United Kingdom

David Lean – Oliver Twist (1948)

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Expressionistic noir photography suffuses David Lean’s Oliver Twist with a nightmarish quality, fitting its bleak, industrial setting. In Dickens’ classic tale, an orphan wends his way from cruel apprenticeship to den of thieves in search of a true home. Here Alec Guinness is the quintessential Fagin, his controversial performance fully restored in Criterion’s new digital transfer.

Links:
Criterion
All Movie Guide Read More »

Basil Dearden – Cage of Gold (1950)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Cage of Gold was a rare non-comic effort from Britain’s Ealing Studios. Jean Simmons stars as Judith, who awakens the morning after her wedding to discover that her new husband has deserted her. Later on, she is told that her husband is dead. After a period of mourning, Judith remarries–only to be subjected to blackmail by husband number one. It’s all a racket, of course, but Judith doesn’t go to the police until it’s almost too late. Featured in the cast of Cage of Gold as a slimy smuggler is Herbert Lom, who later gained worldwide fame as Inspector Dreyfus in the “Pink Panther” comedies. Read More »

Basil Dearden – All Night Long (1962)

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Synopsis:

“At an East London warehouse jazz party, a drummer plots his revenge on the people who thwarted his ambitions by spreading rumours and lies amongst them.”
– Screenonline

“The film, based on Othello, is neatly positioned as a vehicle to showcase some of the best Jazz musicians of the period – including Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus.”
– IMDb Read More »

Ken Annakin – Miranda (1948)

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A young married physician discovers a mermaid, and gives into her request to be taken to see London. Comedy and romantic entanglements ensue soon after. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Q&A with Werner Herzog at the UK Premiere (2011)

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DVD extra = 43 minute Q&A with Werner Herzog at the UK premiere in Brixton, in march 2011. Read More »

Dan Gordon – The John Akii-Bua Story: An African Tragedy (2008)

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Via Lutherb:

“A documentary showing Uganda in the 1970s to 1980s through the relationship between John Akii-Bua, the first African athlete to win a gold olympic medal in an event under 1000 metres, and Idi Amin, the cruel dictator of Uganda in the 1970s. It’s an exciting documentary for those who are interested in the 20th century history of Africa, with a lot of new information and insights.” Read More »

Paddy Considine – Tyrannosaur (2011)

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Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an angry man slowly drinking himself to death in his small English village. With no family to speak of and only his fellow drunks to keep him company, Joseph watches the world through the bottom of his pint glass. But when an unexpected altercation in the village pub leads him to seek shelter in the second-hand shop run by Hannah (Olivia Colman), Joseph finds himself immersed in a domestic drama that will test the limits of his resolve while revealing a side of his humanity he thought no longer existed. Read More »