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Roger Ebert’s First Review Was Published On This Date 47 Years Ago

Film Critic Roger Ebert receives a special award of recognition at the American Society of Cinematographers 17th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel on February 16, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Film Critic Roger Ebert receives a special award of recognition at the American Society of Cinematographers 17th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel on February 16, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — On this day 47 years ago, the legendary film critic Roger Ebert wrote this first review for the Chicago Sun-Times.

He didn’t stop until is death just a few days before that anniversary last year, on April 4, 2013.

Here is an excerpt from the review of the French “New Wave” movie “Galia.” (Read the full review)

“Ever since the memorable “Breathless” (1960) and “Jules and Jim,” and the less memorable “La Verite,” we have been treated to a parade of young French girls running gaily toward the camera in slow motion, their hair waving in the wind in just such a way that we know immediately they are liberated, carefree, jolly and doomed.

Poor Galia is another. Played by the passingly attractive Mireille Darc, she comes to Paris from the provinces, becomes a window dresser, joins a Bohemian crowd and lives, naturally, in a penthouse apartment on the Left Bank.”

Ebert’s wife, Chaz, sat down with CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker last week to talk about how she’s keeping her husband’s memory alive.

“I’m crying not because I miss him but because I loved him so much,” she said. “Roger was a character who was larger than life.”

Ebert wrote over 7,200 reviews, along with countless columns and question and answer features for the Sun-Times.

I once worked at the Sun-Times, and I spoke to Mr. Ebert only once in person. It was at an informal newsroom Christmas party nearly 20 years ago–before he was first diagnosed with cancer.

He was reflecting back on the hundreds of reviews and columns he had written that year. I asked him if he planned to continue at this pace for the rest of his career.

I was surprised when he said no.

Thankfully, despite his illnesses and many surgeries, he continued to write (and Tweet) often. He found a more powerful written voice when he lost his own.