Monica Richardson’s film ratings

During the first nine months of 1945, Monica Richardson saw more than 75 films. (In the early 21st century the average person probably sees about five films a year at the cinema.) Apart from a couple whose titles she couldn’t remember, they are listed here. She rated almost all of them on the following scale (although I’m willing to entertain debate about the correct ranking of each assessment). The numbers in brackets indicate the distribution of films in each rank.

Very good indeed (1)

Very good  (6)

Jolly good (1)

Good (14)

Quite good (31)

Not bad (10)

Wasn’t terribly struck (1)

Not much good (2)

Awful (1)

Utter nonsense (1)

And a parallel rating system for comedies:

Very funny (1)

Funny (1)

Quite funny (1)

For a transcript of the diary from which these notes were taken, click here.

Film Rating Remarks
[No title – film starring George Formby] Not bad
7 Doors to Death Not bad
A Medal for Benny Quite good
A Song to Remember Good Lovely music. The life of Chopin but not very accurate as to facts. Still, it was worth seeing just for the music. Jose Iturbi played. Cornel Wilde was Chopin. He was quite good but not much like Chopin to look at.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Good
Abroad With Two Yanks Very funny
Action in Arabia Good
Alibi Good
And Now Tomorrow Good
Arsenic and Old Lace Good
Can’t Help Singing Quite good Though not very storified
Captain Blood Not bad
Captain Caution Not much good
Constant Nymph Quite good A bit sad at the end, but only then, so I didn’t mind
Dark Waters Very good
End of the Road Good
Everything Happens at Night Quite good
For the Love of You [No rating] Ancient, about 1920 I should think. Gave us a laugh anyway
Frenchman’s Creek Wasn’t terribly struck
Ghost Catchers Utter nonsense
Goodnight Sweetheart Not bad
Guess What? Quite good
Guest in the House Quite good Better than I expected
Harvest Days Quite good
He Snoops to Conquer Quite good
Here Come the Waves Quite good
Horse Sense [No rating] A documentary about horses
Hotel Berlin Good
I Met Him in Paris Good
I’ll Be Seeing You Very good
I’ll Remember April Good
If I Had My Way Quite good
International Lady Good
Jamaica Inn [No rating] Seemed a bit silly on a second showing
Janie Quite good
Johnny Doesn’t Live Here Any More Quite good Rather balmy
Jungle Rhapsody Not bad Not bad of its kind, though we see too many documentaries about the jungle
Lady Let’s Dance Quite good
Love Story Quite good
Marked Woman Good Old, but good.
Marshall of Gunsmoke [NO RATING]
Mr Emmanuel Quite good
Murder, He Says Quite funny Absolutely balmy but quite funny in spots.
Music for Millions [No rating] With Margaret O’Brien (child prodigy). Didn’t think much of it (or her). Was rather bored. Gerry too. Quite nice music though classical
My Ain Folk Not bad Not bad for a Butcher [Butler?] film
My Best Gal Not much good
My Pal Wolf Good
None Shall Escape Very good Very good film although it was a war film
Old Acquaintance Very good indeed
Pride and Prejudice Jolly good One of its best features is the nice English spoken. Quite a pleasant change from the modern slang.
Rembrandt Quite good
Rose Marie Not bad
Sally O’Rourke Quite good
Secret motive Not bad Though a bit senseless
Senorita from the West Quite good
She gets her man Funny Balmy, crazy, dotty & mad. Funny though
Since You Went Away Quite good Though rather slushy in parts
South of the Border Not bad
The Climax Quite good Though far fetched
The Hitler Gang Quite good About Hitler’s rise to power. Interesting
The Keys of the Kingdom Very good Gregory Peck was Fr Chisholm & was just right for the part.
The Right to Live Quite good And had a medical flavour
The Suspect Quite good Charles Laughton was quite good for a change
The Thin Man Goes Home Quite good Though I can’t stand William Powell
The Town Went Wild Quite good
They Live in Fear Not bad
They Were Sisters Very good Good acting
Thoroughbreds Quite good
Time Flies Quite good
To Have and Have Not Good
Tomorrow the World Quite good
Tropicana Awful Mae West! She’s completely out of date. Rotten acting anyway
Waterloo Road Quite good
Western Approaches Very good
Wilson Quite good Though very political. Good acting & in technicolour

3 thoughts on “Monica Richardson’s film ratings”

  1. It does make me want to see these films to see if I agree with her ratings, doubt if many of them would be available now, though.

  2. It would probably take a lifetime anyway. But take the eight films she rates as either Very good indeed, very good or jolly good.

    Dark Waters – currently available on Amazon (costs £30 though)
    I’ll Be Seeing You – currently available on Amazon £3.97
    None Shall Escape – Doesn’t seem to be available
    Old Acquaintance – currently available on Amazon £8.59
    Pride and Prejudice – currently available on Amazon £11.53
    The Keys of the Kingdom – currently available on Amazon £5.32
    They Were Sisters – currently available on Amazon (but £30 on VHS)
    Western Approaches – currently available on Amazon £8.65

    So only 3 out of 8 are too expensive to bother with or unavailable.

  3. This is brilliant! So mad that she saw that many in just a few months. The main one I want to see is Horse Sense (a documentary about horses). 🙂 We do need to try and get some of these films together thought

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