The Press: Populist at the Movies

A visitor to O'Rourke's pub in Chicago's Old Town had no trouble recognizing most of the poster-size photographs on the walls: James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Sean O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw. But whose was the mildly cherubic visage staring out of the sixth photo? "Oh," said the barkeep without elaboration, "that's Roger . . . you know, Roger Ebert."

For those who don't know—a classification that nowadays excludes most of the population of Chicago—Roger Ebert is the young (27), brash film critic of the city's sprightly tabloid, the Sun-Times. Ebert's chatty, erudite...

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