by Thom Ernst Friday July 22, 2011

Elwy with Film Reels

Elwy Yost was once a film critic. It would be a short-lived career because when it came to movies Elwy liked everything.

Quite simply, he loved movies and to find fault with anything he saw was just too much to ask of him.

For Elwy, movies were magic.

In time he found a way to share his love of cinema with the people of Ontario through hosting TVO’s Magic Shadows and Saturday Night at the Movies. But no one, not even Elwy himself, could have guessed that his sincere and unaffected enthusiasm would transcend cinema’s elite and unravel the mystery of movies so that we too saw the magic.

That was Elwy’s gift to us. He unveiled the magic and taught us that it was okay to love the movies whether they were critically acclaimed or publicly denounced.

And when he met some of his favorite stars and directors like Fay Wray, Gene Kelly, Frank Capra, Elwy took us there with him. There was no pretense to his interview style, no attempt to be analytical or provocative, just a genuinly warm appreciation for the work they gave.

Because if Elwy believed that movies were magic, he also believed that anyone making movies were part of that magic.

Watch archival video with Elwy:
Saturday Night at the Movies 1982 Interview with John Candy
Elwy Yost Introduces Steve Paikin in His 1992 TVO Debut
Elwy Yost Talks with Walter B. Gibson About the Pulp Novel

So Elwy introduced us to all of Hollywood, not just the stars and directors, but to the editors, the costume designers, the set decorators – there was no role so insignificant as to not be of interest to Elwy Yost.

Ontario became richer because of Elwy. He began an archive of priceless interviews that today continues to grow at TVO.

Elwy was a man true to his passion, unfailing in his love of cinema and generous when it came to sharing with others his joy of movies.

But most of all, Elwy proved to many Ontarian’s that even Hollywood at it’s most glamorous is within our reach. It was obtainable, a goal we all could reach.

We were proud of Elwy Yost – proud of what he achieved and proud he achieved it in Ontario.

Elwy was one of us and he will not be forgotten.

Film    Society & Culture