Thriller in which Hugh Williams is accused of bumping off violinist Rosalie Crutchley. Wife and opera singer Greta Gynt tries to prove his innocence by investigating the missing years in Crutchley's life. This was Ronald Neame's first attempt at directing and a very good job he made of it too.
Script: Winston Graham, Valerie Taylor, Margaret Kennedy
Director: Ronald Neame
Players: Leo Beibner, Marjorie Mars, David Wallbridge, Francis L. Sullivan, Herbert C. Walton, Marius Goring, D.A. Mehan, Henry Edwards, Hugh Kelly, Dorothy Bramhall, Nelly Arno, Frederick Morant, Grace Denbigh-Russell, Eleanor Summerfield, Olive Walter, Pat Susands, Henry Morrell, Maurice Denham, Leo Britt, Keith Lloyd, Margaret Boyd, J. Hubert Leslie, Deirdre Doyle, Ronald Adam
When a titled couple get swindled they go to any lengths to get their money back.
Great star comedy from Jack Hulbert and Cicely Courtneidge, playing an actual married couple for a change.
Script: Sidney Gilliat, Michael Hogan, Jack Hulbert
Director: Herbert Mason
Players: Harold Huth, Frank Cellier, Frank Pettingell, Robb Wilton, H.F. Maltby, Eliot Makeham, Philip Buchel, Paul Sheridan
Say what you like about Dirk Bogarde, but he never played for sympathy. This makes him the perfect Sydney Carton doing that far, far better thing on the scaffold. T.E.B. Clarke's adaptation of the Dickens classic is a respectable job and the film is good without reaching the heights of Great Expectations or Oliver Twist. The stand-out performance is that of Rosalie Crutchley as Madame Defarge: the bitterest woman in cinema.
Script: T.E.B. Clarke
Director: Ralph Thomas
Players: Dorothy Tutin, Paul Guers, Cecil Parker, Stephen Murrey, Athene Seyler, Ian Bannen, Alfie Bass, Ernest Clark, Christopher Lee, Freda Jackson, Leo McKern, Donald Pleasence, Eric Pohlmann
It wasn't rated highly on release, but this opera/ballet combination by the Archers has a growing reputation. It's not a patch on The Red Shoes though. The structure is muddled and despite some nice moments it just doesn't stand up as a whole. The Festival-of-Britain style design makes it worth a look.
Written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Players: Moira Shearer, Ludmilla Tcherina, Robert Rounseville, Pamela Brown, Leonide Massine, Frederick Ashton
When a shipping magnate kills himself, his ward comes under suspicion.
Script: Carol Reed, George Barraud, Anthony Kimmins
Director: Carol Reed
Players: Sally Eilers, Ricardo Cortez, Basil Sydney, Frederick Culley, Charles Carson, Gordon McLeod, Dennis Cowles, Quinton McPherson, Randle Ayrton, Margaret Rutherford, Moore Marriott, Langley Howard, Pam Downing, Anne Daniels, Stafford Hilliard, Aubrey Mallalieu, Mac Callaghan
A man is found stabbed in his library - but a lot of people have motive to muddy the trail of evidence.
Typical stately manor murder mystery peopled with Julius Hagen's familiar roster of players.
Script adapt.: H. Fowler Mere. (o.a. Mrs Champion de Crespigny)
Director: George A Cooper
Players: Sam Livesey, Joan Marion, Michael Hogan, Michael Shepley, Reginald Tate, Dick Francis, Edgar Norfolk, John Turnbull, Davina Craig, Gillian Maude
A shepherdess is torn between two brothers.
Pastoral melodrama which benefits from sensitive location shooting.
Script adapt.: George W Dewhurst. (o.a. Tickner Edwards)
Director: Cecil Hepworth
Players: Alma Taylor, Teddy Royce, Hugh Clifton, James Carew, Gerald Ames, George Dewhurst, Eileen Dennes, Rolf Leslie
A pair of rare birds nest in the English countryside, and locals and evacuees unite to protect the nest from disturbance and egg stealers.
There are two ways of looking at this film and which way you choose will largely depend on your attitude to British cinema. The first way is to see a collection of bloodless stereotypes pottering their way through a meandering script based about something completely unimportant. It's cosy, undemanding and faintly patronising.
The other way is to see a film that tries to be about people's real lives. It may lack the gritty realism of a Ken Loach film, but it does show ordinary people in the way they might prefer to be seen.
Either way, your response is going to come down to the phrase "Don't you know there's a war on!" Yes, with bombs raining down on half of Europe and the Nazis doing God knows what to the poor souls in their power, British Cinema makes a film about bird watching.
Blame/praise for this enterprise must go to star, producer, co-writer and co-director Bernard Miles. Sadly Bernard Miles (producer) couldn't stop Bernard Miles (actor) from taking a part for which he was wildly unsuited, and Bernard Miles (director) couldn't get a decent performance from him. He's playing an old buffer in thick make-up and thicker whiskers. His presence undermines every scene he's in.
The England depicted here is a curious one to present to an audience in need of a dose of patriotism. The countryside is glorious and they seemed to have filmed in one of those great summers we don't get any more. However, this is a land where influence is more powerful than justice; where only posh people are allowed military command, and where an RAF pilot and his nurse can deliberately sabotage food production because they think they know better than other folk. It all adds up to a good reason to vote Labour when elections resume.
Whether you're pro or anti Tawny Pipit you have to admit there's something heroic about making this film. It's hard to think of any other country that would be so mad. It's made in the same spirit in which the RAF pilot compares the Battle of Britain to a cricket match. It reduces something enormous to a tiny scale and somehow describes it more clearly than any grand rhetoric could convey.
Script: Bernard Miles, Charles Saunders
Director: Bernard Miles, Charles Saunders
Players: Rosamund John, Niall MacGinnis, Jean Gillie, Christopher Steele, Lucie Mannheim, Brefni O'Rorke, George Carney, Wylie Watson, John Salew, Marjorie Rhodes, Ernest Butcher, Grey Blake, Joan Sterndale-Bennett, Lionel Watson, Scott Harrold, Arthur Burne, Billy Bridget, John Rea, Ann Wilton, Stuart Latham, Johnnie Schofield, Katie Johnson, Ian Fleming, Sam Wilkinson, David Keir, Sydney Benson, Jenny Weaver
Gordon Scott is the hunky jungle-man battling against diamond-hunting bad guys who include Anthony Quayle and Sean Connery.
Script adapt.: Berne Giller, John Guillermin. (o.a. Edgar Rice Burroughs)
Director: John Guillermin
Players: Sara Shane, Scilla Gabel, Niall MacGinnis, Al Mulock
A man's perfect murder is ruined by his guilty conscience.
Retelling of the Poe classic which put its director on the map.
Script adapt.: David Plunkett Greene. (o.a. Edgar Allan Poe)
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Players: Norman Dryden, John Kelt, Yolande Terrell, Thomas Shenton, James Fleck, Colonel Cameron
Two public school chums enlist for World War One and find themselves at Gallipoli.
The production struggles a little with the primitive sound technology available, but it still impresses.
Script adapt.: Anthony Asquith. (o.a. Ernest Raymond)
Director: Anthony Asquith, Geoffrey Barkas
Players: Fay Compton, Tony Bruce, Carl Harbord, Dennis Hoey, C.M. Mallard, Gerald Rawlinson, Frederick Lloyd, Sam Wilkinson, Wally Patch, Hubert Harben, Lionel Hedges
Robert Newton finds a suitcase full of money, but the real owner wants it back.
Script adapt.: Victor Skutezky, Frederic Gotfurt, Rodney Ackland. (o.a. Georges Simenon)
Director: Lance Comfort
Players: Simone Simon, William Hartnell, Marcel Dalio, Edward Rigby, Margaret Barton, Joan Hopkins, Charles Victor, Kathleen Harrison, Irene Handl, Wylie Watson, Leslie Dwyer, WG Fay, Edward Lexy, George Woodbridge, Kathleen Boutall, Dave Crowley, Gladys Henson, John Salew
A politician blackmails his wife into staying with him.
Script adapt.: Geoffrey Kerr, Dudley Leslie, Marjorie Deans, Jack Davies. (o.a. Somerset Maugham)
Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Players: John Lodge, Antoinette Cellier, Aileen Marson, Clifford Evans, George Graves, Frank Cochrane, Athole Stewart, Iris Hoey, Bruse Lister, Barry Sinclair, Anthony Holles, Hindle Edgar, edith Sharpe, John Harwood, Aubrey Mallalieu, Kathleen Harrison, Mavis Clair
The Terror is the disguise used by a criminal mastermind, but a lot of people are out to unmask him. Cracking spooky thriller.
Script adapt.: William Freshman. (o.a. Edgar Wallace)
Director: Richard Bird
Players: Wilfrid Lawson, Linden Travers, Henry Oscar, Alastair Sim, Arthur Wontner, Bernard Lee, Iris Hoey, Lesley Wareing, Edward Lexy, Richard Murdoch, John Turnbull, John H. Vyvyan, Jack Lambert, Stanley Lathbury