William K. Everson

When I moved to New York, I was like a kid in a candy shop. On Fridays, I would see as many as six movies. Friday was the biggest film day because I would always see a double feature in William K. Everson’s Friday afternoon NYU class. And that evening, Everson would sneak some of us into his Friday night film class at the New School for Social Research, where he would show a double feature with the guarantee that neither film had been shown in NYC for at least 10 years.

In the 1970s, Andrew Sarris gave Everson the title: the man who has seen everything. If a film was made before 1960, you could count on Everson having seen it and being able to remember everything about it. As students, we used to tell Everson jokes. Question: Why did Everson marry his wife? Answer: Because she had a film he couldn’t see any other way. In fact, it was a real treat to be asked to his apartment to watch an obscure movie. Film cans were stacked everywhere, and his wife — as you might expect — was also a film fan.

When he died in 1996, Everson left thousands of 16mm and 35mm prints to NYU and the George Eastman House.

William K. Everson

William K. Everson


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