Sneak Previews (1975–1996)
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Pilot - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Self Service, Mr. Quilp, Conduct Unbecoming 

Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, two film critics, introduce their new show. They discuss the Chicago Film Festival and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). They review current and upcoming releases; each picks The Dog of the Month.


Patterson Denny


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Episode cast overview:
Roger Ebert ... Himself - Host
Gene Siskel ... Himself - Host


Two Chicago newspaper critics, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, introduce themselves and their new show, describing it simply as "two film critics talking about the movies." They promise to show "what's playing in town, what's coming to town" and to take the viewers behind the scenes to learn something about the movie business. They begin by talking about the Chicago Film Festival, which had the premiere of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Clips are shown. The critics like the movie, but don't believe it lives up to its reputation. They show clips from the festival's Self Service (1974), Bruno Bozzetto's animated short about hungry mosquitoes. Next, they review and show clips from a rare family film, Mr. Quilp (1975), a musical based on Charles Dickens. The review quickly gives way to a broader discussion about children's movies. The critics both dislike the British melodrama, Conduct Unbecoming (1975). They introduce their feature, The Dog of the Month. Siskel's pick is Ken ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

26 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Gene Siskel: The name of our show is "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You", two film critics talking about the movies. And this is Roger Ebert, the film critic from the Chicago Sun-Times.
Roger Ebert: And right over here is Gene Siskel, the film critic from the Chicago Tribune and Channel 2 News.
Gene Siskel: Part of our show is to sort of be a news magazine about movies, and we want to show you what's playing in town, what's coming to town and also maybe take you behind the scenes and show you a little bit about the ...
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Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.4 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Seeing Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert in their initial television appearance together on "Opening Soon at a Theatre Near You" is quite a treat historically
28 June 2011 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Just watched on the new site-siskel& very first time that Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, film critics of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, respectively, appeared on television together for the first time on a local hometown public station called WTTW in a program called "Opening Soon at a Theatre Near You". Among the movies reviewed which they saw at the recently ended Chicago Film Festival: One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest which they both liked because of Jack Nicholson's performance but they also thought might have depended too much on him. They next talk about animator Bruno Bozzetto's short Self Service which they thought had more imagination than whatever live-action films were playing at the time. The film showcased after that was Anthony Newley's musical called Mr. Quilp which they also enjoyed. After that, they talked about the British drama Conduct Unbecoming which neither was too enthused about especially when the villain took so long to be revealed. All had clips that showcased them. I liked the Self Service one the best. Then they discussed individually, without clips, what their picks of films currently playing was: Gene's was Dog Day Afternoon, Roger's Hearts of the West. Finally, with the sound effect of a dog barking, was their individual Dog of the Month (this program was originally aired once a month) of which Gene's was Lisztomania (which Roger disagreed with) while Ebert's was Mahogany. Throughout, sitting on regular chairs (not theatre seats though those were on display as well) in front of a screen, Siskel & Ebert, while holding notepads in front of them, discussed their opinions in a calm manner as opposed to their more passionate stances in later years. Oh, and Gene here has a mustache! In summation, this initial appearance of these two icons is quite historically interesting if not quite as lively to watch otherwise. Still, I'd give this thumbs up to anyone interested in this sort of thing. By the way, saying "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" isn't used here nor is the "yes" or "no" votes they'd later used on "Sneak Previews".

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