Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Obit: Philadelphia Inquirer Critic Desmond Ryan

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 16, 2011 at 1:31PM

Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer critic Desmond Ryan is dead. He was 68. He had fought carcinoma of the tongue.
Philadelphia Inquirer

Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer critic Desmond Ryan is dead.  He was 68. He had fought carcinoma of the tongue. "He had the face of a laughing leprechaun," writes colleague Carrie Rickey, describing him as "puckish journalist, incorrigible punster, and irreverent novelist who worked at The Inquirer for 36 years in various capacities."

Here's a link to his reviews, and a snippet from her obit:

"The Police Academy films," he wrote of the series about the comic constabulary in the 1980s, "have become one of the wrongs of spring." In a review of Empire of the Sun, he wrote: "In conjuring up the deepest emotions of childhood, Steven Spielberg is a director without peer. He knows how to reach children and touch their parents by reminding them of the way these feelings shape our adult lives."

...There are so many Desmond Ryan stories, more than the thousands of pieces he wrote during his Inquirer career. Here's one: Although he hated, hated, hated anyone's talking at movies and often was confrontational when a fellow filmgoer did, Mr. Ryan cherished the occasion when the fellow behind him at Fatal Attraction, correctly interpreting the expression on Glenn Close's face when she sees Michael Douglas' pet rabbit, solemnly exclaimed, "Bunny gonna die."

This article is related to: Obit, Critics

E-Mail Updates

Festivals on TOH

Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.