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A Critical Eye

By Jon Caroulis

August 23, 2016

Drexel Alumni Bill Wine

Emmy Award-winning film critic Bill Wine says it’s his days studying math — yes, math! — at Drexel that helped him develop that analytical edge that’s required for his niche in the world of show business.

As a student, Bill Wine (BS mathematics ’67) used to make a point to walk around Drexel’s campus on days the school’s student newspaper, The Triangle, would appear.

“I loved glancing over and seeing someone reading my [film] review — I could tell what page they were on,” he recalls. “The first time I saw my byline, I was hooked.

Those college bylines were the beginning of a long career as one of Philadelphia’s best-known film and TV critics, in print and on air. From 1990 to 2002, he was an Emmy-winning critic for Channel 29 in Philadelphia. Listeners have been tuning in to him on KYW Newsradio since 2001, and in 2006 he also began a movie spot on the city’s all-sports station, Sportsradio 94WIP.

Films were a near-obsession for him since he was 10 years old. That’s when his parents took him to see Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller, “Rear Window.”

One scene in particular made an indelible impression, when the villain, played by Raymond Burr, realizes that an incapacitated Jimmy Stewart, who lives across a courtyard in the same apartment complex, knows Burr killed his wife.

“I was frozen in my seat,” he says. “At the end of the movie, I didn’t think that I could stand up, it affected me so much.”

Wine’s major while at Drexel was in mathematics. Go figure. But after graduation, Wine taught courses in writing and film at his alma mater while also writing reviews for local newspapers.

And then a thought came to him.

Read more in Drexel Magazine