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A film historian and critic, as well as a poet, Morton taught film history at Cabrillo College until his retirement in 1998.


In 1989, he was invited to give a series of lectures at the Australian National Film School in Sydney, a project that was planned to coincide with his poetry tour of Australia that year. His 16-part history of film, Movie Milestones, was the prime visual source of film history at the school for several years, and has been shown on a number of cable TV channels in California.


His film reviews, profiles of contemporary authors, and book reviews appeared regularly in the Metro newspaper chain from 1985 – 1998, as well as the Santa Cruz Sentinel in the 2000s. In 1999 he curated a festival of Ernst Lubitsch films at Santa Cruz's McPherson Museum of Art & History. In addition, he lectured several times on film at the Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, and the Prague Film Institute in Prague.


Along with James and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Morton was one of the founders of the Pacific Rim Film Festival in Santa Cruz, and he served on the steering committee through 2008. Morton was also the driving force and longtime co-host of Cinema Scene, a biweekly TV film review program that first aired on the AT&T Broadband and Comcast cable channels and was shown throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The show went on to be produced by Community Television of Santa Cruz County and was carried by several stations in the San Jose and South Bay area.


Morton led twice-monthly film discussions at the Nickelodeon Theater for many years to a loyal following, which he maintained until a few weeks before his passing. He also led a rousing Oscar Predictions Round Table, with fellow film critics every February. In honor of Mort's dedication to teaching people how to "look" at cinema, in 2010 the Santa Cruz Film Festival starting naming its audience choice award for best feature film "The Morton Marcus Film Award."

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