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      Philadelphia Inquirer

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      Rating Title | Year Author Quote
      The Evil Dead (1981) Rick Lyman A film of low aspirations and moderately effective achievements. Too bad it's hog-tied by a ridiculously familiar plot, uneven direction and characters of such dizzying simplicity that you wish the demons would get to them.
      Posted Mar 24, 2023
      The Black Pirate (1926) Inquirer Staff The Black Pirate is done entirely in color, and it is done magnificently. There is none of the eye-strain coming from brilliant splurges of red, green, violet and blue which playgoers have found in earlier attempts at color photography.
      Posted Mar 22, 2023
      Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) Inquirer Staff One of the most delightful comedies of recent months... with Buster Keaton and Ernest Torrence forming an about perfect comedy team.
      Posted Mar 21, 2023
      Enter the Dragon (1973) Barbara L. Wilson The saying goes that when you've seen one Kung Fu film, you've seen them all, but for the first-timer the experience is a gas. It's like going back to a movie made in the 30s, the only contemporary touch being the use of Technicolor.
      Posted Mar 20, 2023
      Come and See (1985) Carrie Rickey The power of Come and See principally derives from the inspired performance by Kravchenko as Florya, in what must be the ultimate loss-of-innocence role.
      Posted Mar 14, 2023
      Boys on the Side (1995) Carrie Rickey The film's plot, if it can be distinguished as such, is like a month of Montel and Geraldo.
      Posted Mar 14, 2023
      The Dark Angel (1935) Mildred Martin The Dark Angel is still effective, if sensational, drama.
      Posted Mar 10, 2023
      Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) Mildred Martin The Monroe-Russell combination smashes over the comedy in no uncertain terms.
      Posted Mar 08, 2023
      One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977) Desmond Ryan Ms. Varda's way is straightforward, leisurely and enjoyable acted by Valérie Mairesse and Thérèse Liotard.
      Posted Mar 08, 2023
      9 to 5 (1980) Desmond Ryan The decisions made by Higgins not only give us a poorer film, but detract from the very valid points it is trying to make.
      Posted Mar 03, 2023
      Sayonara (1957) Mildred Martin Brando gives a superb performance which ranges from humorous to inarticulate to deadly serious.
      Posted Mar 02, 2023
      Flower Drum Song (1961) Henry T. Murdock Flower Drum Song is going to please almost every type of audience.
      Posted Feb 27, 2023
      Safety Last (1923) Inquirer Staff The fact remains that the heart-arresting stunts performed by Mr. Lloyd as he climbs the side of a towering skyscraper... are startling enough to send a shiver down the back of even the most hardened steeplejack in the world.
      Posted Feb 21, 2023
      Godzilla (1998) Steven Rea Godzilla leaves nothing to the imagination. It also leaves nothing much for its stars to do.
      Posted Feb 15, 2023
      Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) Henry T. Murdock With sardonic gallantry, the story bathes the battered face of Mountain Rivera with the glow of pride and dignity...
      Posted Feb 08, 2023
      Wild Things (1998) Steven Rea A collision of epically awful thespianism. It's like watching particles of antimatter crashing into each other: mutual annihilation on a massive scale.
      Posted Feb 02, 2023
      Back to Bataan (1945) Mildred Martin There are excellent and exciting battle sequences, as well as one throat-tightening, laudably un-Hollywoodized, glimpse of the infamous Death March. And there are also numerous good performances under the firm, capable direction of Edward Dmytryk.
      Posted Feb 01, 2023
      Diabolique (1955) Mildred Martin It's a fantastically fine, grisly suspense shocker; a deep-freeze exercise in conscienceless killing; a tricky, murderous little honey dealing in sheer horror.
      Posted Jan 31, 2023
      The Big Lebowski (1998) Carrie Rickey It is a funny picture, in both the ha-ha and peculiar senses. And if it is not as fully fledged as Raising Arizona and Fargo, this is because the Coen Brothers set such high standards for their edgy comedies.
      Posted Jan 24, 2023
      Frankenstein (1931) Inquirer Staff For horror, terror and the atmosphere of Edgar Allan Poe at his most gruesome it is hard to recall any former film surpassing Frankenstein. James Whale has handled his ghastly material in a manner which makes the most of its morbid and grim possibilities.
      Posted Jan 13, 2023
      Alma's Rainbow (1994) Carrie Rickey What Alma's Rainbow lacks in shapeliness of script, it makes up for in the common sense and uncommon humor of its principals.
      Posted Jan 10, 2023
      Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) Desmond Ryan [Bless Their Little Hearts] is a remarkably subtle and insightful look at what poverty does to family life... The strength of Woodberry's film lies in its perceptive study of how this hopeless predicament corrodes a man's self-esteem.
      Posted Jan 10, 2023
      Eve's Bayou (1997) Carrie Rickey Beyond its compelling family dynamics, Eve's Bayou resonates with close encounters of the physical and metaphysical kind.
      Posted Jan 10, 2023
      Down in the Delta (1998) Desmond Ryan In the hands of Maya Angelou. America's most beloved living poet, Down in the Delta gets down to a level of primal feelings and territory that eludes far more experienced filmmakers.
      Posted Jan 04, 2023
      The Lady Eve (1941) Mildred Martin [The Lady Eve] is by all odds the best and breeziest thing at which Sturges has turned an impish hand and an equally impish pen.
      Posted Dec 29, 2022
      Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Mildred Martin "Masterpiece" and all the other enthusiastic words that are to be lavished upon [Snow White] seem too heavy a burden to bear for anything spun with such gracious, heart-warming charm, woven from the stuff of dreams.
      Posted Dec 21, 2022
      Deadly Friend (1986) Desmond Ryan A rather shrewd fantasy for teenage boys about taking absolute control of a girl's body.
      Posted Dec 09, 2022
      My Four Years in Germany (1918) Inquirer Staff Unvarnished truths pertaining to the present war, and the events which led up to it, are depicted in My Four Years in Germany, the remarkable picture based on and comprising many of the incidents which came to the notice of Ambassador Jambs W. Gerard.
      Posted Nov 16, 2022
      Gentleman's Agreement (1947) Mildred Martin The film has an urgency, a sincerity and a persuasiveness which, for this reader, the book lacked. Credit for this, it seems to us, goes primarily to Moss Hart and Elia Kazan.
      Posted Nov 16, 2022
      The Maltese Falcon (1941) Mildred Martin The Maltese Falcon has been made before, but never like this. If chief credit goes to Huston, there is still a large and fancy slice left for the players. Humphrey Bogart gives the performance of his career.
      Posted Nov 11, 2022
      Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Mildred Martin This amusing 1903 vignette, decorated with tunes, Technicolor and a practically perfect cast, is ideal holiday entertainment in which Judy Garland and little Margaret O'Brien romp off with both your heart and most of the honors.
      Posted Nov 10, 2022
      Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) Mildred Martin This contender for Academy honors has warmth as well as wit, beguiling charm as well as pointed satire, and it rekindles a few patriotic ideals that have long slept un der the smothering blanket of political scandals and governmental misdeeds.
      Posted Nov 09, 2022
      Cavalcade (1933) Inquirer Staff Quite as much as the cast, if not far more deserving of praise, is the superior direction of Frank Lloyd who has handled the unwieldy and sprawling material with disciplined intelligence and understanding art.
      Posted Nov 09, 2022
      King Kong (1933) Inquirer Staff One recalls The Lost World of silent days, and still finds King Kong a more artful result of superb trickery, good acting and accompanied by a serious and excellent musical score written by Max Steiner.
      Posted Nov 09, 2022
      The Shop Around the Corner (1940) Mildred Martin William Tracy steals every scene in which he appears, as the fresh, alert errand boy who provides his own metamorphosis to the exalted rank or clerk.
      Posted Nov 07, 2022
      Stalag 17 (1953) Mildred Martin The suspect sergeant, an opportunist hated and patronized by the men he exploits, is extraordinarily well played by William Holden. Bidding neither for sympathy nor any particular understanding. Holden's Sefton is no conventional war play hero.
      Posted Nov 05, 2022
      The President's Mystery (1936) Mildred Martin Phil Rosen has directed with clarity and speed. His handling of the mob sequences has a certain kinship to Fritz Lang's more urgent, sharper work in Fury.
      Posted Oct 25, 2022
      Java Head (1934) Mildred Martin A slow-moving, clumsily handled, Anglicized version of the Hergesheimer story which manages to miss most of its opportunities for colorful character drawing.
      Posted Oct 21, 2022
      The Thief of Bagdad (1924) Inquirer Staff The photography of the picture is remarkable. The tricks of the camera were never better utilized than in the travels of the magic carpet and the winged horse and in showing Fairbanks' descent into the sea.
      Posted Oct 21, 2022
      Shanghai Express (1932) Inquirer Staff No matter how slowly Mr. von Sternberg may unfold his story his artistic perception is always evident, his handling of detail is masterly and his films fairly bristle with imaginative effects.
      Posted Oct 21, 2022
      Lady From Chungking (1942) Inquirer Staff A more or less routine drama which nevertheless has flashes of power. [But they] hardly compensate for the inept script and the unbelievable simplicity with which the guerillas accomplish their plans.
      Posted Oct 20, 2022
      Peter Pan (1924) Inquirer Staff It is a treat for children and grown-ups alike this wonderful fairy tale of the joyous Peter Pan. And Betty Bronson, selected by Sir James Barrie for the part, is most truly the elf he conceived when he wrote the play.
      Posted Oct 20, 2022
      Salem's Lot (2004) Jonathan Storm In the grand tradition of Don't-Go-in-There! horror movies... TNT presents a thoroughly enjoyable mini-series remake of the Stephen King vampire tale.
      Posted Oct 14, 2022
      Theatre of Blood (1973) William B. Collins A frequently amusing exercise in camp horror that misses being wholly satisfying because it has too many people to kill.
      Posted Sep 27, 2022
      The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970) William B. Collins A certain amount of ingenuity lifts The Bird with the Crystal Plumage above the run-of-the-mill murder mystery.
      Posted Sep 27, 2022
      House (1977) Carrie Rickey Too absurd to be genuinely terrifying, yet too nightmarish to be merely comic, "House" seems like it was beamed to Earth from another planet.
      Posted Sep 27, 2022
      Carnival of Souls (1962) Carrie Rickey A strangely eloquent artifact.
      Posted Sep 23, 2022
      Andy Warhol's Trash (1970) William B. Collins The film tends to make scavengers of its audience. Scabrous as it is, Trash has moments of poignancy and others of sheer farce. But you have to rescue them from the rubbish yourself.
      Posted Sep 21, 2022
      Cobra Woman (1944) Mildred Martin [The visuals] at least keep the eyes occupied. But otherwise this story of cobra worship with its attempt to draw shaky parallels between totalitarian and free governments is straight out of kindergarten.
      Posted Sep 20, 2022
      House on Haunted Hill (1959) Mildred Martin Children may cringe, adults will laugh this one off.
      Posted Sep 16, 2022
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