Rex was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and grew up in Louisiana. He became one of the most prolific movie critics in the country, and for decades has written entertainment columns for The New York Observer.
In 1970, Rex made his movie debut, playing Myron in Myra Breckinridge (1970) - Myron was the young man whose post sex-change operation persona was played by Raquel Welch. But Rex's success came in reviewing movies, not starring in them.
Rex currently lives in New York - at the Dakota, one of Manhattan's most expensive and exclusive apartment buildings (John Lennon was shot there). Rex also owns a spread in an elite corner of rural Connecticut, and is a single man-about-town. Movie stars may come and go, but movie reviews by Rex Reed go on forever.
Arrested for shoplifting three CDs from a record store in February, 2000.
April 2000: Manhattan Judge Suzanne Mondo said she'd dismiss charges against Rex Reed if the film critic/columnist stayed out of trouble for 6 months. That happened in October 2000, with none of the publicity that had surrounded his arrest.
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1971
[on the difficulties while making the movie "Myra Breckinridge"]: "Mae West spoke to no one but God, Raquel [Welch] spoke only to the head of the studio, the head of the studio spoke only to God, who then related the message back to Mae West."
[About the movie "Myra Breckinridge" in which he made his acting debut]: "It was so disappointing to me and it was so disappointing to Raquel [Welch]. And Mae West didn't care what happened as long as she got her song."
The most disturbing movie I have ever seen. - Regarding The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).
Most of the time he sounds like he has a mouth full of wet toilet paper. - On Marlon Brando
On Vanilla Sky (2001): A good example of what self-destructive cinematic havoc can be wrought by handing over millions of dollars to movie stars to produce their own ego trips.
On Van Helsing (2004): This moronic abomination is not a movie. It's just a noisy, nasty and repulsive video game/theme-park haunted-house ride designed to appeal to the offspring of warlocks and trolls.
On Lady in the Water (2006): Hollywood cannot pollute the ozone with anything more idiotic, contrived, amateurish or sub-mental than Lady in the Water. This piece of pretentious, paralyzing twaddle is the latest in a series of head-scratchers by the incompetent, self-delusional M. Night Shyamalan. Lady in the Water is described by Mr Shyamalan as a 'bedtime story' he told to his kids. Do not even think of repeating it to yours unless you plan to turn them into runaways, orphans or worse.
On A Prairie Home Companion (2006): A Prairie Home Companion is about as charming as waking up with a dead animal in your bed.
On Mulholland Dr. (2001): A load of moronic and incoherent garbage.
On Never Again (2001): I don't think the proper alternative to bad movies about teenagers trying to get laid is more bad movies about middle-aged people trying to get laid.
On The Prestige (2006): The Prestige is the biggest pile of incomprehensible gibberish to hit the screen since M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water.
On The Fountain (2006): I don't care what a movie is about, but I have one rule that never changes: It has to make sense. This hopeless head trip doesn't make one lick of sense, and it doesn't seem to be about much of anything at all.
On Seabiscuit (2003): If you don't go away entertained, informed and sated with satisfaction, you need your pulse checked to see if you still have one.
On Dogville (2003): Dogville is like climbing the Matterhorn with a cement block tied to your back.
[on De-Lovely (2004)] It is my sad duty to tell you that it is wooden, artificial, contrived, infuriating and as phony as an invitation to bring along a tape recorder to dinner with J.D. Salinger.
[on The Good German (2006)] The Good German is as slow as a 90-year-old with gout who has misplaced his walking stick.
[on The Good Shepherd (2006)] In the time it takes Mr Damon's character to find out who the spy is, you could read a book, call your mother, finish your crossword puzzle, do all of your Christmas shopping and pay the first installment on next year's estimated income tax.
[on Spider-Man 3 (2007)] Bloated and stupid, this movie is so bad you can't even review it. Over-produced, over-publicized, over-designed, over-computerised and just plain over the moon, it's so preposterously overwrought there's no entry point for criticism. You just stare at it, as you might a great big exploding pile of cow manure.
Hollywood is where if you don't have happiness, you send out for it.
[on Youth Without Youth (2007)] You know a movie is doomed when the only star in it is Tim Roth. You know it's pretentious when the ads print the logo backward and upside down. Not one word of this bilge makes one lick of sense, and it is two hours and six minutes long. The only way to survive Youth Without Youth is dead drunk. The least Mr Coppola could do is provide free Cabernet Sauvignon from his own vineyards. One bottle going in, another bottle staggering out.
On Barbra Streisand: To know her is not necessarily to love her.
[on Speed Racer (2008)] Speed Racer makes you want to never see a movie again as long as you live.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) is a monumental achievement - not only one of the best films of the year, but one of the greatest films ever made.
[on Synecdoche, New York (2008)] No matter how bad you think the worst movie ever made was, you have not seen Synecdoche, New York. It sinks to the ultimate bottom of the landfill and the smell threatens to linger from here to infinity. Sometimes the men play women. Sometimes the women play men. Sometimes they all play each other, exchanging faces and identities. Sometimes they're young, other times they're old with gray wigs and waffle chins. What does it mean? I wouldn't tell if I knew. I have no idea whether the director ever found himself or not, but I had no problem finding the exit.
[on Choke (2008)] I don't know what to tell you about a dismal bucket of nauseating swill called Choke, except to warn that if you spend hard-earned money to sit through it, you deserve to do exactly what the title implies. Still nursing nightmares of Hudson Hawk (1991), Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain (2006), and every movie ever written by Charlie Kaufman, I can't exactly call Choke the worst movie ever made, but you get the picture.
[on Barry Lyndon (1975)] As an 18th century rake's progress, Barry Lyndon catalogues the rise and fall of a likeable scoundrel, liar, cheat and social climber, transporting a viewer into a world of long ago and creating the kind of magic few movies accomplish and few directors attempt in a lifetime. It is a magnificent entertainment, sumptuous, lush, gorgeous and haunting, a classic of inestimable value.
[on Blue Velvet (1986)] One of the sickest films ever made. It should score high with the kind of sickos who like to smell dirty socks and pull the wings off butterflies, but there's nothing here for sane audiences. Dennis Hopper finally goes as berserk on screen as his reputation indicates offscreen. As for the lovely but misguided Isabella Rossellini, all I can say is that her mother, Ingrid Bergman, must be turning in her grave. If she had lived to see her daughter wobbling naked across someone's front lawn covered with teeth bites and cigarette burns, she would probably have made a citizen's arrest.
[on Blow-Up (1966)] Blowup could have been an ingenious thriller but it is ruined by Antonioni's inability to tell a story simply or with compassion and by his refusal to use movies as anything but an intellectual device to relieve his own frustrations. Most of the actors seem to have been shoved in front of the camera and told to "do something - anything!". Every time Antonioni's fable almost but not quite makes a point, he clutters the screen with silly sex scenes that are supposed to suggest an interjection of man's desire to relieve himself of responsibility, but they only serve to cheapen his statements. Blowup looks like the work of a man who spends most of his life reading Playboy and never really learning what life is all about.
We all know how rotten today's movies can be, but even at the bottom of the slag pit, you won't find a load of garbage any smellier than From Paris with Love (2010).
[on Inception (2010)] Like other Christopher Nolan head scratchers - the brainless Memento (2000), the perilously inert Insomnia (2002), the contrived illusionist thriller The Prestige (2006), the idiotic Batman Begins (2005) and the mechanical, maniacally baffling and laughably overrated The Dark Knight (2008) - this latest deadly exercise in smart-aleck filmmaking without purpose from Mr Nolan's scrambled eggs for brains makes no sense whatsoever. It's difficult to believe he didn't also write, direct and produce the unthinkable Synecdoche, New York (2008). Inception is the kind of pretentious perplexity in which one or two reels could be mischievously transposed, or even projected backward, and nobody would know the difference.
[on the cast of The Goodbye Girl (1977)] I rarely leave a film wanting to take the people I've just seen home to Mother, but I'd be proud to know everyone in this one.
[on the Costume Design Oscar for Gandhi (1982)] For what? Wrinkled sheets, burlap sacks and loincloths?
[on The Double (2011/I)] Rarely has Mr Gere walked through any movie with so little energy and so much indifference. I've seen more fervor on the face of a man parking a car.
[on Trespass (2011)] Something strange is happening to Mr Cage's face. His skin is yellow, his cheeks are swollen, and his head is too big for his body. The worst thing that ever happened to Hollywood is the invention of Botox.
[on Melancholia (2011)] What, exactly, is the point? Only the director of a pile of crap that includes Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Antichrist (2009) knows for sure, and even that is severely doubtful. Meanwhile, the critics who fill the quote ads for this dirge with words like "masterpiece" keep me manic with mirth. Wander into this idiocy and by the time it's over, you'll know the meaning of "melancholia" yourself.
The No. 1 movie in America last week was 89 minutes of mindless trash called Kangaroo Jack (2003). Has everyone in this country gone mad? I couldn't find a plot here with a gun to my head. It's 89 minutes of pure agony without a laugh in sight. Kids seem to like the kangaroo in the misleading newspaper ads, but it rarely appears. Talk about false advertising.
[on The Master (2012)] I'm tempted to call it the worst thing I've seen this year, but there are two more coming up - Terrence Malick's dystopic To the Wonder (2012) and a diabolically demented time-travel farce called Cloud Atlas (2012) - that are even worse. I will also refrain from labelling The Master "the worst movie I've ever seen!" because like the proverbial boy who cried wolf, I've blurted that cry of despair so many times, who would believe me? Since it doesn't make one bit of sense - and probably isn't supposed to - there's not much to say about it except... why? It begins with Joaquin Phoenix masturbating and goes steadily downhill from there.
How many ways can a grown person waste valuable time and lose vital IQ points at the same time? If you're a movie critic, the possibilities are unlimited. And they all come together in a new chunk of junk called Identity Thief (2013).
(May 2007) Has maintained a long-time weekend retreat in the secluded, Litchfield County town of Roxbury, Connecticut where his neighbors have included Arthur Miller, Richard Widmark, Walter Matthau and Alexander Calder.
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