The film world lost its greatest critic when Stanley Kauffmann went over to legitimate theatre, and here, if there was ever any doubt about it, is definitive evidence: a bounteous collection of his film reviews and articles written between 1958 and 1965 for the New Republic. In these years, he assessed some of the most fertile epics in motion picture history, straining always for a full understanding of the individual director's original intent, reconciling it to the product on the screen. Kauffmann brooks no sloppiness, pretentiousness, or arty obfuscation. He says of the symbolism in the last scene of Darling, ""it is ugly enough, but what does it signify? Weren't there toothless streetsingers in more decorous epics?"" Of the verbal stream of consciousness in The Married Woman. ""It contributes little because the idea of the device is all; the contents of the device are nil."" His consciousness is plastic. He is never academic but he simply will not be taken in. Kauffman is understandably grateful to the erudition of his readers; they allowed him to begin where lesser critics left off as in a review of The Luck of Ginger Coffey: ""The Sort of work that is vastly overpraised simply because it is not phoney."" The book is organized quite well, and as a result the reviews comprise some of the most trenchant, complete, and vital assessment of contemporary films to date.