Joan Ellis Bio

Scratch a genuine movie fan and you are likely to uncover a movie soaked youth. In a Midwestern high school Joan Ellis began slipping off to the make-believe world of the local movie house. At Vassar College, while spending many hours in the Juliet movie theater, she teamed up with a Yale man with a taste for adventure. At 19 and 21 the bride and groom signed into another make-believe world: two years at the CIA. The experience made of Ellis a skeptic, a liberal, a passionate opponent of censorship, and an advocate of transparency.

After CIA she raised three children, helped to build electronics company with her husband, and took on a bit of unfinished business. Twenty-seven years after entering Vassar she took her senior year at Princeton University.

Then the movies began to exert their old pull. Intrigued by the way film reflects our culture (or is it the other way around?), she began writing reviews. Her reviews earned a Critical Writing Award from the New Jersey Press Association.

She welcomes discussion.

You can Email Joan Ellis at