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  • Mr. Skeffington

    Mr. Skeffington

    ★★★½

    Difficult to believe Bette Davis as a magnetic beauty who entrances every man who crosses her path, especially with that irritating voice, but otherwise this is a prime example of a glossy melodrama from Hollywood's golden age. Polished and entertaining, even though Bette's suitors are nearly all portrayed as buffoons.

  • The Punch Bowl

    The Punch Bowl

    ★★★

    A middle-aged writer who never sampled the delights of state school poses as a schoolboy and seduces a female classmate. It's the kind of behaviour that would earn him a ten-stretch today, but this likeable comedy is nevertheless still a big deal in Germany. The implausibility of a forty-something man passing for a child is solved by casting a bunch of forty-somethings as his classmates.

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  • Sherlock Holmes

    Sherlock Holmes

    ★★★

    The famous sleuth is marked for death by his nemesis, Moriarty.

    Clive Brook makes a rather dour Holmes in this early '30s incarnation of the famous detective. Fox updated his story to the modern day, and relegated Watson (Reginald Owen) to the sidelines to be replaced by a glamorous fiancé (Miriam Jordan) who is a nuisance most of the time and, incredibly, has a disapproving father (Ivan F. Simpson), and some kid from Canada (Howard Leeds) whose presence is never satisfactorily explained. Perennial bad guy Ernest Terrence steals the film as Moriarty.

  • Ecstasy

    Ecstasy

    ★★★½

    A free-spirited young woman quickly grows tired of her stuffy older husband and begins an affair with a young engineer.

    A lyrical, near-silent Czech movie which is chiefly remembered for the fact that 19-year-old future Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr briefly gives her pups an airing before treating us to mainstream cinema's first fake orgasm. The sparse dialogue means the plot is easy to follow even without subtitles, and allows plenty of time to admire Director Gustav Machaty's confident direction.