Remembering Gene Siskel.

Roger Ebert remembers Gene Siskel.

Gene died ten years ago on February 20, 1999. He is in my mind almost every day. I don’t want to rehearse the old stories about how we had a love/hate relationship, and how we dealt with television, and how we were both so scared the first time we went on Johnny Carson that, backstage, we couldn’t think of the name of a single movie, although that story is absolutely true. Those stories have been told. I want to write about our friendship. The public image was that we were in a state of permanent feud, but nothing we felt had anything to do with image. We both knew the buttons to push on the other one, and we both made little effort to hide our feelings, warm or cold. In 1977 we were on a talk show with Buddy Rogers, once Mary Pickford’s husband, and he said, “You guys have a sibling rivalry, but you both think you’re the older brother.” …

We once spoke with Disney and CBS about a sitcom to be titled, “Best Enemies.” It would be about two movie critics joined in a love/hate relationship. It never went anywhere, but we both believed it was a good idea. Maybe the problem was that no one else could possibly understand how meaningless was the hate, how deep was the love.

2 thoughts on “Remembering Gene Siskel.

  1. shani-o February 27, 2009 at 12:12 pm Reply

    Maybe the problem was that no one else could possibly understand how meaningless was the hate, how deep was the love.

    That’s incredibly beautiful.

  2. rakia February 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm Reply

    I used to LOVE these guys. Their show came on every Saturday afternoon in my city. Even if I wasn’t interested in the movies they were reviewing that week, I tuned it to see Gene and Robert go at each other.

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