I can count the film critics I’ve truly admired and respected on the fingers of one hand. There’s my all-time favorite, Stanley Kauffman. And then there’s Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, and, (I’m proud to say) my close friend Philip Wuntch. The fifth finger is Richard Schickel.
I discovered and started appreciating Schickel during the mid-1960s for his criticisms that appeared in Time magazine. Had it not been for Schickel's review I doubt I would have ever spent the money at the Palace Theater in downtown Dallas in 1968 to see a wonderful, but now largely forgotten, thriller called The Stalking Moon (you can view the trailer below), directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck and Eva Marie Saint.
Schickel died yesterday at the age of 84, apparently from a series of strokes.