Penelope Houston Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Penelope Houston

Penelope Houston
Penelope Houston's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Sight and Sound, The Spectator, Monthly Film Bulletin

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
92% Look Back in Anger (1958) Tony Richardson, directing his first feature, has given it a tough, vital style which represents something new in British cinema. ‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2018
100% North by Northwest (1959) This is the purest piece of entertainment filmmaking we have had from him in some years; it is also, which does not inevitably follow, the most purely entertaining.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 3, 2018
93% Before the Revolution (Prima della rivoluzione) (1965) A brilliant, crammed, allusive work.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
81% The Party (1968) The Party hardly gets beyond a rather watery smile. A pity, because the idea remains engaging.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
71% Isadora (The Loves of Isadora) (1969) I can't remember a biographical film that leaves one with less clearly defined feelings about the central character than Karel Reisz's Isadora -- or with less instinct for what the film-makers themselves really think about her.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
20% A Place for Lovers (1968) All is lethargy, inanity, a yawning prettiness.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
No Score Yet Everything For Sale (1968) The whole film crackles with a painful electricity. ‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
No Score Yet Pearls of the Deep (1966) Two episodes (Jiri Menzel's, about an eccentric and ageing quartet watching a motor-cycle race, and Jan Nemec's, about two old men in hospital and the lies they tell each other) are fascinating.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
100% Father (Father: Diary of One Week) (1967) When it's good, though, Szabo's film is very good indeed.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
57% Finian's Rainbow (1968) Francis Ford Coppola, whose previous film was the bouncing You're a Big Boy Now, again directs like a bulldozer with a sense of humour.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2016
50% Privilege (1967) One can imagine a good many ways it might have been done. What was not foreseeable is the didactic, self-absorbed and perilously self- indulgent tone the film actually takes.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2016
90% Judex (1963) A luminous, haunting adventure.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
No Score Yet L'Immortelle (1969) Pretentious, undeniably. Yet there is a hypnotic lure which has to do almost entirely with the setting.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
No Score Yet Den Røde Kappe (Hagbard and Signe) (The Red Mantle) (1967) Developments, however, tend to be lugubrious or risible, and the stark but moony style suggests not so much heroic simplicity as some uncertainty about to what to do next.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
No Score Yet The Stalking Moon (1968) It is all sympathetic enough but low on vitality.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
No Score Yet A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) Mr Hall's halfway house between screen and stage looks almost as uncomfortable a perch as the curious grave-like earthwork in which Judy Dench's Titania has her sleeping-quarters.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
10% Doctor Faustus (1968) The mixture of posed speeches, arty apparitions and some willfully unfocused camerawork, suggests some kind of timeslip, as though the film had been deep-frozen twenty years ago.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
54% How I Won the War (1967) A film so critical of others' attitudes should perhaps have given more positive vetting to its own.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
96% Belle de Jour (1968) Belle de Jour has the almost daunting, fragile flawlessness of the perfect crystal -- a staggering, commanding piece of film-making rather than a great film.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
87% Blow-Up (1966) This remains a failure for which I would trade ten successes: a totally absorbing experience on the screen, a film of deceptive, tricky surfaces and cold perceptions.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
64% Far From Vietnam (Loin du Vietnam) (1967) Attitudes towards Vietnam aren't likely to be greatly changed by this picture: it can produce no new facts, no film to shock audiences into an altered understanding.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2016
69% Morgan! (Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment) (1966) Poor Morgan, one feels; victim of a satire that doesn't bite, lost in a technical confusion of means and ends, and emerging like an identikit photograph, all bits and pieces and no recognisable face.‐ Monthly Film Bulletin
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2016
No Score Yet Lucky Jim (1958) Too often, though, potentially comic scenes are spoilt by faulty timing, a determination to hammer home the joke and play for an easy laugh.‐ Monthly Film Bulletin
Read More | Posted Feb 16, 2016
100% The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) It's a cool, violent film, romantic in a disciplined, disenchanted way about its battling gangsters.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2015
91% The Dirty Dozen (1967) One could, no doubt, if sufficiently determined, see all this as some deep, dark (in fact, practically subterranean) satire on the military mind. But there's precious little evidence of irony in Robert Aldrich's direction or the script.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2015
89% Persona (1966) Maybe one's quarrel with Bergman has to do with a feeling that even austerity begins to look like a special kind of emotional self-indulgence.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Aug 3, 2015
79% Gertrud (1964) Here is an enigmatically modern film with the deceptive air of a staidly old-fashioned one.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
22% Lo Straniero (The Stranger) (1967) The film is resolutely faithful to details of what Meursault said and did and saw, while missing the essential clipped calm of the style blanc and the precise shading of his detachment.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
81% Oliver! (1968) Mistrust a movie with too many close-ups of Bisto Kid children and doleful dogs: they suggest a director cleverly boxing his way out of some very tight script corners.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
40% Sebastian (1969) Sebastian is wayward, a bit too consciously out to please, but enjoyable precisely because it never comes too close to defining its own terms.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
87% Mouchette (1967) Like Au Hasard, Balthazar, Mouchette is a deeply pessimistic film which somehow leaves one in a mood close to exhilaration.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Apr 7, 2015
72% Far From the Madding Crowd (1967) Far from the Madding Crowd has the not uncommon effect with a classic of sending one back to the book, for reassurance that Hardy really did achieve what the film hasn't.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2015
86% Accident (1967) The honours for sheer accomplishment and speed of reaction go to Dirk Bogarde and Vivien Merchant: the honours for playing against the grain to Stanley Baker.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Mar 12, 2015
89% The Graduate (1967) The most engaging thing about Mike Nichols is his awareness, strong enough to remind you of the late, great Preston Sturges, of how to use bland and idiotic exaggeration as a comic safety-valve.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2014
98% Lawrence of Arabia (1962) A film in which grandeur of conception is not up to grandeur of setting.‐ Monthly Film Bulletin
Read More | Posted Jun 5, 2002