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Collection of ten classic films from the award-winning British director. In 'The Sound Barrier' (1952), Ralph Richardson stars as an aircraft manufacturer whose all-consuming passion with making the ultimate supersonic jet kills both his son and son-in-law and almost destroys him and the rest of his family. In 'Hobson's Choice' (1953), Lancashire bootmaker Henry Horatio Hobson (Charles Laughton) keeps a tight rein on his three daughters until his eldest, Maggie (Brenda De Banzie), marries his assistant, Willie Mossop (John Mills), and sets him up in his own bootmaking firm. To Hobson's consternation, Willie has soon become his father-in-law's main business rival. In 'Blithe Spirit' (1945), cynical writer, Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison), asks a medium (Margaret Rutherford) to hold a seance in his house so he can collect material for his latest book. No one is more surprised than the medium when she inadvertently conjures up the ghost of Condomine's first wife (Kay Hammond). The ghost refuses to go away, preferring to taunt her less sophisticated replacement (Constance Cummings). In 'Brief Encounter' (1945), a respectable, happily married doctor (Trevor Howard) comes to the aid of an equally upstanding housewife (Celia Johnson) when a passing train blows cinder into her eye. Thus begins a tentative romance, conducted in the tearooms and railway cafe of a small English town. In 'Great Expectations' (1946), orphan, Pip (Anthony Wager), befriends an escaped convict before being elevated to higher circles as the companion of Miss Havisham and her niece, Estella (Jean Simmons), with whom the boy quickly falls in love. When the adult Pip (Mills) discovers a mysterious benefactor has paved the way for him to become a gentleman, he assumes Miss Havisham is responsible. In 'Oliver Twist' (1948), Oliver (John Howard Davis) is a young orphan boy who is expelled from the workhouse run by Mr Bumbel (Francis L. Sullivan). After becoming an apprentice to an undertaker, Oliver decides to run away to London, only to meet the Artful Dodger (Anthony Newley) and fall amongst his gang of thieves, led by the scheming Fagin (Alec Guinness). In 'Madeleine' (1949), Madeleine (Ann Todd) is the eldest daughter in a respectable Victorian Glasgow family. She begins an affair with Frenchman, Emile L'Anglier (Ivan Desny), without her father's knowledge. Meanwhile, Madeleine's father insists on her seeing various suitors. When Madeleine becomes engaged to William Minnoch (Norman Wooland), Emile threatens to reveal their relationship. 'The Passionate Friends' (1944) is an episodic tale of an average working class family in the interwar years. The story traces the melodrama caused by illicit affairs, family bereavement, the first ripples of women's liberation and political instability in the country during the General Strike. It highlights the fact that these internal wranglings are all happening in one house in an average street, and that each average house has its own dramatic stories to tell. Finally, 'In Which We Serve' (1942) is a World War II drama about a destroyer, told through flashbacks and the reminiscences of the surviving crew after their beloved ship is torpedoed.
This sequel to 'Private's Progress' takes a satirical look at trade unions and labour relations. Upon leaving the army, upper class twit Windrush (Ian Carmichael) takes a job in industry. Before long he has inadvertently started a national strike, which is subsequently mishandled by everyone involved.
Peter Brook made his directorial debut with this adaptation of John Gay's 1728 opera. A highwayman imprisoned in Newgate jail whiles away the hours by creating an opera based on his own life.
Bruce Robinson's celebrated cult comedy starring Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann. It's the end of the 1960s and two out-of-work actors, Withnail (Grant) and 'I' (McGann), subsist on a diet of booze, drugs and fags in their revolting Camden flat. In order to escape the depressing nexus of visits from their dealer and the months of untouched washing-up, they escape to the country, with the intention of getting some R and R at a cottage owned by Withnail's uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths). However, things do not exactly go as planned, Withnail being particularly unsuited to the quiet social mores of countrypeople. The pair's friendship starts to become sorely tested amid the vicissitudes of their 'holiday'. More ominously, uncle Monty appears in person seemingly with something of an eye for 'I'.
After boxer Swede (Burt Lancaster) is gunned down by a pair of contract killers, insurance investigator Jim Reardon (Edmond O'Brien) sets about piecing together the motives behind the murder. Swede's story is revealed in flashback - how he became involved in the crime world of Big Jim Colfax (Albert Dekker), only to be seduced into armed robbery by Colfax's glamorous moll, Kitty Collins (Ava Gardner).
A young man with a talent for music has begun a career with much promise. He meets an aspiring singer, Apollonia, and finds that talent alone isn't all that he needs.
A complicated tale of his repeating his father's self destructive behavior, losing Apollonia to another singer, and his coming to grips with his own connection to other people ensues.
American spinster Jane Hudson has finally saved enough to take the trip of a lifetime and she hopes Venice will bring a spark of magic into her life. Overwhelmed by the beauty of her surroundings her holiday becomes all the more special when she encounters a charming antiques dealer and is soon swept off her feet. Could this be the romance for which she has waited her whole life?
This historical 1966 television adaptation by Arthur Miller of his Pulitzer Prize-winning modern tragedy stars the incomparable Lee J. Cobb and Mildred Dunnock recreating their original Broadway roles.
In a career-defining performance, Cobb portrays Willy Loman, the travelling salesman who's come at last to the end of his dreams. Death of a Salesman has been called the greatest American play of the Twentieth Century, and this classic recording brings forth breath-taking performances from Cobb, Dunnock, George Segal, James Farentino and Gene Wilder.
This landmark production has been digitally re-mastered and will endure for all generations to come. This program as originally recorded was edited for network time considerations with portions of the play's text omitted.
1878 New Mexico: Billy the Kid and five young outcasts are hired by British cattleman John Tunstall in an attempt to educate them and prepare them for a life in the wild Nebraska territory.
But when their boss is brutally murdered by a gang working for corrupt rival cattleman L.G. Murphy, all hell breaks out as they create chaos in an attempt to avenge the death of their friend and benefactor.
The Young Guns are branded outlaws and become the object of the largest manhunt in frontier history, now riding against incredible odds.
Collection of three films from Britain's Ealing Studios all starring Alec Guinness. In 'Kind Hearts and Coronets' (1949) an embittered aristocrat sets out to murder the eight heirs that stand between him and succession to the family title. Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price) holds no love for the aristocratic family he counts as relations, the D'Ascoynes. The family cast his mother out when she decided to marry a 'commoner', Louis's father, and on her death refuse to allow her to be buried in the family vault. An outraged Louis vows revenge and begins working his way into the trust of the family to provide him with the opportunity to bump off the male heirs (all played by Guinness) one by one. However, complications arise when he becomes romantically entangled with one of the widows of his victims, Edith D'Ascoyne (Valerie Hobson). Will Louis be able to stay the course and murder his way to a Dukedom? In 'The Lavender Hill Mob' (1951) Guinness stars as a mild-mannered bank clerk whose sudden compulsion to rob the bank he works for causes all manner of chaos. Henry Holland (Guinness) has been trusted with delivering gold bullion for 20 years and is considered a safe pair of hands by his employers. However, Henry harbours dreams of becoming rich and hatches a plan to steal the gold when he makes the acquaintance of the artist, Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway). The pair realise that if Alfred melts the stolen gold into miniature statues of the Eiffel Tower, it could be smuggled safely to France and sold on. However, things go awry when the gold statues become mixed in with a group of ordinary statues, leading to a frantic chase as Henry and Alfred try to recover the gold without their crime being detected. The film features a brief cameo from a young Audrey Hepburn. In 'The Man in the White Suit' (1951) eccentric Sidney Stratton (Guiness) is a laboratory cleaner in a textile factory, who invents a material that will neither wear out nor become dirty. Initially hailed as a great discovery, Sidney's astonishing invention is suffocated by the management when they realise that if it never wears out, people will only ever have to purchase one suit of clothing.
Hal Ashby's cult black-comedy. Harold (Bud Cort) is a death-obsessed teenager who hangs around in cemeteries and drives a hearse. When he attends a funeral and meets his polar opposite Maude (Ruth Gordon), a life-loving 79-year-old, a strange love affair ensues. However, the offbeat nature of their pairing, and their defiance of social convention, causes upset all around. With music by Cat Stevens.
At the height of the 1944 Doodlebug offensive, a local postman is brought to an emergency hospital near London. His wounds aren't severe but he mysteriously dies on the operating table. The theatre sister, one of six hospital staff in attendance, stumbles across evidence that the man was murdered... but she is stabbed to death before she can tell the police what she knows.
Called in from Scotland Yard to investigate the crime, Inspector Cockrill finds that each of the remaining suspects has an excellent motive for committing both murders. By staging a mock operation, with the five suspects in attendance, he reconstructs the circumstances of the postman's death and dramatically unmasks the killer.
In black & white.
When a young girl is murdered a Police Inspector is sent to investigate a prosperous Yorkshire household. It emerges that each one of the family has a guilty secret - each one is partly responsible for her murder. Alastair Sim stars in this classic drama.
Dennis Hopper directs and stars in this American cult classic. Bikers Billy (Hopper) and Wyatt (Peter Fonda), having just smuggled a huge amount of cocaine across the border from Mexico to LA, sell their haul to the mysterious Connection (Phil Spector) and take off on their bikes in the hope of reaching New Orleans in time for the Mardi Gras festival. After being arrested in Texas for joining a street parade without having the required permit, they meet civil rights lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson) who decides to join them on their journey.
Young husband and father, Ted Kramer, loves his family - and his job, which is where he spends most of his time. When he returns home late one evening from work, his wife, Joanna confronts him and then leaves him, forcing Ted to become the sole caregiver to their six-year-old son.
Now, Ted must learn to be a father while balancing the demands of his high-pressure career. But just as Ted adapts to his new role and begins to feel like a fulfilled parent, Joanna returns. And now she wants her son back.
Lancashire bootmaker Henry Horatio Hobson (Charles Laughton) keeps a tight rein on his three daughters, until his eldest, Maggie (Brenda De Banzie), marries his assistant Willie Mossop (John Mills) and sets him up in his own bootmaking firm. To Hobson's consternation, Willie has soon become his father-in-law's main business rival.
Matt Masters (John Wayne) is a circus owner who has to start from scratch when his ship sinks in the Barcelona harbour. Starting up a Wild West act, he takes under his wing Toni Alfredo (Claudio Cardinale), a trapeze artist whose mother Lili (Rita Hayworth) has abandoned her. Seeking Lili out in a Hamburg bar, Masters obtains her a job in the circus anonymously, so that she can get to know her daughter.
An Academy Award-winning drama about a close-knit army camp in Hawaii before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Winner of eight Oscars, including Best Picture. Based on the novel by James Jones
In black & white.
Both celebrated as a landmark achievement in the development of film form and reviled for its racist characterisations and affirmation of the Ku Klux Klan, D W Griffith's epic account of the American Civil War and its aftermath is still one of the most controversial films ever made. It tells the story of two families, the Stonemans from the North and the Camerons from the South, and the way in which they are both caught up in the turmoil which befalls a sleepy Deep South town when Northern Abolitionists threaten to outlaw the slave trade which has existed there for years. Things go from bad to worse when Ben Cameron's little sister dies at the hands of Gus, a black farmhand, and Ben dons a Ku Klux Klan mask both to avenge her death and to come to the rescue of his beloved girlfriend (Lillian Gish), who has been kidnapped by a corrupt mixed-race governor.
Sink The Bismarck
In black & white.
The Enemy Below
Undertaker's clerk Billy (Tom Courtenay) escapes his dreary small town existence in a 1950s Northern town by living in a fantasy world where he realises his ambitions. When his job, unsympathetic working class family and two fiancees threaten to become too much, he meets fashionable Julie Christie, who offers him his one chance for real escape.
Classic silent drama from legendary director F.W. Murnau. A South Pacific pearl fisherman falls in love with a girl who has been declared 'Taboo' by her tribe. Shot in Tahiti.
In 1943 a group of mismatched Allied soldiers are sent to sabotage two powerful Nazi guns situated on a Greek island. If their mission fails, the guns will wipe out the 2,000 British soldiers who are attempting to evacuate civilians further down the coast. The mission is led by the dispassionate Captain Mallory (Gregory Peck), whose clinical approach does not find favour with explosives expert Corporal Miller (David Niven). Meanwhile, the group's Greek patriot guide Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn) is nursing a grudge against Mallory for an old injustice. A belated sequel, 'Force 10 from Navarone', followed in 1978.
After the fall of the Libyan city of Tobruk, Sergeant Joe Gunn and his crew - Waco Hoyt, Fred Clarkson and Jimmy Doyle retreat in their tank across the Sahara.
Along the way they pick up six Allied stragglers and Tambul, a Sudanese corporal and his Italian prisoner. Tambul directs the group to a desert fortress, where they hope to find desperately needed water. A detachment of German soldiers arrives and attempts to barter food for water, but Gunn and his followers refuse.
When the Germans attack, Gunn leads his desert-weary men in a desperate battle, hoping that British reinforcements can arrive in time.
In black & white.
Tony Hancock's first feature film finds him as a frustrated city clerk who dreams of becoming a successful artist. Taking a chance on fame and fortune, he gives up his job and travels to gay Paris. There he is acclaimed as a genius when another artist's work is mistaken for his, but soon finds himself paying the price of celebrity.
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