Knowledge, much work goes into film reviews

Leonard Heldreth, a retired professor of English, has written the movie reviews for the Marquette Monthly since the publication was founded 32 years ago. (Photo courtesy of Leonard Heldreth)

By Bryon Ennis
As a regular reader of the Marquette Monthly, I look forward to the analysis of recent movies by Leonard Heldreth. I have been aware that Leonard contributed this column to the MM for many years, but it was not until I began discussing a tribute article about him with MM managing editor Joe Zyble that I learned Leonard Heldreth has been the only movie reviewer since the magazine’s inception in October of 1987.
In that premiere issue, the MM published Leonard’s retrospective of the Upper Peninsula’s iconic movie, Anatomy of a Murder. Leonard’s longtime connection with NMU’s English department and his authorship of scholarly articles on the theater and cinema prompted a request from founding MM editor and publisher Mary “Reino” Kinnunen. What Leonard produced for that issue was a 3,000-word feature article brimming with thought-provoking details about the movie and its stars, as well as stories about its filming among the citizens of Marquette, Big Bay, and Ishpeming.
The article attests to Leonard’s rich knowledge of film and theater, and to his doggedness in sifting through the records to remind MM readers of the events surrounding the 1952 murder and trial, the 1957 publication of John Voelker’s novel, the 1959 filming of the movie and finally the nation’s response to this daring film…

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