Stanley Kauffmann

Old master of movie criticism

I spent time with Stanley Kauffmann only once, on a flight in December 1971. What I remember most acutely from that couple of hours we shared was Stanley's august presence. An actor in his youth, he spoke in elegant modulations and carried himself regally. His wavy gray hair and the upward jut of his chin gave him a movie-presidential bearing, George Washington merging into FDR. His reputation was even loftier, as a careful writer who spoke his mind with a tart elegance; he plied his craft in solitary Olympian grandeur. As we flew through the clouds, he might as well have...

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