Jane Eyre

Add Comment on February 03, 1944 by Christine James

   After the recent releases "Sense and Sensibility" and "Mary Reilly," this adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel "Jane Eyre" arrives seeming a tad too thematically familiar. All three are set in the United Kingdom in the 19th century and deal with a poor woman and a wealthy man falling in love but being unable to reveal their feelings due to the social stigma. It's not really an obstacle modern-day audiences can identify with. Given the caliber of scandal we're accustomed to, who could muster the energy to raise an eyebrow when Liz Taylor married a construction worker, for example?

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Citizen Kane

Add Comment on May 01, 1941 by BOXOFFICE Staff

"Citizen Kane" is an event in motion pictures. An intelligent and intellectual stimulus, and also an experiment.
   The report must be that this long-awaited Orson Welles film is noteworthy in its conception, its execution and, indeed, in its entire approach. But it is noteworthy essentially in a critical sense -- in the sense that here is an endeavor to be admired for the expertness and the newness of its treatment, the superb characteristics of its craftsmanship. On those scores, "Citizen Kane" might well be said to have marked a milestone.
   In reverse approach, however, its characters seem unreal. They never elicit sympathy. Probably few will care much what happens to any of them.

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Buck Privates (1941)

Add Comment on January 31, 1941 by BOXOFFICE Staff

Timeliness is this feature's greatest asset. As the first of an impending large number of pictures dealing with the draft and other phases of national defense, it will doubtlessly strike a popular chord and register revenue scores of husky proportions. The task of spinning a yarn about life in Uncle Sam's newly recruited army is undertaken with a tongue-in-cheek attitude, which keeps the motivation within the established limits of musical comedy most of the way. Consequently, during the film's comic and musical moments -- and they predominate -- it is very good entertainment, approaching the riotous at times. In which departments, credit goes to Abbott and Costello and the Andrews Sisters, respectively.

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Add Comment on February 09, 1940 by Bridget Byrne

Is it possible to say anything good about "Pinocchio" without one's nose growing? Even allowing that Roberto Benigni's expensive dream project surely must have been a little better in its original Italian, it would be a big, fat fib to suggest that it contains anything of merit. From concept to execution it is a huge mistake. It's not even correct to make "wooden" puns about it, because Benigni too entirely fails in his depiction of the fairytale puppet carved from a block of lumber to suggest he's made of anything but middle-aged flesh and giant ego. Choosing to tell the classic sto...

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The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1939)

Add Comment on December 31, 1939 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   Of first importance is the fact that the remake of Victor Hugo's medieval horror melodrama can be definitely pegged as a high grosser. It posesses those ingredients that make for almost universal appeal. On the entertainment side of the ledger will be found mostly assets and one possible liability. The latter is its unavoidable overtone of somberness, which at times becomes gruesome and, to the squeamish, almost repellent. Far overshadowing, however, are its magnificent performances, of which the portrayal of Quasimodo, the misshapen bell ringer, by Charles Laughton is as ...

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The Saint Strikes Back

Add Comment on March 10, 1939 by BOXOFFICE Staff

   Second in the series of mystery/detective thrillers, this maintains the standard of excellence set by the initialer and emerges as a well-knit chapter in the adventures of Leslie Charteris' popular modern Robin Hood, Simon Templar--otherwise known as The Saint. Its business-like construction should please average audiences and delight the adventure fans. Despite a major change in casting, which finds George Sanders taking over the characterization first essayed by Louis Hayward, the feature suffers not a whit, as Sanders' build, personality and mannerisms fill to perfection the popular conception of the devil-may-care desperado.

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The Adventures of Robin Hood

Add Comment on November 20, 1937 by BOXOFFICE Staff

Regardless of what the entertainment tastes of theatre patrons might be, this incredibly magnificent production, through the attainment of superb heights in pageantry, spectacle, thrills, romance and precedental beauties of Technicolor photography, includes plenty to more than satisfy them. In every department, the offer is flawless and under all conditions cannot miss skyrocketing to tremendous grosses. Throughout, the cast approaches perfection with every performer ideally fitting the mental picture of the characters which has been formed by countless generations who have read of the swashbuckling exploits of the legendary hero. Errol Flynn's delineation of the title role is inspired, easily his best to date. Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley.

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