Reviews ...

Movie Critic Joins Mirror Staff

... I am NOT retired, Morris says.

By D.R. Norris

Morris Wattenberg isn't retired yet. He simply refuses to accept the reality of it.

Morris spent a life in journalism and public relations, and now it appears to him that, having reached some lofty plateau in life, he still has no reason to change life-long habits.

He and his teacher-wife Jackie were charter members of the SilverStringers two years ago, and while the two of them have plenty to compete for their attention, they still manage -- both of them -- to write, publish and teach. Their children are in New York and Melrose, and so commuting to New York consumes a fair amount of their time.

But it was just recently that Morris sidled into this new job. Not that he'll get rich at it, for nobody gets paid at the Mirror. But he has become a staffer since he was offered the job as movie reviewer for this electronic hometown rag, for which he promises to provide a continuing flow of copy -- regardless of what good or bad flicks come out of Hollywood.

He learned this sport -- panning or lauding the work of actors, writers, producers and directors -- by on-the-job training, more or less. He spent some eleven years with the Lerner chain of newspapers, north of Chicago, supplying two to three reviews a week for a variety of newspapers and publications. He was also associated with the Buffalo Evening News, did some promotional work for "Who's Who in America," wrote copy for ABC television and radio networks, and had some pleasant connection with NBC for a while.

He was raised in New York City, was graduated from City College and earned a master's degree from Columbia University -- and seems to be proud of the fact that his thesis was based on the French Revolution. Which somehow led him into showbiz press, and his early credits included such as Variety.

The point is, we at the Mirror feel we're getting a top-flight writer in Mr. Wattenberg -- the fellow who refuses to retire. Judging from his first three reviews, our readers will enjoy a well-written piece, a generally terse, hardly wordy report on his subject films. You'll also find a definite attitude therein -- no ducking the issue here.

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