Isabel Quigly

Isabel Quigly
Isabel Quigly's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer® when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): The Spectator
Publications: The Spectator

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
90% The Trouble with Harry (1955) Sprightly is the word for Hitchcock's direction; neither moral nor gruesome, neither childish nor yet quite adult, neither in the world nor quite outside it, it gives the impression of taking you straight into a peculiarly vivid dream. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted May 5, 2020
No Score Yet Goodbye, My Lady (1956) A film of remarkable charm, made up of small, intimate touches, sure and exactly suit- able performances, a perfect command of sound --in the Mississippi swamplands -- as well as vision, and a delicacy of taste, humour and suggestion. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 29, 2020
87% The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) A curate's egg of a film, but thoroughly recommended. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
96% Zulu (1964) The tension mounts, breaks, mounts, seems unbearable and then is borne at the right sort of pace, and, for a film that's largely taken up with killing, it strikes me as decently unbloodthirsty. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
75% The Leather Boys (1964) Pete is the film's hero and reason and charm. He is played with such accuracy and pathos by Dudley Sutton that no one and nothing else have much of a chance of getting our interest and sympathy. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
67% Sammy Going South (A Boy Ten Feet Tall) (1965) Only Edward G. Robinson, sentimentalised into a role rather like Spencer Tracy's so long ago in Captains Courageous, provides an unclubbish brand of charm. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2020
95% My Fair Lady (1964) If this particular Eliza has so much feeling that the prettiness almost overbalances, well, that I think is a bonus. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 20, 2019
69% Around the World in 80 Days (1956) The result... is a rollicking three hours. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 19, 2019
95% The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) David Lean's direction is spectacular and, in a good sense, large-scale; his handling of the grand climax, though it involves one over-strained coincidence, is superb. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
80% Tea and Sympathy (1957) The only two dramatic moments in the play have been so expanded, made so explicit, that they lose their impact. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
85% Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) J. Lee Thompson's direction has a few documentary-style cliches about it, but provides a good, empty space, most of the time, for Miss Mitchell's virtuosity to shine in. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
81% Gigi (1958) Colette's tale about the training of a schoolgirl cocotte blown up into a full-scale musical, starts things oil with a bang. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
88% The Horse's Mouth (1958) A vigorous, inconclusive film -- for what could it possibly conclude? I feel pretty thankful for its inconclusions. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
No Score Yet The Forty-First (1958) Few films have used nature as eloquently to echo, illustrate, and heighten passion; for this it uses mostly the sea, in every mood, at every pitch, and the almost infinite variety of ways the tide can come in. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet He Who Must Die (1957) There are old lessons and modern ones in the story; old allegory and some as up-to-date as modern politics. The book had innumerable themes that the film version, cannot pursue and unravel too far; but it sticks pretty faithfully, in fact and in spirit. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
78% The Bigamist (1953) A splendid, heartless, virtuoso's performance it is again, larger than life and larger, too, than the film in which it finds itself. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet When Comedy Was King (1960) Yet another of these hundred-years-hence social historian's documents, with almost as much fun for the Freudians as the nuns have to offer. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
71% Conspiracy of Hearts (1960) It's the sort of film where in a crisis nuns roll their eyes skywards and slowly murmur, with clasped hands, things like : 'Sweet Jesus, have mercy.' - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
83% The Battle of the Sexes (1959) Charles Crichton has directed a neat and highly enjoyable film, with some brilliant timing in its attempted murder scene and the sort of scorings-off that will appeal to everyone. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
87% The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) Vivid colour and close-ups reached the lowest level to which we were obliged to crawl; but to protest against such films, in these days of the boom in horror, is like trying to put out lightning with a candle-snuffer. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
100% King Creole (1958) As the mostextreme example of a contemporary idol, Mr. Presley is pretty fascinating, and though you may be put off at first by his pale. puffy, bruised-looking babyish face. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Sea Fury (1958) A worthy and at moments exciting little British film, with that rather characteristic 'B' picture air about it of so many of our home products, abouttug-men and their rivalries in love and in work. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet The Rebel (1961) With his utterly uncomical-looking face and figure, his air of anguished muddle-headed energy. Hancock suggests all sorts of alarming possibilities in everyday life, chasms of frightful surprise directly under our feet if only we knew it. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Pepe (1960) The film Pepe which is draped round his rather ineffective personality, is an expensive, tasteless and dreary romp. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Dear John (Käre John) (1964) Lindgren has a clean, fast, unexplanatory style that goes well with seashore and sun, and manages to suggest warmth without sentimentality. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet The Reward (1965) Five men are on the track of a sixth with fifty thousand dollars on his head: with deserts, thirst, deluges, illness, vultures, shootings, lost horses, and a plot so tangled it seems hopeless trying to unravel it. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet The Hunters (1958) Thrilling air combats, a good performance from Robert Wagner as a young stinker-hero, but long, tedious patches in between. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
97% Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Superbly acted, and following the Kazan-inspired happy ending third act written as a rather reluctant postscript, rather than the original original, it is a photographed stage play and we remain outside, in the audience. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
75% The Sundowners (1960) An extremely attractive view of Australian life in a story about a drover who re fuses to settle down and his wife and son who want to. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Une Vie (End of Desire) (One Life) (1958) It is 'style' in a vacuum, pure style and little else, a film addressed so exclusively to the eyesight that you would think it aimed at an audience all eyes and no more, since there seems no appeal to the whole personality, to mind, heart, spirit. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
87% The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1965) A brilliant screenplay crisp, muted, funny, never pushing its points, and acting of the unobtrusively perfect sort you aren't asked to notice. Goes a long way towards bolstering this excitement. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
93% A Child Is Waiting (1963) A Child is Waiting takes the tough line that love, however devoted, isn't enough, may indeed be harmful if it's not allied with respect for the handicapped child as a person, a person with duties and responsibilities to others and a person's social place. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
29% Lady L (1965) Gary and Ustinov fail to be bogged down by the story's inherent banalities because they are quite outside it and its limitations. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Postava k Podpírání (Joseph Kilian) (1963) An even shorter, much more workaday nightmare, inevitably labelled 'Kafkaesque,' involving cats and vanishing shops in an atmosphere of placid realism: coolly brilliant, though for my taste a little too consciously so. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
92% Diamonds of the Night (Démanty noci) (1964) The technique is the jaggedly familiar one of cuts to fantasy and memories; the result painful but pitiful, with something new to say about the inhumanity, not of official fiends, but of everyday old men out on a spree. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
88% Help! (1965) In colour, and with plenty of exotic backgrounds, Help! is a joke-thriller, a send-up of thrillers, Bond ones especially, funnier and prettier than the other but not moving and personal as the other was. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
95% Masculin Feminin (1966) As always with Godard, one argues and, dissents. But the film fascinates even where it repels. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Too Hot to Handle (1961) Everything about it is as squalid as its subject, but the real nastiness is in its hypocrisy, the suddenly high moral tone it takes at moments. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
95% From Russia With Love (1964) The pace fast and furious and the invention, I suppose, inventive in the sense that a new nonsense always follows hard on the heels of an old nonsense and blow follows blow in crunching virtuosity of method. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Drango (1957) A chilly little film, but impressive. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
87% Funny Face (1957) The film fairly bursts with charm, the Gershwin songs are lively, Paris is as photogenic as ever and the existentialists are grubby to the life. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
No Score Yet Invitation to the Dance (1956) Never an enthusiast for filmed ballet, which, for all its theoretical possibilities, in practice always seems to confuse two mediums, I am enough of an enthusiast for Gene Kelly to watch a programme of his ballets. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
88% Oklahoma! (1955) There is something to be said for those horrible continental intervals in the middle of films, with advertisements and lights up and other interruptions : at least in the case of long, familiar, exuberant and therefore exhausting musicals. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
13% The Oscar (1966) A film of such outsize awfulness as The Oscar is at least in a jolly tradition and in a few years, who knows, may turn up as an affectionately remembered classic of the purple-patch school. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 20, 2018
83% Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) The best value in nonsense for a very long time. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
No Score Yet Too Many Crooks (1959) A British comedy that starts promisingly and soon fades into school charades on a wet Sunday - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
65% Separate Tables (1958) It seems the perfect vehicle for social realism; but somehow it is not real. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
93% I Want to Live! (1958) Not for fun and hardly for werewolves. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
94% The Nun's Story (1959) It makes no judgements: it is a serious effort to show us a moral and mental discipline, and it strikes me as authentic. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018
96% Peeping Tom (1960) Peeping Tom didn't make me want to streak out of the cinema shrieking, as Franju's film did at times; it gives me the creeps in retrospect, in my heart and mind more than in my eyes. - The Spectator EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 19, 2018