RIP- Steve Friedman, Mr. Movie

SteveFriedman1If you knew nothing about Steve Friedman, it would only take you about two minutes of listening to his long-running, Philadelphia-based talk-radio show to know that he LOVED movies. It just shined out of your radio speakers how much he loved films, loved talking about them and loved hearing what callers had to say about them. Always upbeat, he never derided anyone for their cinematic choices, often pointing out that every movie is someone’s favorite.

After 25 years of broadcasting, that voice has been silenced, as Friedman passed away at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs just a few short hours after finishing his Saturday night broadcast.

Friedman got his start in radio while working as manager of on-air promotion for Philadelphia television station WCAU channel 10. Known around the station for his prestigious movie knowledge, he was asked by WCAU-AM host Wally Kennedy to appear on his program to talk with listeners about film. Friedman’s easygoing manner so impressed the radio station’s management that he soon found himself hosting an eight-hour, over-night show once a week. Kennedy nicknamed Friedman “Mr. Movie,” a name Friedman always seemed to be a bit embarrassed by.

In addition to his radio show, Friedman taught film classes at Temple University and Rosemont College, lectured at other colleges in the region and had lectured several times at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

I first stumbled on to Steve’s show in the late 80s, while attending college. I had come back to my dorm room one late Saturday night and was tuning through the dial for something to listen to while falling asleep. I stopped when I heard an announcer talking about movies, and talking about them knowledgeably. I stayed awake for as long as I could, but didn’t make it to Friedman’s, at the time, 6:30 am sign off. But I was back the following week and remained a fan over the next two decades, following his show to various different stations and different time slots, calling in now and again. I’ve often said that the best part of my education in college was his show.

I got a chance to finally meet Steve Friedman last fall when he spoke to a writer’s group in West Chester, PA, during which he through an open invitation out to every there to appear on his show. Although I did chat with him for a few minutes after his talk, I never took him up on that blanket invite, though I pondered it once or twice. Now I wish I had, if only to have had the opportunity of spending a few more minutes talking about movies with him.

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About Rich Drees 6258 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture.

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Doug
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Doug

I will miss him too. He was a very kind man. He offered me to come down to visit at the studio once too. I am sorry I did not do it.

http://technoirmovies.blogspot.com/2009/09/steve-friedman-mr-movie-is-gone.html

Chuck Golden
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Chuck Golden

May God continue to Bless Steve’s Family and Friends—He was a very welcomed friend on the radio I really enjoyed! I have been in Philadelphia for only three years and his radio show was a great comfort to me from being so far away from my children in the South! He was and is always imprinted in my heart for his Godly ways! Again God Bless and may we all be re-united with the Father and Son one day!

Jim Elfers
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Jim Elfers

I loved Steve’s program. It was such great entertainment. I called in a few times and even discussed the show with my film professor. As a collector of old time radio shows I was very pleased to present Steve with a copy of an adaptation of “Forbidden Planet” that was done on Australian radio in 1957. He thanked me by name on the air that week. He said it gave him a new way to enjoy his favorite movie. It made my week.

Bruce
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Bruce

I will miss Steve Friedman aka Mr.Movie.My job takes me to Philly on saturday nights and always made it a point to tune in to a genuine,kind,soul who enjoyed what He did.My deepest sympathy to Steve’s family.

Frank from New York
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Frank from New York

I met Steve 10 years ago after being a long-time listener to his radio show. We hit it off immediately and became friends. My fiance and I were invited to his show numerous times and we loved every second of it. We’ve also had the pleasure to be in the company of his lovely wife and beautiful daughter, both of whom are truly amazing people. I loved Steve dearly and I will miss him the rest of my days. For those of you who never got a chance to meet him in person, he was just as you’d imagine him… Read more »

Bob
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Bob

Man, I was just remembering Steve, who I listened to on the weekends in the late 80s and early 90s from Virginia. So sorry to hear he passed. I remember the very eloquent on-air eulogies he gave to Sammy Davis Jr. and Jim Henson when they died within days of each other. As always, Steve dished out one fact after another about the men that I never knew. The details he could pull up were all the more remarkable during the pre-internet days. He chalked up his amazing recall to being hit by lightening in his youth (no joke)! His… Read more »

Darragh Friedman
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Darragh Friedman

Thank you for honoring my father with such kind words. Sincere articles and comments, like the above, are the heart of making the coping process so much easier to deal with.

TriviaJohn
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TriviaJohn

I used to call in to Steve’s show in the mid 80’s as Trivia John. I was a teenager then and would give him a trivia question every week.. which he would always get! So sorry to hear of his passing. I had the opportunity to meet him in Ardmore at a West Coast Video when he did a live feed. A more friendly person you’d never find.

Michael.
Guest
Michael.

I was so saddened to hear about Steve Friedman’s passing when I tuned in his radio show on the Saturday night after he had died (he died a week earlier after doing what sadly turned out to be his last radio show). I never had the opportunity to meet Steve Friedman, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him over the years talk about movies. I didn’t realize until after he had started broadcasting his show on “The Big Talker-1210AM” that he had been broadcasting his show on another radio station ( I believe it was WWDB in Philadelphia) prior to… Read more »

Janine
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Janine

I miss Steve so much. I followed him from station to station, from one night to the other. My father and I were on his show, and we will never forget it. My Dad talked about his experiences as a WWII veteran, and Steve always made him feel like a hero. As for me, I’ll never enjoy a movie again without thinking, “What would Mr. Movie think of this?”!

I know his wife Michelle is Irish, and the Celts believe there is no death, our loved ones are just in another room. May we all find comfort in that.

Rich
Guest
Rich

I used to listen to Steve every week. He is sadly missed. He seemed just from listening to him a genuinely good person. My God Bless YOU Steve.

Young
Guest
Young

Does anyone know how to get a hold of his old shows? I found him on the dial back in High School when I was trying to fall asleep and got hooked. Unfortunately, when I moved to my place in Philly I found out that I got little to no radio reception (stupid buildings)!

I still remember watching Forbidden Planet because he always raved about it.