Witty, acerbic, he thought to himself, a classic nouveau film noir brought to life in gritty, realistic black and white. An instant classic.”
So he wrote in his widely syndicated column. And so he pronounced on his weekly television program, ending with a grand gesture, confident he had done his part to bring another masterpiece of filmmaking to the attention of the semi-literate American public.
“If this movie doesn’t become a smash hit,” he announced to close his show, “I will never review another movie.”
And in a rare display of unity among the American people, nobody ever went to see the movie.