RT Archives

Even the oldest movies were new once. With the RT Archives, we're digging through newspapers and magazines from the past to find out what the critics said about classic movies -- before they were classics. What did the critics say about your favorites when they were brand new? Take a deep dive into the RT Archives and find out.

Rt archive sources

  • Pauline Kael

    From the 1960s through the 1990s, Pauline Kael had an engaged readership who eagerly awaited her sharp wit and divisive appraisals. She is best known for her work at The New Yorker, which brought her both fame and scorn from embittered filmmakers panned in her reviews.

  • Hoshi Soffen

    Born in California and splitting her childhood between Japan and the U.S., Hoshi Soffen wrote reviews for the bilingual newspaper Shin Nichibei/New Japanese American News through the 1960s. Her reviews often covered Japanese movies that were making their way to Stateside art house theaters.

  • OutWeek

    OutWeek, the rabble-rousing gay and lesbian magazine that rocked New York media at the height of the AIDS crisis, lived a short life but had a long-running impact. Its film, music, and other culture pages were a space for sharp bursts of honesty, frank takedowns, and joyful discoveries.

  • Los Angeles Free Press

    Over the course of its decade-and-a-half existence, the Los Angeles Free Press was among the most influential and widely-read underground newspapers in the United States. With its diverse staff, radical editorial staff, and roster of razor-sharp critics, the Freep brilliantly chronicled a tumultuous era.

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Recently added archive reviews

  • The Sound of Music (1965)

    "South Pacific, The King and I, West Side Story: They have all been a little embarrassing, but [this] is more embarrassing than most, if only because of its suggestion that history need not happen to people like Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer."

    Joan Didion, Vogue (May 1965)

  • To Be or Not to Be (1942)

    "Despite some of the serious situations, the comedic, brilliant, and delightful tone dominate in the movie, making it into a masterpiece." [Full Review in Spanish]

    Elena de la Torre, Cine-Mundial (May 1942)

  • The Black Pirate (1926)

    "The beautiful colors of this picture and the minute attention to detail make them seem like animated "Old Masters" in parade. The days and ways of the pirates are faithfully reproduced."

    Maybelle Chew, Baltimore Afro American (March 5, 1927)

  • Metropolis (1927)

    "It gives in one eddying concentration almost every possible foolishness, cliché, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general, served up with a sauce of sentimentality that is all its own."

    H.G. Wells, New York Times, New York Times (April 17, 1927)