Benedict CumberbatchFilm Review Daily



Welcome to the Film Review Daily website. After 71 years and 70 issues of the ground-breaking volume kicked off by F. Maurice Speed in 1944, the digital age caught up with us (and we with it). So, as the 70th edition – Film Review 2014-2015 – hit the bookstalls (and all good internet retailers), we launched the Film Review Daily website with up-to-date critiques by our usual panel of discerning and frequently movie-loving critics.

As the Annual had covered film releases for the last seven decades, it seemed only proper that we continued the tradition. The website is now in its fifth year, and reviews old and new are being uploaded on a daily basis, along with an expanded In Memoriam section and the occasional book review (cf. Michael Caine's Blowing the Bloody Doors Off... ). For fans of the Annual, it should be pointed out that Mansel Stimpson and James Cameron-Wilson are still very much on board, with Michael Darvell providing the obituaries. 

For those unfamiliar with F. Maurice Speed’s publishing phenomenon, a quick history lesson: at its height, Film Review shipped 250,000 copies a year and contributors included Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcock, Clark Gable, Ingrid Bergman, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster, Alec Guinness, Rita Hayworth, Michael Powell, Cecil B. DeMille, Bing Crosby, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn and James Mason. The second edition of the annual did so well that it provided Maurice with the funds to buy a house and to furnish it “lavishly,” in his own words.


Later on, the book attracted the penmanship of such venerable writers as William K. Everson, Peter Cowie, Oswell Blakeston, Ivan Butler, Gordon Gow and Anthony Slide. In the intervening years, the Annual also passed through the hands of several publishers, starting out with Macdonald and then moving on to W.H. Allen, Columbus, Virgin, Reynolds & Hearn and then, finally, Signum Books. Since Maurice hung up his typewriter, Film Review was edited by four other journalists (including myself, for two decades) and in its final years the duties were shared by Michael Darvell and Mansel Stimpson. Of course, you can't keep a good brand down.


James Cameron-Wilson






Star RatingsPassing




Very good