Alpert, Hollis 1916-2007 (Robert Carroll)

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Alpert, Hollis 1916-2007 (Robert Carroll)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 24, 1916, in Herkimer, NY; died of pneumonia and respiratory failure, November 18, 2007, in Naples, FL. Film critic, magazine editor, book reviewer, educator, and author. Alpert turned his pen to many literary projects—novels, biographies, other nonfiction works, and screenplays, even using the pseudonym Robert Carroll on occasion—but he may be best remembered as a serious film critic and founder of the National Society of Film Critics in the 1960s. Alpert and his fellow magazine writers were not qualified to join the elite and exclusive New York Film Critics Circle because they did not work for newspapers. It did not matter that their magazines included Life, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and, in Alpert's case, the Saturday Review, or that Alpert was an intellectual writer who took his work quite seriously. So in 1966 he established the National Society of Film Critics, which remains strong today, though its membership continues to be counted in dozens rather than hundreds. Alpert worked for various periodicals as book reviewer, fiction editor, managing editor, and arts editor, but he spent most of his career as a film critic for magazines that ranged from the Saturday Review to Woman's Day. He was the editor of the magazine American Film from 1975 to 1980. Alpert taught at New York University and lectured occasionally at other universities. In retirement he presented film lectures at a community arts center in Florida. Alpert also wrote a handful of books over the years. His novels include For Immediate Release (1963) and Smash (1973). He wrote biographies of the legendary Barrymore family and individuals such as actor Richard Burton and filmmaker Federico Fellini. Though he did not work as a drama critic, Alpert demonstrated his knowledge of musical theater in the books he wrote in retirement: The Life and Times of Porgy and Bess (1990) and Broadway: 125 Years of Musical Theatre (1991).



Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2007, p. B10.