Favorite films

  • Casque d'Or
  • Diabolique
  • Room at the Top
  • Games

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  • Scream

    ★★★½

  • Please Turn Over

    ★★★

  • The Red Balloon

    ★★★★½

  • Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★★★

Recent reviews

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  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★½

    It's brain-squeakingly meta but this is not actually a bad requel, thanks to a satisfying final sequence. I didn't catch Scream 4 so for quite a lot of time I was wondering "Am I meant to know this character?" But once those doubts settled down I was able to go with the blood flow. The film references fly thick and fast, the plentiful stab wounds are ickier than before and it even provoked a few laughs, especially a reference to…

  • Please Turn Over

    Please Turn Over

    ★★★

    The Rogers/Thomas producer/director duo branched off into marginally milder territory after the success of a couple of Carry Ons by adapting a play about a teenager (Julia [daughter of Margaret] Lockwood) who writes a Peyton Placesque bestseller about the salacious goings on in suburbia. Having planted her family members in adulterous/seductive/embezzling scenarios, everyone in town reads reality into the fiction.

    The best section of the film is an overplayed dramatisation of the book wherein well-known actors step from dull roles into…

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  • Mystery of the Wax Museum

    Mystery of the Wax Museum

    ★★★★

    As much as I love Fay Wray and her legendary lungs of scream, this is Glenda Farrell's picture. She's fabulous as the hard-bitten, wisecrackin' reporter and has literally all the best lines - "You can go to some nice, warm place - and I don't mean California!"; "I've been in love so many times, my heart's calloused"; "You raise the kids, I'll raise the roof. I'd rather die of an arthritic heart from shaking cocktails and daiquiris than expire in…

  • Ball of Fire

    Ball of Fire

    ★★★★★

    To some dear readers there may be an element of sacrilege in the following query, but what makes this a Howard Hawks film? This is a Billy Wilder film. The story originated with him and the script (from him and Charles Brackett) is filled with obvious Wilderisms, toying with the English language and sexual mores in his uniquely mischievous Viennese fashion. As one of the exchanges between professor and gangster goes:
    'You don't mind if we talk, do you?'
    'Just…