's the greatest reward that the movies bestow On old Oscar winners (and Oscar Micheaux). Stars who were top-drawer, and stars who were shelved, Rub memories together on Hollywood Blvd. But who is to say if each honor is earned Or if names on that street really ought to be spurned? The stars need someone to give one last review. Now they've got their critic, their laureate -- you. "We both think it's right that they've made such a fuss," Say these critics, these colleagues, the Corlisses -- us.
On "At the Movies" you've sure talked the talk. But much more important, you've walked the walk. You search out good pictures at every film festival, You write early and often, and smartly – and best-of-all Your columns are eloquent and multi-pronged; You fight for what's right, and for friends who've been wronged. You could just give each movie a finger or thumb But you've done so much more, and that's why you've become The Pulitzer winner. No stature is higher, Except maybe scripter for the late, great Russ Meyer.
You've now been immortalized, there in concrete, At the feet of the fruitcakes who frequent that street. To glance at your name, and then to stride through, Is the only way they'll ever walk over you.
We knew all along, but now you really are, Dear Roger, our Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
-- with love and admiration from Mary and Richard
Richard Corliss is the film critic for TIME Magazine. Mary Corliss, also a critic and writer, is the creator and long-time curator of the now-in-limbo Film Stills Archive at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and editor of the stills used in Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" books.
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