The Movie Monk

An appreciation of film critic Tom Allen
by Nick Pinkerton   posted Oct 25, 2013

Back to Article


Terrific piece. It's great to see Tom Allen get some recognition. I graduated from Bishop Reilly H.S. in 1969, and knew Brother Thomas. He started a film society there, and regularly showed movies in the auditorium after school (I remember two: "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Seven Days in May"--not exactly auteurist fare). I also recall a conversation with him one day in which I tried to make a case for John Sturges, but Brother Thomas wasn't buying. Students nicknamed him "Spanky" because of his smiling, cherubic face (think Spanky McFarland). He was well liked by students and faculty. A few small points: as you rightly point out, Thomas Allen was a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. He was not a Jesuit monk. Also--and this is a bit confusing: Bishop Reilly (now St. Francis Prep) is located on Francis Lewis Blvd. and the LIE. Francis Lewis High School is located on Utopia Parkway and the LIE, about a mile or two from Reilly. They're not on the same block. Brother Thomas was an inspiration for students at Reilly who loved movies. So sad that he died so young. Thanks for your research and an excellent article.
Vince Cosgrove   posted 26.10.13


Fighting Words

Fighting Words
by Imogen Sara Smith
posted August 12, 2014

Fighting Words, Part 2

Fighting Words, Part 2
by Imogen Sara Smith
posted August 20, 2014

On the Margins: The Films of Patrick Lung Kong

On the Margins: The Fil…
by Andrew Chan
posted August 12, 2014

Robin Williams: A Sense of Wonder

Robin Williams: A Sense…
by David Schwartz
posted August 12, 2014

Allen on Halloween: "a study in warm colors, dark shadows, and ceaselessly tracking dollies [which] owes more to the expressive possibilities raised by Vincente Minnelli in the Halloween sequence of Meet Me in St. Louis than to any films in the realistic school."
Photo Gallery: The Movie Monk


Nick Pinkerton has written about films in The Village Voice, Reverse Shot, and Stop Smiling magazine. He is a product of Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

More articles by Nick Pinkerton