Leonard Michael Maltin (born December 18, 1950) is an American film critic and film historian, as well as an author of several mainstream books on cinema, focusing on nostalgic, celebratory narratives.
Maltin in 2012
Leonard Michael Maltin
December 18, 1950
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Education||Teaneck High School|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Home town||Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.|
Alice Tlusty (m. 1975)
Maltin was born in New York City, son of singer Jacqueline (née Gould; 1923–2012), and Aaron Isaac Maltin (1915–2002), a lawyer and immigration judge. Maltin was raised in a Jewish family, and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. He graduated from Teaneck High School in 1968.
Maltin began his writing career at age fifteen, writing for Classic Images and editing and publishing his own fanzine, Film Fan Monthly, dedicated to films from the golden age of Hollywood. After earning a journalism degree at New York University, Maltin went on to publish articles in a variety of film journals, newspapers, and magazines, including Variety and TV Guide. In the 1970s Maltin also reviewed recordings in the jazz magazine, Downbeat.
Maltin wrote Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, a compendium of synopses and reviews that first appeared in September 1969 and was annually updated from October 1987 until September 2014, each edition having the following year's date. Its original title was TV Movies, and some editions were Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide. In 2005, coverage of many films released no later than 1960 was moved into a spin-off volume, Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide, to allow the regular book to cover a larger number of more recent titles. He has also written several other works, including Behind the Camera, a study of cinematography, The Whole Film Sourcebook, Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia, Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals, and Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons.
Starting on May 29, 1982, Maltin was the movie reviewer on the syndicated television series Entertainment Tonight for 30 years. He also appears on the Starz cable network, and hosted his own syndicated radio program, Leonard Maltin on Video, as well as the syndicated TV show Hot Ticket with Boston film critic Joyce Kulhawik (originally E! personality and game show host Todd Newton). As of 2018, Maltin hosts a television show called Secret's Out on ReelzChannel movie network. He also spearheaded the creation of the Walt Disney Treasures collectible DVD line in 2001, and continues to provide creative input and host the various sets.
In the mid-1990s, Maltin became the president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and is on the Advisory Board of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. For nearly a decade, Maltin was also on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. As of 2018, Maltin teaches in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.
In 1998, Maltin settled a libel suit brought by former child star Billy Gray, of Father Knows Best fame, who Maltin identified in his review of the film Dusty and Sweets McGee as a real-life drug addict and dealer. The statement had appeared in print in Maltin's annual movie guide for nearly 25 years before Maltin publicly apologized for the error.
As of 2018, Maltin hosts The Maltin Minute for DirecTV customers. With his daughter Jessie Maltin, he co-hosts Maltin on Movies, a long-form interview podcast for the Nerdist Industries network. He also wrote the introduction for The Complete Peanuts: 1983–1984.
He is the host of the quarterly Treasures From the Disney Vault on Turner Classic Movies.
Popular culture appearancesEdit
Maltin was portrayed in an episode of the animated comedy South Park called "Mecha-Streisand" where he, along with actor Sidney Poitier and singer Robert Smith, fight Barbra Streisand, who has assumed the form of Mecha-Streisand, a giant, Godzilla-like robot version of herself. His own gigantic form was reminiscent of Ultraman with his initials on his chest. He also appeared as himself in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, playing a film critic who blasts the first Gremlins film, only to get attacked by Gremlins. This was spoofed in the Mad magazine parody of Gremlins 2, where he protests being eaten as Roger Ebert gave a worse review of the film, only for the Gremlins to remark they are waiting until Thanksgiving to find Ebert, as "he will feed a family of 15!" Maltin also made an appearance on the cartoon show Freakazoid! where he voiced himself, only to be abducted by monsters.
Maltin starred on an episode of Entertainment Tonight, where he was presenting a time machine akin to one in the film The Time Machine. He sits in the machine and then vanishes, as does the character in the film. Maltin is one of the few people to appear as a "guest star" on Mystery Science Theater 3000; during a Season Nine episode, he joins Pearl Forrester in torturing Mike Nelson and the bots with the film Gorgo. He was also mocked on the show for giving the film Laserblast a rating of 2.5 stars. After Mike and the Bots finish watching the movie, they express amazement at the rating while Mike reads off a list of well-known films that Maltin gave similar ratings to.
In The Simpsons episode "A Star is Burns", Marge says "Did you know there are over 600 critics on TV and Leonard Maltin is the best looking of them all?" Lisa replies "Ewwww!" In the 1995 video release of the original Star Wars trilogy, there was an interview with George Lucas conducted by Maltin included before the start of the movies. Maltin is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's shortest movie review; his two-star review of the 1948 musical Isn't It Romantic? consists of the word "No". In 1985 he delivered a three-word movie review on Entertainment Tonight for that year's horror film spoof, Transylvania 6-5000. The review begins with a silent Maltin swaying to a recording of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing "Pennsylvania 6-5000", wherein the instrumental melody is interrupted by the sound of a telephone ringing (part of the original recording), after which the band chants the title of the song. In his review, Maltin timed it so that his review began with the phone ringing: "Transylvania 6-5000 ... stinks!"
Comedian Doug Benson's podcast Doug Loves Movies features a segment called The Leonard Maltin Game, in which the guest must guess the name of a movie based on a subset of the cast list in reverse order and a few intentionally vague clues from the capsule review of the movie in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. Maltin appeared on the podcast in February 2010 and played the game himself. He appeared on the show again in August 2010. In November 2010 Benson and Maltin played the game on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show. Maltin has repeated his appearances on Doug Loves Movies in September 2011 with Jimmy Pardo and Samm Levine, in September 2012 with Chris Evans and Adam Scott, and in November 2013 with Peter Segal, "Werner Herzog," and Clare Kramer.
Beginning in November 2014, Maltin has hosted the podcast Maltin on Movies. It began on Paul Scheer's now-defunct Wolfpop network, with comedian and actor Baron Vaughn as a co-host. The two picked a topic generally based on what was currently in theaters and discussed three other movies within that topic: one that the two both liked, one that the two disliked and one they thought was a great lesser-known film – or "sleeper" – within the category. Topics included biopics, breakthrough performances, and sequels.
Maltin lives in Los Angeles. He is married to researcher and producer Alice Tlusty, and has one daughter, Jessie, who works with him (his production company, JessieFilm, is named for her). In July 2018, Maltin announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease three and a half years prior.
- Movie Comedy Teams (NAL, 1970; revised editions, 1974, 1985)
- Behind the Camera (NAL, 1971), reissued as The Art of the Cinematographer (Dover, 1978)
- The Great Movie Shorts (Crown, 1972), reissued as Selected Short Subjects (Da Capo, 1983)
- The Disney Films (Crown, 1973; revised edition, 1985; 3rd edition, 1995 from Hyperion; 4th ed., 2000, Disney Editions)
- Carole Lombard (Pyramid, 1976)
- Our Gang: The Life and Times of the Little Rascals (Crown, 1977; coauthor with Richard W. Bann; revised and reissued as The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang, 1992)
- The Great Movie Comedians (Crown, 1978)
- Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons (NAL and McGraw Hill, 1980; revised edition, November 1987)
- The Complete Guide to Home Video (Crown, 1981; coauthor)
- The Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio's Golden Age (E.P. Dutton, 1997)
- Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy (M Press, 2008)
- Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen (HarperStudio, 2010)
- Hooked On Hollywood: Discoveries From A Lifetime of Film Fandom (GoodKnight Books 2018)
- Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide (originally published as TV Movies, then Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide) (NAL, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, published annually 1988 through 2014). Also published in a Dutch edition as Speelfilm Encyclopedie, and Swedish version as Bonniers Stora Film & Video Guide.
- The Real Stars (Curtis, 1973)
- The Real Stars #2 (Curtis, 1974)
- The Laurel & Hardy Book (Curtis, 1973)
- Hollywood: The Movie Factory (Popular Library, 1976)
- Hollywood Kids (Popular Library, 1978)
- The Real Stars #3 (Curtis, 1979)
- The Whole Film Sourcebook (NAL and Universe Books, 1983)
- Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia (Dutton/Penguin, 1994)
- Leonard Maltin's Family Movie Guide (Dutton/Signet, 1999)
As a hostEdit
- "Leonard Maltin Biography (1950-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Stereotypes overturned". jewishaz.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Lumenick, Lou. "LEONARD MALTIN'S REEL-LIFE STORY -- MOVIE MAVEN WENT FROM TEANECK TO HOLLYWOOD", The Record (Bergen County), October 17, 1994. Accessed May 21, 2007. "Leonard Maltin was a so-so student. 'I was the only student in the history of Teaneck High School to fail a take-home, open-book exam,' he says with a mixture of pride and embarrassment."
- Ultimate Disney interview with Leonard Maltin Archived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
- Editor (June 10, 1994). National Student Film Institute/L.A: The Sixteenth Annual Los Angeles Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. pp. 10–11.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Editor (June 7, 1991). Los Angeles Student Film Institute: 13th Annual Student Film Festival. The Directors Guild Theatre. p. 3.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Smith, Matt (15 October 1997). "Father Knows Bud Didn't Use Heroin". SF Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "Maltin now knows it's best to apologize". New York Daily News. 15 July 1998. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2006-08-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Maltin, Leonard (2005), p. 700. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. ISBN 0-451-21265-7. Signet Books. Accessed April 15, 2007.
- "Hot Ticket: A Leonard Maltin Interview Part 3". Film Threat.com. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
- "Leonard Maltin's Animation Favorites from the National Film Board of Canada". NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. 1994. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- "Maltin On Movies - Maltin On Movies". StageBloc. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- Appelo, Tim (July 31, 2018). "Alan Alda Diagnosed With Parkinson's". AARP. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
Maltin, 67, who, when called for a comment on Alda’s announcement, revealed that he has Parkinson’s ... diagnosed 3½ years ago
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