St. Louis Post-Dispatch movie critic Joe Williams, who had written for the paper since 1997, died in a one-car accident on Sunday night. Williams, whose Twitter bio describes him as a “lover of drive-in movies,” was en route to the Starlite Drive-In Theater in Cadet, Missouri when he drove off the road and was killed.
Williams, who was also the author of “Hollywood Myths: The Shocking Truth Behind Film’s Most Incredible Secrets and Scandals,” had been the Post-Dispatch’s critic since 2000, reviewing thousands of movies. The last piece published before his death listed his five favorite movie remakes, including Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” and the Coen brothers’ “True Grit.” The Post-Dispatch has posted a collection of 15 of Williams’ pieces, including a 2013 article about the impact of the digital conversion on drive-in theaters..
He also spent 30 years researching the assassination of John F. Kennedy, culminating in the publication of 2013’s “The Grassy Knoll Report.” In November of 2013, he took part on an onstage discussion at the St. Louis Film Festival with “JFK” director Oliver Stone about Kennedy’s death.
Here he is in 2000, after being inducted in the Hall of Fame for his high school, Parkway West, telling talking about his life and career:
Tributes are being posted at Williams’ Facebook page.
Sad to wake this AM to news that @joethecritic has died, apparently heading to one of his beloved drive-in movies. A STL force of nature.
— AJ Schnack (@ajschnack) July 27, 2015
— Pete Bland (@xblandx) July 27, 2015