A Letter From The Publisher, Aug. 12, 1974

Movie critics are born and not made, at least if the professional development of TIME'S Jay Cocks is at all representative. "Even before I could read," he says, "I looked at the movie ads in the papers rather than the comics." Naturally, as a kid Cocks lived on a steady and omnivorous diet of films, but stopped short of skipping school to sit goggle-eyed before the big screen. "My parents were both educators, so hooky was out of the question." At Kenyon College in 1966, Cocks organized the campus' first film festival, then joined TIME in 1967.

He now sees about eight...

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