Monthly Film Bulletin

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) MFB Critics A patchy piece of juvenile science fiction. The settings are quite effective in a Christmas pantomime way, while the Daleks themselves make admirable villains. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2018
The Old Dark House (1932) John Pym The film is shot through in almost every scene by a wholly individual sense of comic timing and bizarre juxtaposition. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
Grease (1978) Jan Dawson Insidiously, it congratulates its audience on having achieved a stable perspective from which it can view with amused tolerance the turbulent times of its supposed teenage traumas. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
Lucia (1969) Jan Dawson To describe Lucía as a masterpiece seems almost to belittle it since visually it is not one film but three. EDIT
Posted Jun 19, 2018
Windbag the Sailor (1936) MFB Critics The story though not strong and rather slowly developed is an excellent vehicle -- and a new one -- for Will Hay's particular kind of humour and fooling and he is in good form. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Winds of Change (1960) MFB Critics The film, as its pretentious title implies, takes too much upon itself. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
2,000 Women (1944) MFB Critics Though the balance of humour and dramatic suspense is good, the film is lacking in realism. However, taken solely from an entertainment angle, it may be enjoyed for its snappy dialogue and good comedy angles. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Turned Out Nice Again (1941) MFB Critics Admirers of George Formby will find little for complaint in this film, though it differs from his previous comedies in that the story is less improbable than usual and contains very little slapstick. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Trottie True (1949) MFB Critics The film hovers on the edge of a charm, humour and style which it never quite attains. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London (1967) MFB Critics Peter Whitehead's fragmented look at the "swinging" London first brought to light by Time magazine is in some ways a fascinating document of contemporary mores. But as a film in its own right, it is confused, imitative and finally self-destructive. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Yield to the Night (1956) MFB Critics As a plea against capital punishment, the producers' conception of their drama seems to lack passion, and this makes it difficult to assimilate the film's emotional climate. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
X the Unknown (1956) MFB Critics After a series of prolonged climaxes, with its potential victims staring directly into the camera and shaking with fright, the "Unknown" finally emerges as a type of rolling rubber mattress, disappointingly unhorrific in content and appearance. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957) MFB Critics The facile ending, with its suggestion of "happy ever after", is in line with the compromising attitude of the film as a whole; and rings entirely false. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Conqueror Worm (1968) MFB Critics Visually, the theme is beautifully supported by Reeves' subtle use of colour, in which the delicate patchwork greens of the English countryside are shot through by the colours of death and decay as Matthew Hopkins prowls through it robed in black. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Devil's Own (1966) MFB Critics After a crude opening sequence of poor Joan Fontaine being frightened out of her wits by a prancing witch-doctor in an African hut, this very enjoyable thriller settles down more calmly to make good use of Nigel Kneale's highly literate script. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Whistle Down the Wind (1962) MFB Critics Bryan Forbes, directing for the first time, reveals a painstaking, often incisive talent for behaviour rather than a marked personal style. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Western Approaches (1944) MFB Critics Through arduous months of filming at sea -- and using not professional actors but serving officers and men -- Dalrymple and Jackson have created a dramatic essay in realism which equals any comparable treatment of their subject. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
We Dive at Dawn (1943) MFB Critics The direction achieves agonies of suspense and thrills. The model work is somewhat weak, but the location shots atone for everything. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Way to the Stars (1945) MFB Critics No other film has so subtly and so truthfully portrayed the life of the airman in war, its problems, its hazards, its exaggerated casualness towards death, its courage, its humour, its comradeship. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Way Ahead (1944) MFB Critics From a thorough, thoughtful and lively script by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov, this is an outstanding piece of film-making from the viewpoint of production, direction, camera-work and acting. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Waterloo Road (1945) MFB Critics In both writing and directing, Gilliat has achieved a remarkable degree of sincerity, of fidelity to background and character. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Violent Playground (1958) MFB Critics It is very sad that such a wonderful opportunity to make a true to life film on such an important theme has been allowed, once again, to slip away. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
The Unearthly Stranger (1964) MFB Critics One can pick holes in the script, but in the long run ingenuity and suspense pay off handsomely. The climax in particular is as satisfying as it is bleak. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Trouble in Store (1953) MFB Critics Norman Wisdom brings to the screen his well-known stage personality, "the little man against the world," and with it its basic weakness -- its dependence on a first-rate script, which he lacks in this film. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2018
Tomorrow at Ten (1964) MFB Critics Robert Shaw is chillingly effective in an intelligent performance which, for about twenty minutes deludes one into thinking that Lance Comfort's direction is much better than it really is. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Together (1956) MFB Critics Concerned with the sadness and desolation of life in a city, with the melancholy landscape in which the helpless loneliness of the deaf-mutes is only part of a general sadness, Together draws one remarkably into its world. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953) MFB Critics The script itself is disconcertingly short on wit, and some of its invention appears forced, and Crichton's handling fails to supply the charm that could still have been the film's justification. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
They Were Sisters (1945) MFB Critics Although it could not be called striking or outstanding, this is an interesting film which leaves its own kind of quiet satisfaction. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Winslow Boy (1948) MFB Critics This is quite definitely a film to see and enjoy. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Taxi zum Klo (1981) Bill Marshall Ripploh left teaching when disciplinary action was taken against him, and devoted himself full-time to filmmaking. This, his first feature, was made on a shoestring but the result is a mature work, perfectly controlled and finely photographed. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Target for Tonight (1941) MFB Critics It dramatises reality and is very successful in conveying atmosphere. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
A Tale of Two Cities (1958) MFB Critics A straightforward adaptation which follows the events of Dickens' crowded narrative with commendable fidelity. The pure excitement of the book is missing, however; and the fault lies mostly with T. E. B. Clarke's reverent but somewhat lifeless script. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Sweeney Todd (1936) MFB Critics There are several inconsistencies in the development of the plot, but a certain amount of the necessarily gruesome atmosphere has been caught and the story itself is so good that the film has some success. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Summertime (1955) MFB Critics The script maintains slightly the tone of an impeccably smooth and glossy novelette, romantic rather than sentimental, but scarcely concerned to explore its situation very deeply. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Summer Holiday (1963) MFB Critics A star vehicle for Cliff Richard that aims high, but continually slops into the second-rate through lack of inventiveness in narrative and dancing. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Great Gilbert and Sullivan (1953) MFB Critics The respectfully dull costume productions of the Korda group since 1947 find full scope in this frightfully proper account of the work of "two great men of the Victorian stage". EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Stars Look Down (1939) MFB Critics The scenario writer has wisely concentrated on a well-knit and straightforward plot. The result is thoroughly holding entertainment. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Square Peg (1958) MFB Critics Norman Wisdom is too unrelaxed, too self-conscious as yet, to be one of the great screen comedians. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
60 Glorious Years (1938) MFB Critics The treatment is necessarily and inevitably episodic, but the incidents are admirably chosen, and the balance is skilfully kept between pageantry and human interest. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Secret Place (1958) MFB Critics The Secret Place is a modest production, but it develops conventional material with an encouraging sense of enterprise. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Piccadilly Incident (1946) MFB Critics It remains quite an entertaining film... but it certainly seems a pity that so promising a beginning should have tailed off to such an unsatisfactory ending. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Old Bones of the River (1938) MFB Critics This is a roaring farce which gets steadily more and more funny as it proceeds. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Elephant Gun (1958) MFB Critics It is sad that such resources should have been squandered on material of pulp magazine level, in which neither character nor incident nor theme has any coherence or interest. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Spring in Park Lane (1947) MFB Critics Here an old and sorely tried story has been taken and transformed by Nicholas Phipps into a brilliant script bubbling over with gaiety and wit. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Spider and the Fly (1949) MFB Critics There is no doubt that the undertones throughout are fascinating, but the dramatic possibilities of the subject are only half realised. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952) MFB Critics Its shortcomings in presenting character and human situation seem the more disappointing in view of its conspicuous success in conveying both the excitements and something of the mystique of flying. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Song of Freedom (1936) MFB Critics The story is unusual and well thought out EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
() MFB Critics The direction, photography and editing of this film place it in a class by itself as an imaginative, and at the same time, strictly documentary, presentation of the island of Ceylon. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
Palais Royale (1988) MFB Critics Although familiar in style and idiom, this pleasant little mystery story has a few features that lift it out of the ordinary. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018
The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) MFB Critics The whole weight of this gay idea is carried by Bernard Miles, Margaret Rutherford and Peter Sellers... Outside these three, the film is a rather poor example of conventional British screen comedy, with stock characters and situations. EDIT
Posted Feb 12, 2018