United Kingdom

Walter Forde – Rome Express (1932)

Synopsis:
Rome Express is a fast-moving British imitation of Hollywood’s Grand Hotel formula. The film concentrates on the various passengers of a European express train. On this particular run, the train is a veritable hotbed of intrigue, with crooks and blackmail victims seemingly in every coach. Among the naughty and nice characters are continental favorites Conrad Veidt, Cedric Hardwicke and Finlay Currie, as well as American silent film star Esther Ralston. Rome Express enabled director Walter Forde to graduate from inexpensive regional comedies to prestige British productions. The film was also an obvious inspiration for such later intrigue-on-the-rails epics as The Lady Vanishes (38) and Night Train (39). Rome Express was remade in 1948 as Sleeping Car to Trieste. Read More »

David Gladwell – Memoirs of a Survivor (1981)

Synopsis: Based on a novel by Doris Lessing, MEMOIRS OF A SURVIVOR stars the luminous Julie Christie as D, a woman struggling to survive in a violent post-apocalyptic world. Traumatized by both the war she’s lived through and the regular atrocities that each day bring, D retreats from reality into a bizarre Victorian dream world within herself. However, when she takes in a teenage girl, D is drawn back into the harsh reality of her crumbling city and its feral street gangs. Desperate for some kind of salvation, D becomes convinced that her fantasy world of the past holds may hold the key to a better future. Read More »

Jirí Weiss – Ninety Degrees in the Shade (1965)

Quote:
In a Prague shop, an assistant has been carrying on an affair with the dishonest, married manager. An emotionally repressed auditor with domestic problems of his own uncovers serious stock discrepancies. A test of loyalties and a questioning of values concludes in tragedy. Read More »

Shane Meadows – This Is England (2006)

Quote:
Set in the Midlands of Britain in the summer of 1983 and scored to the exhilarating reggae bounce of Toots and the Maytals, This Is England is a classic coming-of-age story.
Shane Meadows’ semiautobiographical film, The 400 Blows, is as timely today in any inner city as it was a quarter of a century ago in Yorkshire, where unemployment and restlessness were high. Read More »

Robert Hamer – Kind Hearts and Coronets [+commentary] (1949)

Quote:
Film Forum writes:Poor relation Dennis Price, ninth in line to the Dukedom of Chalfont, coolly narrates from prison his ascent to the peerage via serial murder, bumping off one D’Ascoyne after another, from an arrogant playboy, to a bullet-headed general, to a stiff-upperlipped Admiral, to a dotty reverend, to a formidable dowager — all, plus three more, played by Alec Guinness. Read More »

John Paddy Carstairs – Sleeping Car to Trieste (1948)

Synopsis:
Espionage agents Valya (Jean Kent) and Zurta (Albert Lieven) break into an embassy in Paris to steal a diary filled with crucial political secrets. The spies pass the diary on to accomplice Karl (Bonar Colleano) — who then double crosses them, fleeing on the Orient Express to sell it abroad. The agents go after Karl to regain the diary, and a police inspector pursues the agents — while on the train, an unfaithful couple, a writer and a bird-watcher become unwitting participants in the drama. Read More »

Alan Bridges – The Shooting Party (1985)

Quote:
At last, the British film classic The Shooting Party receives the digital restoration that does justice to its sweeping vistas and heartbreaking snapshots of an era in its death throes. Set in 1913 England, on the brink of what would be the war to end all wars, the film focuses on an assortment of upper-crust acquaintances who gather for a weekend of hunting and society niceties (billiards, cards, draping oneself in jewels the evening after stomping around all day in the muck). Presiding over the festivities is a masterful James Mason as Sir Randolph Nettleby, a sort of benevolent dictator of his breathtaking estate, as his family and friends dip in and out of the action, adhering to the strict code of class conduct for all of their affairs–sport, self-advancement, illicit love. Read More »