Penelope Houston Movie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Penelope Houston

Penelope Houston
Penelope Houston's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Sight and Sound, The Spectator, Monthly Film Bulletin

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
90% Frenzy (1972) Once a Londoner, always a Londoner. Hitchcock's return to home ground, twenty-two years after Stage Fright, is a remarkable performance in most senses of the word.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted May 13, 2020
90% The Trouble with Harry (1955) Assimilating the black humours of the comedie noire into the gentler comedy of village eccentricity, Hitchcock and his scriptwriter, John Michael Hayes, have concocted an entertainment insidious in its charm.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Apr 28, 2020
89% The Day of the Jackal (1973) Like the Jackal himself, the film is something of a professional without an identity.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2020
67% Torn Curtain (1966) The chase is just cat and mouse with a clawiess cat. Not, of course, that Hitchcock's own claws are quite sheathed.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Apr 2, 2020
83% The Hill (1965) By the end, it's frenzied shouting laced with TV studio debating points.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 31, 2020
71% The Young Lions (1958) It moves with leaden efficiency from one character to another, one country to another, a battle-canvas with no central point of focus.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2020
No Score Yet Orders to Kill (1958) The director, Anthony Asquith, and the writer, Paul Dehn, have allowed the film to end on equivocation rather than statement... But Orders to Kill has a theme and a point, is not simply using the war as background.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 30, 2020
No Score Yet Seemabaddha, (Company Limited) (1971) Like Bresson, Ray can make you wait, irrationally expectant, while a man simply crosses a room to sit down in another chair.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 27, 2020
97% Born Yesterday (1950) Born Yesterday is lifted above the average by Judy Holliday's performance.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 23, 2020
44% How I Won the War (1967) The first problem with How I Won the War is that the basic farce is not all that funny.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2020
77% Mr. Arkadin (1962) Beneath the baroque extravagance of its style, and the characteristic romantic retreat from reality into another Xanadu, the film crumbles emptily away.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 18, 2020
50% The Prize (1963) Criticism retreats, disarmed, before a film which hardly even allows itself to become serious about the Nobel prize. ‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 11, 2020
94% Charade (1963) Charade allows itself to get slightly tangled up in its own plot.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Mar 3, 2020
56% One-Eyed Jacks (1961) The satisfactions of One Eyed Jacks lie in watching an artist of this calibre at work, the display of that quintessential actor's egotism which admits of no limits to what the player, merely through his presence, can communicate.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Feb 11, 2020
62% Cleopatra (1963) As the sets seem to grow bigger and bigger, so progressively the players dwindle.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2020
75% The Sundowners (1960) The Sundowners carries leisureliness to a point where it becomes self-defeating. There is not nearly enough in the film that has to be there, and far too much that is there merely to hold the straying eye.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Feb 10, 2020
99% On the Waterfront (1954) Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront is a significant, almost a definitive, example of a type of film which traditionally finds Hollywood at its most expert: the melodrama with a stiffening of serious ideas, the journalistic expose of crime and corruption.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Feb 5, 2020
100% Marty (1955) Marty, in detail a study of life in the Bronx, is in essence a contemporary love story, a romantic encounter developed with charm, humour and emotional penetration.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2020
69% Let's Make Love (1960) Cukor's old skill is evident in the bits of business he finds for his actors, the touches which build up sympathy, the unobtrusively accurate sense of where to place the camera and how to keep a flow of backstage action and dialogue moving.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
77% The Entertainer (1960) This kind of purposeful acting is something encouragingly new on the British screen; and the cinema cannot be allowed to imagine it can continue to do without it.‐ Sight and Sound
Read More | Posted Jan 11, 2020
83% Les Biches (Bad Girls) (Girlfriends) (The Does) (1968) The whole film has a sleek, well-fed look to it, as though Chabrol himself were purring with satisfaction at his own dexterity. As well, on the whole, he might.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
93% Csillagosok, katonák (The Red and The White) (1967) After only a couple of films, the landscape of Miklos Jancso is already one of the most unmistakable in cinema.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
95% The Queen (1968) The competition itself is decorous and dull.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
80% Wonderwall (1969) Self-indulgent whimsy, with not a great deal to be self-indulgent about.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
81% Women in Love (1969) To make the novel so excitedly, lip-smackingly "period" in its decorations leaves unreconciled problems of thought and character, a kind of weightlessness never securely anchored in Russell's direction or in Larry Kramer's devoted script.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
95% My Night at Maud's (Ma Nuit chez Maud) (1970) This is a calm, gravely ironic, finely balanced film, an exceptionally graceful bit of screen architecture whose elegant proportioning is the more alluring because its symmetry doesn't instantly hit the eye.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2019
64% The Bed Sitting Room (1969) Anything goes, so in the long run nothing much goes, and we're left with actors scampering through charades whose import becomes vaguer with every wild-eyed hit or miss apparition.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
86% The Damned (La caduta degli dei) (1969) It may be florid, operatic, pompous, recklessly indulgent, and in the strictest sense unnecessary, but at least it's there on its own terms, a movie with a director at the wheel, rocketing head-on into the oncoming traffic and damning the odds.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
No Score Yet Tell Me Lies (1968) That last shot, so self-indulgent and so wrong.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet All The Way Up (1970) I'm not sure that these gloating celebrations of tastelessness... aren't much more socially hazardous than mere horror movies, in which eating people is still wrong.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
97% Night of the Living Dead (1968) A slightly tacky horror picture which makes quite an impact; partly, I suspect, by ingeniously playing off its own limitations.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
95% Yojimbo (1961) Kurosawa's laconic awareness of the brusque farce of violence, and the permanence of melancholy, holds the film on a special balance between laughter and severity.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet The Gypsy Moths (1969) It is a sympathetic piece of quiet movie-making, a bit undersized perhaps for John Frankenheimer but certainly not such a tiddler as to make one feel he should have thrown it back.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
83% Adalen '31 (Adalen Riots) (1999) Widerberg can manage... to make the sense of happiness absolutely direct and tangible.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
88% True Grit (1969) True Grit depends on that simple, no doubt reprehensible (at least emphatically illiberal), irrepressibly amiable star image the cinema is supposed to have out- grown.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet La chamade (Heartbeat) (1969) Distinctly soothing: a Scotch-flavored lollipop.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
9% The Arrangement (1969) As soon as the characters begin the laborious process of self-analysis, the parade of guilts and obsessions could be marshaled and set in action by any halfway assiduous reader of Time magazine.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet The Reckoning (1969) The Reckoning has energy enough to drive through some of its now indecisions.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
83% Ring of Bright Water (1969) The humans, again as usual, are required to do mildly idiotic things.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
71% The Killing of Sister George (1968) It's Beryl Reid and Susannah York drifting dismasted towards caricature.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
83% Teorema (Theorem) (1968) A very extraordinary piece of work.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet The Jokers (1967) Resilient script... erratic direction, in the fashionable jumping-bean, all over the place style.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
73% You Only Live Twice (1967) No samurai armour; no suicide garden; not much really of Fleming's bizarre, obsessive travelogue.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
No Score Yet Hoffman (1970) It has lost an essential claustrophobic quality in its transition from compact TV play to almost two-hour film.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
33% Cromwell (1970) The script [has] bitten off a more complex slice of history than it can hope to chew.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
20% MacKenna's Gold (1969) Sagging and sprawling all over the landscape.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
79% Oh! What A Lovely War (1969) It may seem churlish to praise a film one admires not so much for what it gets right as for what it manages to avoid getting wrong. But Oh! What a Lovely War is perhaps a special case.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 18, 2018
93% If.... (1968) What makes this part of the film so compelling is less its details, though much of that is striking, than its mood.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2018
92% How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967) It least as funny as the old gamesmanship routines, and amiably dedicated to the proposition that any true company man is a rabbit in weasel's clothing.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2018
83% A Man for All Seasons (1966) The intention, I take it, is to steer us into seeing the drama as something universal, to draw what modern parallels we choose. And if this is so, it seems to me misguided.‐ The Spectator
Read More | Posted Jul 17, 2018