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Movie Mom

Tribute: Michael Crichton

posted by Nell Minow

I was very sorry to hear about the loss of author/director Michael Crichton. He was a man of astonishing range and accomplishment. He wrote best-selling novels, including Jurassic Park and the The Andromeda Strain. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he created the television show ER. He became an accomplished director. One of my favorite of his films was the period heist story The Great Train Robbery. I am also a fan of his non-fiction book Travels, in part because his tireless curiosity and imagination were so engaging. His 1993 essay on the future of media was recently recognized in Slate as stunningly prescient. He was master of entertainment and a fresh and provocative thinker and will be much missed.

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  • jestrfyl

    Some people are born too soon, others are too late. I believe that Creighton was right on time. His sense of story and finding ways to use the characters and setting to move it along was spot on. Even though some abyssmal films were made from some of his books (“Congo” for example), you knew that to whatever his name was attached it was good for a thrill and a mental tweek. My favorite remains “Jurrasic Park”, but I have been a lingering paleontologist since childhood. Though “Timeline” was weak (and the film weaker), it was still a fine exploration of both history and quantum physics. No one else was as good at wild ranging plots as he.
    He will be missed because he will no longer produce his unique works. However, I believe his work will continue to carry his name and spirit for many years. It will be studied and discussed for a long time.
    Blessings on him and his family, and his fans.

  • jestrfyl

    OK, my cheeks are red, my head hangs low, and I mumble my confession. I misspelled the author’s name – a foolish and careless error. I have reasons, but they amount to a poor excuse for my lousy ability to multi-task.
    So I do lament the death and loss of Michael Crichton. And I will endeavor to spell his name right from now on.

  • Nell Minow

    Yes, some of the films made from his books were bad — like ‘Timeline” and “Congo.” And some were very, very bad, like “Sphere.” But he had a wonderful imagination and curiosity. Thanks for your wonderful tribute.

  • Mark

    Crichton was really a renaissance man — a great writer as well as a terrific filmmaker. ‘Westworld’, ‘Coma’ and ‘The Great Train Robbery’ are some of my favorite films from the 70s. I also have to admit that I love the cheesiness of ‘Congo’ — one of my fave bad movies!

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