The New Masses

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Thunder Over Mexico (1933) Samuel Brody Thunder Over Mexico is, politically speaking, a distortion of content. The causes for its formal perversion can only be understood if they are regarded as flowing directly from the conscious inversion of Eisenstein's original intentions. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
() Emjo Basshe Everywhere the great spirit of the workers of the Soviet Union shows itself. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
() Samuel Brody Its ethnographic and political implications are beyond criticism, while some very original mounting make it a film which holds you thruout its length. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
() Helene Woolf The timeliness of a Jew at War, with a new imperialist war in the offing, makes it even more significant. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
Raffles (1930) Samuel Brody It's all papier mache from the sets to the dramatis personae. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
China Express (1929) William Seigel I have yet to see any non-Russian director depict scenes of rebellion, struggle and destruction with such gusto. The camera eye moves in a sort of a frenzy, catching distorted faces, clenched fists, guns, broken glass and upset furniture. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
Variety (1925) Edwin Seaver Variety riots in the beauty of materials, of things alive and perfect in themselves. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
Fragment of an Empire (1929) Emjo Basshe Fragment of an Empire shows that the cinema artists of the Soviet Union are never satisfied with just one technique, with one theme or a single triumph. They keep on experimenting, creating, discovering. EDIT
Posted May 8, 2020
Potemkin (1925) Edwin Seaver Potemkin is a complete break from anything hitherto known in the art of the motion picture. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2020
Metropolis (1927) Lewis Mumford Metropolis is a sentimental mess; it is staggering; yes, but it has the blind staggers; and they lead to nothing but the sentimental repentance (capital and labor shaking hands!) of the morning after. EDIT
Posted Apr 10, 2020
() Harry Alan Potamkin A direct invitation to murder Soviet officials. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
Stolen Heaven (1931) Harry Alan Potamkin Off they go the land of dreams on their 20,000 bucks, and we never are told they are anything but respectable, true to the Hays code, the evangelical bible of the movie. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
() Harry Alan Potamkin The chief significance of A Son of the Land is its proof that the process of the Soviet film is a lively one, seldom deteriorating to beneath its norm, but collecting more and more strength -- producing numerous new talents -- as it moves. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
Bed and Sofa (1927) Harry Alan Potamkin Room's social comedy is Russia laughing at herself, letting a tickle out of her new morality. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
() Harry Alan Potamkin There is another Russian film which must not be neglected: In Old Siberia. It is not the best, but it is one of the most sensitive, and also lacking in arrogance --which is a proof of Russia's adulthood. EDIT
Posted Mar 26, 2020
The Millionaire (1931) Harry Alan Potamkin The movie is a ritual that purges everything it touches -- purges everything of veracity and sense. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Skippy (1931) Harry Alan Potamkin Redemption is the keynote of every American film. Bourgeois society is a coupon. Skippy puts its bid across through the popularity of young children as players. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Eliso (1928) Harry Alan Potamkin This Russian film is assuredly not a great one, but it is a compelling one. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
The New Babylon (1929) Harry Alan Potamkin The problems and their tangents provoked by The New Babylon could fill a book. That is contribution enough. I urge everyone to examine this detaining film for himself. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
The Silent Enemy (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin I can think of nothing good to say for this production, unless it be the initiative of the group that made it. The film was made independently by people who had nothing better to do and did that badly. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Abraham Lincoln (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin The fact that it draws tears is rather against it than for it. The pathos of a tremendous social occurrence should not be refined or lachrymose, but revealing. The social occurrence seldom gets a chance here. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Storm Over Asia (1928) Harry Alan Potamkin An exciting film, which beats any American audience-film. It makes the boasted dramatic technique of America appear a schoolboy's exercise. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Arsenal (1929) Harry Alan Potamkin Here we have a Russian film that is not didactic but suggestive... an intensive, agonized, poignant, introspective film, conceived not as realism punctuated by symbols but as sustained symbolism. EDIT
Posted Mar 25, 2020
Billy the Kid (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin It is just another western of "the good bad man" who goes good for a girl, a theme and treatment which dates from the first Broncho Billy. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
Earth (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin It extends the message of collectivism farther into the province of the reflective, whither the film the world over must inherently progress. But in moving to the reflective, it becomes too personal a meditation... EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
Gabriel Over the White House (1933) Harry Alan Potamkin The picture Gabriel is cheap, tawdry propaganda but not "pointless." EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin All Quiet is constructed with some attention to intervals, to time and even emotional quality. But directorial competence is not enough. The temper is lacking. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
Holiday (1930) Samuel Brody Holiday is a supreme effort of cinema to become as much the theatre as possible. It is more competent theatre than even Mamoulian's Applause, which definitely eliminated the use of intervals thru the moving camera. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
Shanghai Express (1932) Harry Alan Potamkin The alibi that the film is 'just melodrama' is puerile. EDIT
Posted Jan 14, 2020
The Man With a Movie Camera (1929) Emjo Basshe No million dollar appropriations. No full page advertisements. No phrases out of Barnum's corpse:... Just an experiment by a Russian director and his cameraman trying to find out what can be done with a camera and a will to create. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Hallelujah (1929) Emjo Basshe [What] follows: a plot which is jerky, muddy, full of sounds one expects from senile and ailing phonograph records. EDIT
Posted Sep 11, 2019
Numbered Men (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin Incompetent. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Drifters (1929) Samuel Brody Drifters is a film of sincere intentions and feeble cinematic craftsmanship. EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
The General Line (1929) Harry Alan Potamkin This film is a film of wit, folk-humour, shrewdness, optimism, clarity and point... EDIT
Posted Sep 6, 2019
Turksib (1929) Harry Alan Potamkin I have called Turksib an ode. It is more than an ode. It is more than an ode, though it does not become the epic its momentum strives after. This is by no means frustration. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
Journey's End (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin No one can call this reproduction of a play a moving picture. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019
The Big House (1930) Harry Alan Potamkin Dialogue cannot carry the mood, the film as a whole is the vehicle. The accusations therefore remain incidents -- passing and unemphatic. Whatever suggestion of social guilt they contain is dissipated by the events of the story, and their treatment. EDIT
Posted Sep 5, 2019