Dwight MacDonald

Dwight MacDonald
Dwight MacDonald's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Esquire Magazine
Biography:
(Photo Credit: Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images)

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
No Score Yet Harlot (1964) Warhol is the Ponzi of the movie world, a comparison he would probably enjoy if he knew who Ponzi was. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
84% The Sound of Music (1965) Pure, unadulterated kitsch, not a false note, not a whiff of reality; and every detail so carefully worked out... I came out full of goodwill toward all humanity. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
94% Last Year at Marienbad (L'année dernière à Marienbad) (1961) It is a charade, a masque, beautiful to the eyes -- I can't remember a film of more sustained visual delight -- and interesting to the mind, or at least to the crossword-puzzle-solving part of the mind, but curiously lacking in emotional affect. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
No Score Yet Käre John (Dear John) (1964) Lars Magnus Lindgren avoids defects of his fellow-countryman, Bergman, but he also avoids his virtues; he is never pretentious and he is never imaginative. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
67% Morgan! (Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment) (1966) If Morgan! is supposed to be a comedy, and certain desperate attempts at slapstick suggest maybe it is, then I was not amused. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 14, 2019
88% Help! (1965) A witless orgy of expensive production that strangles the Beatles, so fresh and spontaneous in [A Hard Day's Night], in a laboriously foolish plot line and smothers them under tons of handsomely colored feathers. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
83% The Pawnbroker (1965) The Pawnbroker seemed to me a bore and a phony, a vulgarization of a serious theme, an exploitation of cinematic "effects" used without taste or intelligence. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
79% Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli Spiriti) (1965) Fellini's eye is as good as ever -- it is the mind, and the feeling, that somehow fails. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
98% Repulsion (1965) The purest exercise in homicidal mania yet made, and the most singleminded. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
95% This Sporting Life (1963) Anderson's use of the camera is either too flatly, clutteredly realistic or else too "indicative." Few Hollywood movies are as flimsily motivated as this allegedly realistic film. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
100% I Fidanzati (1964) Technically, Olmi seems to have made all the right choices... His photography is so right that after the first ten minutes of delight, one takes it for granted, forgetting past tortures inflicted on the retina. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
98% The Leopard (1963) To transpose a book into a movie means to destroy the form of the original in order to re-create the effect in another medium... Visconti has preserved the form without apparently suspecting it had any meaning. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
100% Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa (1965) In general, [Vaghe stelle dell'Orsa] was quite good fun. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
90% La Terra trema (1948) This one-way pathos trundles along for three hours slowly, glumly, predictably. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Chushingura (1963) I would compare it rather to the Colosseum, very big. It's a kind of Japanese Gone with the Wind, by which I intend only a small insult. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
47% The Loved One (1965) It is hard to understand how a witty, tightly organized extravaganza like the Waugh novel... could have resulted in such a queasy, humorless, formless botch. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
77% Six in Paris (Paris vu par...) (1969) As a nicely colored travelogue, not bad, but people and plots keep interfering, and they are much less interesting than the streets and buildings. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
86% Fists in His Pocket (I pugni in tasca) (1968) A mess and a bore, but one that suggested a lot of talent, which the director was too young to discipline his ambitions into art. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Walkower (Walkover) (1969) Half the time you don't know what's going on and the other half you don't care. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
67% Mickey One (1965) Mr. Penn seems to think that by keeping it ambiguous, he can roam more freely on both planes, reality and fantasy. But the confusion -- are we inside or outside of Mickey's head? -- is merely confusing. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
89% Shakespeare Wallah (1966) Everyone acts naturally and Mr. Ivory's direction is light and sensitive, managing to suggest the subtlety and comedy and pathos of Anglo-Indian relationships. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
100% The Shop On Main Street (Obchod na Korze) (1966) The Shop on High Street has modest but solid virtues. It treats seriously -- that is, with a quiet realism that doesn't exclude humor -- a theme I can't recall having been attempted before except in documentaries. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Raven's End (1963) There is a fine performance as the father by Keve Hjelm, but the rest is a slow retelling of a tale I have heard too often. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
75% Gertrud (1964) [Carl Dreyer] has in his later years developed his less-is-more style beyond effectiveness into mannerism. Gertrud is a further reach, beyond mannerism into cinematic poverty and straightforward tedium. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
93% Charulata (1964) Although Subrata Mitra's photography was beautiful, it seems to be a fact of cinematic life that the best photography cannot save a bad film, though it may improve a good one. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
73% Red Beard (1965) Cinema erupts a couple of times in those first two hours, but for the most part we are treated to lengthy scenes in which the characters talk lengthily to each other while the camera peers up into their faces like a faithful dog. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
31% What's New, Pussycat? (1965) [A] fatally free, lethally indiscreet comedy. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
67% Darling (1965) An interesting failure: all the parts work, but somehow they don't make a whole. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
67% The Knack...And How to Get It (1965) Mr. Lester uses the devices he used to such splendid effect in A Hard Day's Night. Only here they don't work so well. The Knack seems overdirected. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Casanova '70 (1965) [A] tedious procession of mildly scabrous smoking room stories. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
42% In Harm's Way (1965) Why did so normally astute a trend setter as Mr. Preminger decide to make a Pacific-war melodrama ten years too late? - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
76% Ship of Fools (1965) This is the worst movie that Mr. Kramer has yet directed, if the verb may be used, loosely, in this context. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Troublemaker (1964) This is as heavy-handed and unamusing an attempt at comedy as any of those Hollywood productions I complained of here recently. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Catch Us If You Can (Having a Wild Weekend) (1965) The photography and the direction are atrocious, the jokes painful, the structure really chaotic, the spontaneity arthritic, and The Dave Clark Five remarkably uncharming and unwitty. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965) This ninety-minute film on the life of an extraordinary woman... could have been worse; or better. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Mourir à Madrid (To Die in Madrid) (1963) Frederic Rossif's feature-length film about the Spanish Civil War is the best documentary I have seen since Night and Fog. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
100% Cat Ballou (1965) [Lee Marvin] achieves a second dimension. His performance, like everybody's, is broad as the barn door he misses in target practice, but he overplays it so skillfully as to raise it into a grotesque kind of humanity. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Bedtime Story (1964) Had Bedtime Story been done in the slambang artificial style of the old screwball comedies, in which a heel is never resouled in the last act but maintains his heelishness proudly to the end, the nastiness might have been disinfected. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
25% What a Way to Go! (1964) [Spells] out each joke for the slow readers and then repeating it for those who can't read at all. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
64% How to Murder Your Wife (1965) In the screwball tradition, but the old shack has been redecorated with solid-mahogany furniture, plush drapes and wall-to-wall carpeting. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
71% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Simply too much for the human eye and ear to respond to, let alone the funny bone. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Passages from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake (1966) Miss Bute has not said the last word on movieizing Finnegans Wake, but she has said the first word with style and eloquence. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Jean-Marc ou La Vie Conjugale (Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc) (1964) One is presented with two moderately interesting films when the problem is how to avoid one moderately interesting film. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
No Score Yet Les abysses (1963) I found it a bore. A high-class, high-style bore, full of the most advanced cinematography and symbolism, but still -- a bore. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
71% Kiss Me, Stupid (1964) A few laughs, but not enough to remove the brassy taste. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
95% Nothing But a Man (1963) [Eschews] the usual melodrama and sentimentality in order to present a real situation. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
60% Cleopatra (1963) The spectacular scenes were confused and oddly minuscule... Still and all, there was Elizabeth Taylor. At first I was disappointed, a large statement considering my expectations. Then I realized what she was up to and didn't regret my $1.25. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
80% Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) Why didn't such dedicated artists ask themselves whether the fable on which they lavished their talents was worth representing in the first place? - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
94% My Fair Lady (1964) Perhaps any musical loses its charm, its wit, its very shape when it is enormously enlarged on the screen, but I can't believe it couldn't be managed better than this. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019
38% The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) Mr. Stevens says he tried to avoid "the clichés and the usual trappings connected with Biblical productions" and to "think the story out anew and present it as living literature." His effort was unsuccessful, one might say spectacularly so. - Esquire Magazine EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 13, 2019