Jesuit Father Gene D. Phillips died on Aug. 29, 2016, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 81 years old.
Fr. Phillips was born on March 3, 1935, in Springfield, Ohio. He entered the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus on Sept. 1, 1952, at Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 10, 1965, at St. Joseph Church in Aurora, Illinois, and took final vows on Aug. 15, 1973, at Loyola University Chicago.
Fr. Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin/humanities (1957) and a master’s degree (1959) from Loyola University Chicago. He earned licentiate degrees in philosophy (1959) from West Baden College in West Baden, Indiana, and in sacred theology (1966) from Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Illinois. He earned a Ph.D. (1967-1970) in English literature from Fordham University in the Bronx, New York.
During regency, Fr. Phillips taught English at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland (1959-1962). After obtaining his Ph.D., he taught English and film courses at Loyola University Chicago from 1970-2010. Because of poor health, Fr. Phillips was in a rehabilitation center for a year and a half before moving to St. Camillus in June of 2012.
Fr. Phillips was a prolific writer and editor of books about films and filmmakers. He wrote over 20 books (some of which are available in numerous languages). Some of the books he wrote are:
- The Movie Makers: Artists in an Industry.
- Graham Greene: Films of His Fiction
- Stanley Kubrick: A Film Odyssey
- Evelyn Waugh’s Officers, Gentlemen, and Rogues: The Fact Behind His Fiction
- The Films of Tennessee Williams
- Hemingway and Film
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Fiction, Film and F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Exiles in Hollywood: Major European Film Directors in America
- Creatures of Darkness: Raymond Chandler, Detective Fiction, and Film Noir
- Stanley Kubrick: Interviews [Note: Available in 7 languages including Polish, Korean, and Italian.]
- Godfather: The Intimate Francis Ford Coppola
- Some Like It Wilder: The Life and Controversial Films of Billy Wilder
- Gangsters and G-Men on Screen: Crime Cinema Then and Now
Fr. Phillips had numerous contacts within the film-making community who often called on his historical memory and professional expertise about a particular film or filmmaker.