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Fun Memory Lane Show
Michael_Elliott13 January 2018
The Siskel & Ebert 500th Anniversary Special (1989)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

This made-for-TV special was to celebrate the 500th show of Siskel & Ebert. The two host this in front of a live audience as they discuss how the show came to be, show various clips from their shows including the fights, answer questions from the audience and they also talk about their favorite movie from the time they've had their show. There's obviously nothing ground-breaking here but if you're a fan of the show then there's a lot of entertainment to be had here. They both talk about how they usually agree one way or another on films and it's rare for them to get into heated debates but that's what people remember. They then show clips to some of the debates including the very heated BLUE VELVET review. The questions from the audiance were also quite good and overall this was a nice time with the two critics.
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The Siskel and Ebert 500th Anniversary Special was a great tribute to the wonderful Chicago movie reviewers
tavm14 August 2010
With today the final showing of "At the Movies" with its current hosts Michael Phillips and A. O. Scott, I decided to review some past episodes with that show's original hosts, the late Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. Taped in front of a live audience at the Theater of the Stars at what was then the Disney-M-G-M Studios at Walt Disney World, Gene and Roger-for one hour-discuss their childhood experiences watching movies, their first TV teaming on a local Chicago show called "Opening Soon at a Theatre Near You" with One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest their first review, it's later transition into PBS's "Sneak Previews" with executive producer Thea Flaum credited for putting the two into balcony chairs, the special programs discussing their views on colorization and letterboxing (among others), audience questions (preceded by a Top Ten list of what they're tired of being asked such as for Roger: "Did you really write Beyond the Valley of the Dolls?"), and what each considered the best film since they started teaming together (Gene's choice-Raging Bull, Roger's-Apocalypse Now). Many parodies done by others of the two are spread throughout (My favorite is when Danny Thomas and Bob Hope do their version). Siskel and Ebert themselves provide their own witticisms and during the blooper reel, it's such a wonderfully silly treat seeing them doing "Peas Porridge Hot, Peas Porridge Cold" as they prepare to do a program! Finally, just as the show ends Roger asks one of those Top Ten questions, "Do we really like or hate each other?" Gene responds by saying, "We'll find out on next year's special." (or something similar to that, anyway) This was quite a treat to see again after all these years. I personally think they respected each other well enough.
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