Stanley Kauffmann (April 24, 1916 – October 9, 2013) was an American writer, editor, and critic of film and theater.
Kauffmann started with ''
The New Republic
''The New Republic'' is an American magazine of commentary on politics, contemporary culture, and the arts. Founded in 1914 by several leaders of the progressive movement, it attempted to find a balance between a humanitarian progressivism and ...
'' in 1958 and contributed film criticism to that magazine for the next fifty-five years, publishing his last review in 2013.
He had one brief break in his ''New Republic'' tenure, when he served as the drama critic for the ''
New York Times
''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper
A newspaper is a periodical
Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publicatio ...
'' for eight months in 1966.
He worked as an acquisitions editor at
Ballantine Books is a major book publisher located in the United States, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine with his wife, Betty Ballantine. It was acquired by Random House in 1973, which in turn was acquired by Bertelsmann in 1998 and remains ...
in 1953, where he acquired the novel ''
''Fahrenheit 451'' is a 1953 Utopian and dystopian fiction, dystopian novel by Americans, American writer Ray Bradbury. Often regarded as one of his best works, the novel presents a future American society where Book, books are outlawed and "f ...
Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. One of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers, he worked in a variety of modes, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and real ...
. Several years later, while working as an editor at
in 1959 he discovered a manuscript by
Walker Percy, Order of Saint Benedict, Obl.S.B. (May 28, 1916 – May 10, 1990) was an American writer whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is noted for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans; his first nov ...
''The Moviegoer'' is the debut novel by Walker Percy, first published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961. It won the U.S. National Book Award. [National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of annual U.S. literary awards. At the final National Book Awards Ceremony every November, the National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two lifetime achievement awards to authors.
The Nat ...]
Kauffmann was a long-time advocate and enthusiast of foreign film, helping to introduce and popularize in America the works of directors such as
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (14 July 1918 – 30 July 2007) was a Swedish film director, screenwriter, producer and playwright. Widely considered one of the most accomplished and influential filmmakers of all time, Bergman's highly regarded work ...
François Roland Truffaut ( , ; ; 6 February 1932 – 21 October 1984) was a French film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and Film criticism, film critic. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the French New Wave. In a career ...
Claude Henri Jean Chabrol (; 24 June 1930 – 12 September 2010) was a French film director and a member of the French New Wave (''nouvelle vague'') group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s. Like his colleagues and ...
was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He began his career during the era of silent films, and his last films were made in colour in the early 1960s. Ozu first made a number of short comedies, before turning to more serious themes in t ...
He inspired and influenced younger film and cultural critics such as
Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American Film criticism, film critic, film historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the ''Chicago Sun-Times'' from 1967 until his death in 2013. In ... [ and David Denby.] [
Kauffmann was also a professor of English, Drama, and Film at ] City University of New York
The City University of New York (CUNY ) is the public
In public relations
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization
An organization, or organisation (E ... (1973–76) and taught at the Yale School of Drama
The Yale School of Drama (also known as YSD) is a graduate professional school of Yale University located in New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is a coastal city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is located on New Haven Harbor on the northern ....
Kauffmann was featured in the 2009 documentary '' For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism'' where he was shown discussing the beginnings of film criticism in America, and noting the important contributions of poet Vachel Lindsay
Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (; November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931) was an American poet
A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, ..., who grasped that "the arrival of film was an important moment in the history of human consciousness".
Kauffmann is noted for his dissenting opinions on otherwise critically acclaimed films, having given negative reviews for '' Star Wars
''Star Wars'' is an American epic film, epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the Star Wars (film), eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide popular culture, pop-culture Cultural impact of S ...'', '' Raiders of the Lost Ark
''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' is a 1981 American Action film#Action-adventure, action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Lawrence Kasdan, based on a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It stars Harrison Ford, Karen ...'', '' The Godfather
''The Godfather'' is a 1972 American Epic film, epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, based on Puzo's best-selling 1969 The Godfather (novel), novel of the same name. The film stars Marl ...'', '' Pulp Fiction
''Pulp Fiction'' is a 1994 American black comedy
Black comedy, also known as black humor, dark humor, dark comedy, morbid humor, or gallows humor, is a style of comedy
Comedy (from the el, wikt:κωμῳδία, κωμῳδία, ''kōm ...'', '' Million Dollar Baby
''Million Dollar Baby'' is a 2004 American sports
Sport pertains to any form of competitive
Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal
A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a perso ...,'' '' Gone with the WindGone with the Wind may refer to:
* Gone with the Wind (novel), ''Gone with the Wind'' (novel), a 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell
* Gone with the Wind (film), ''Gone with the Wind'' (film), 1939 adaptation of the novel
* Gone with the Wind (musical), ...'', and '' 2001: A Space Odyssey'', films that were heavily praised by other notable critics.
DeWitt Clinton High School
DeWitt Clinton High School is a public high school located since 1929 in the Bronx, New York, United States. Opened in 1897 in Lower Manhattan as an all-boys school, it maintained that status for nearly 100 years. In 1983 it became co-ed. From its ... in the Bronx
The Bronx () is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Bronx County, in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. It is south of Westchester County, New York, Westchester County; north and east of the New Yor ... and New York University
New York University (NYU) is a private
Private or privates may refer to:
* "In Private
"In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ne ... where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A. or BFA) is a standard undergraduate
Undergraduate education ieducationconducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level o ... degree in 1935 and was an actor and stage manager with the Washington Square Players
The Washington Square Players was a Manhattan, New York City theatrical production company that existed from 1914 to 1918.
It was founded in 1914. Its debut production in 1915 was a collection of one-act plays, some of which had been written fo .... Kauffmann married Laura Cohen in 1943, and they remained together until Cohen's death in 2012. They did not have children. Kauffmann died of pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory
Inflammatory may refer to:
* Inflammation, a biological response to harmful stimuli
* The word ''inflammatory'' is also used to refer literally to fire and flammability, and figuratively in relation to comments t ... at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan
Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs
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* AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era
... on October 9, 2013, aged 97.
Books on criticism
*''Regarding Film: Criticism and Comment''. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press (2001).
*''Distinguishing Features: Film Criticism and Comment''. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press (1994).
*''Field of View: Film Criticism and Comment''. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications (1986).
*''Theater Criticisms''. New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications (1986).
*''Albums of Early Life''. New Haven: Ticknor & Fields (1980).
*''Before My Eyes: Film Criticism and Comment''. New York: Harper & Row (1980).
*''Persons of the Drama: Theater Criticism and Comment''. New York: Harper & Row (1976).
*''Living Images: Film Comment and Criticism''. New York: Harper & Row (1975).
*''American Film Criticism: From the Beginnings to "Citizen Kane"; Reviews of Significant Films at the Time They First Appeared'' ditor, with Bruce Henstell New York: Liveright (1972).
*''Figures of Light: Film Criticism and Comment.'' New York: Harper & Row (1971).
*''A World on Film: Criticism and Comment''. New York: Harper & Row (1966).
Interview at Bright Lights Film Journal
Review of Regarding Film at Pop Matters
A Conversation with Stanley Kauffmann, ''Charlie Rose'' July 9, 1998
21st-century American male writers
21st-century American non-fiction writers
American film critics
American film editors
American magazine writers
American male non-fiction writers
Category, plural categories, may refer to:
Philosophy and general uses
*Categorization, categories in cognitive science, information science and generally
*Category of being
*Categories (Aristotle), ''Categories'' (Aristotle)
American theater critics
City University of New York alumni
City University of New York faculty
DeWitt Clinton High School alumni
Deaths from pneumonia in New York (state)
Journalists from New York City
National Book Award winners
New York University alumni
The New Republic people
Writers from Manhattan
Yale School of Drama faculty