Film Critic Andrew Sarris Dies At 83

Film critic Andrew Sarris popularized the auteur theory in this country. That's the idea that the greatest films are the result of a director's singular vision. Sarris died Wednesday at the age of 83.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

If you've ever come out of a movie arguing with your friends about what the director wanted to convey, you owe something to Andrew Sarris.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Sarris popularized, in this country, the auteur theory - the belief that the greatest films result from a director's singular vision. The influential film critic died yesterday in Manhattan of complications from an infection.

INSKEEP: Now, Andrew Sarris wrote for the Village Voice, and most recently The New York Observer. And his success can be measured by the careers of film directors he championed, including Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese.

ANDREW SARRIS: It's not what you get out of movies so much, it's what you put into them. And the justification for my life, for my career, are all the very brilliant people on several continents who have thought seriously about film and have contributed to film scholarship.

MONTAGNE: That's Andrew Sarris speaking in 1990 on WHYY's FRESH AIR. He was 83 when he died.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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