Judith Crist, longtime film critic for the “Today Show,” TV Guide and the New York Herald Tribune, has passed away at the age of 90 after a long illness, her son Steven tells the AP.
The blunt critic was one of the first film reviewers to gain a national following. Her reviews were at times so harsh that director Otto Preminger once called her “Judas Crist.” Fellow critic Roger Ebert has credited her with helping to make all contemporary film critics better.
She once wrote that “Cleopatra” was “at worst, an extravagant exercise in tedium” and lambasted classic comedy “Some Like it Hot” for its “perverse” humor and “homosexual ‘in’ jokes.”
But many in the industry liked her frank reviews. For years, Crist hosted a film festival in Tarrytown, N.Y., with guests that included Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Steven Spielberg. In fact, Woody Allen’s 1980 film “Stardust Memories,” in which Crist has a cameo, is widely believed to be based on these Tarrytown gatherings.