Francis Bosley Crowther (July 13, 1905 – March 7, 1981) was an American film critic.
Bosley Crowther was a prominent film critic for over a quarter of a century — during the heyday of the motion picture. Born July 13, 1905 in Lutherville, Maryland, Bosley moved as a child to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he published a neighborhood newspaper, The Evening Star.
His family moved to the nation's capital, and Bosley graduated from Western High School in 1922. After two years of prep school in Orange, Virginia, at Woodberry Forest School, he entered Princeton University, where he majored in history. In his junior year he served as an editor of The Daily Princetonian, and in his senior year, 1928, won a national essay contest sponsored by The New York Times. His $500 award paid for his grand tour of Europe that summer.
For his writing performance, Bosley was offered a job as a cub reporter for the New York newspaper at a salary of $30 a week. He declined the offer, made to him by the publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger, hoping to find employment on a small, Southern newspaper.
When the salary offered by those papers wasn't half of the Times offer, he went to New York and took the job. He started as a reporter on the city beat and also was responsible for writing the news that was carried in bright lights around the outside of the Times building. He was The New York Times ' first night club reporter, and in 1933 was asked by Brooks Atkinson to join the Drama Department. He spent five years covering the theatre scene in New York and even dabbled in writing for the theatre. While at the Times in those early years, Bosley met a fellow employee, Florence Marks. On January 20, 1933, they were married.
Crowther was a prolific writer of film essays as a critic for The New York Times from the early 1940s until the late 1960s. Such was his perceived influence that a negative review of the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde was said to have panicked the film's producers, who believed that the public would avoid the film as a result. By that time, however, his tastes were widely regarded as antiquated (for instance, he had lauded the widely dismissed financial disaster Cleopatra), even by his editors at the Times, and he retired in 1968.
He was well known for his disparagement of avant-garde film in general and Japanese cinema in particular, finding Throne of Blood ludicrous, particularly its ending; and calling Godzilla "an incredibly awful film".