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The Bridge On The River Kwai | Blu Ray | (04/12/2017)
from £19.99 | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Based on the true story of the building of a bridge on the Burma railway by British prisoners-of-war held under a savage Japanese regime in World War II, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) is one of the greatest war films ever made. The film received seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Performance (Alex Guinness), for Sir Malcolm Arnold's superb music, and for the screenplay from the novel by Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Monkey Planet, the inspiration for Planet of the Apes). The story does take considerable liberties with history, including the addition of an American saboteur played by William Holden, and an entirely fictitious but superbly constructed and thrilling finale. Made on a vast scale, the film reinvented the war movie as something truly epic, establishing the cinematic beachhead for The Longest Day (1962), Patton (1970) and A Bridge Too Far (1977). It also proved a turning-point in director David Lean's career. Before he made such classic but conventionally scaled films as In Which We Serve (1942) and Hobson's Choice (1953). Afterwards there would only be four more films, but their names are Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), Ryan's Daughter (1970) and A Passage to India (1984). On the DVD: Too often the best extras come attached to films that don't really warrant them. Not so here, where a truly great film has been given the attention it deserves. The first disc presents the film in the original extra-wide CinemaScope ratio of 2.55:1, in an anamorphically enhanced transfer which does maximum justice to the film's superb cinematography. The sound has been transferred from the original six-track magnetic elements into 5.1 Dolby Digital and far surpasses what many would expect from a 1950s' feature. The main bonus on the first disc is an isolated presentation of Malcolm Arnold's great Oscar-winning music score, in addition to which there is a trivia game, and maps and historical information linked to appropriate clips. The second disc contains a new, specially produced 53-minute "making of" documentary featuring many of those involved in the production of the movie. This gives a rich insight into the physical problems of making such a complex epic on location in Ceylon. Also included are the original trailer and two short promotional films from the time of release, one of which is narrated by star William Holden. Finally there is an "appreciation" by director John Milius, an extensive archive of movie posters and artwork, and a booklet that reproduces the text of the film's original 1957 brochure. --Gary S Dalkin
The Sand Pebbles | DVD | (09/04/2012)
from £4.75 | Saving you £5.16 (51.70%) | RRP
Director Robert Wise chose to film Robert McKenna's award-winning novel The Sand Pebbles as his follow-up to the success of The Sound of Music. Shot in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the film combines historical sweep and intimate human drama in several parallel stories, all revolving around US Navy machinist's mate Jake Holman (Steve McQueen), a skilful but fiercely independent sailor who joins the "sand pebble" crew of the USS San Pablo, a Navy gunboat patrolling the Yangtze River on the eve of the Chinese revolution in 1926. The San Pablo's inexperienced captain (Richard Crenna) obsessively defends the Navy's mission-however unnecessary or unwanted--to protect American missionaries and businessmen, blind to the more dangerous implications of American involvement with China's opposing political factions. Holman is a defiant voice of humanity in this clash between outmoded values and inevitable change; his final line of dialogue ("What the hell happened?") is a tragic summation of misguided policy, expressing the film's criticism of the Vietnam War. Rather than preach, however, Wise lets McKenna's potent drama emerge from finely drawn relationships: between Holman and a young American teacher (19-year-old Candice Bergen, in her second film); between Holman and the Chinese "coolie" (Mako), whose heart-breaking fate transcends all issues of racial or political difference; and between crewmate "Frenchy" Burgoyne (Richard Attenborough) and the Chinese woman he's sworn to love and protect at all costs. Combined with the film's colourful supporting cast, adventurous scope, and climactic battle scenes, these personal dynamics bring substance and spirit to a complex story of good intentions gone awry. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
The Thin Red Line | DVD | (12/06/2000)
from £4.93 | Saving you £15.06 (75.30%) | RRP
The Eagle Has Landed | DVD | (19/07/2007)
from £3.31 | Saving you £1.98 (33.10%) | RRP
This 1976 adventure story set in World War II concerns a Nazi plot to kidnap Churchill from his retreat--or murder him if need be. The large, great cast and a director, John Sturges, who's been down this road of ensemble action before (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape) make this project exciting if not as memorable as Sturges' more famous works. The weak ending doesn't help. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com
Apocalypse Now | DVD | (09/01/2012)
from £6.81 | Saving you £9.18 (57.40%) | RRP
? The Timeless Epic from Francis Ford Coppola ? In a pristine new transfer supervised by Francis Ford Coppola ? Presented in the original (2.35:1) theatrical aspect ratioOne of the most iconic films ever made and one of the most disturbing dramatisations of the Vietnam War ever seen, Francis Ford Coppola?s Apocalypse Now is cinema at its most epic and unforgettable. Traumatised soldier Captain Benjamin L. Willard has been chosen for a highly classified mission. He must journey along the notorious Nung river and into the savage depths of war torn Cambodia in search of the mysterious Colonel Kurtz. Deemed insane and a danger to the war effort, Kurtz must be terminated with extreme prejudice. But the closer he gets to Kurtz the closer he gets to his own heart of darkness.
The Way Ahead | DVD | (17/05/2004)
from £4.49 | Saving you £5.50 (55.10%) | RRP
Originally intended as a training film this war story (based on a screenplay by Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov) tells of the light-hearted tomfoolery which soon gives way to the grim realities of life on the most dangerous battlegrounds of the Second World War...
Rocknrolla | Blu Ray | (02/02/2009)
from £4.40 | Saving you £20.52 (76.00%) | RRP
Director Guy Ritchie presents Rocknrolla - a dramatic crime thriller starring Gerard Butler Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson! When a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal millions of dollars are up for grabs and all of London's criminal underworld wants in on the action. Everyone from a dangerous crime lord to a sexy accountant a corrupt politician and down-on-their-luck petty thieves conspire collude and collide with one another in an effort to get rich quick
Anzio | DVD | (13/09/2004)
from £2.95 | Saving you £1.37 (22.90%) | RRP
Available for the first time on DVD! Robert Mitchum Peter Falk and Arthur Kennedy star in the rivetting war drama Anzio a vivid portrait of one of the bloodiest WWII battles ever fought. After landing with Allied troops at Anzio Italy in 1944 war correspondent Dick Ennis (Mitchum) and buddy Corporal Rabinoff (Falk) tell Anzio commander General Lesley (Kennedy) that the road to Rome is wide open. But instead of heading to Rome Lesley attempts to build a coastal stronghold only
The Children | DVD | (30/03/2009)
from £2.95 | Saving you £11.50 (71.90%) | RRP
New Years Eve and two families are gathering together to celebrate the holiday. What begins as a relaxing vacation for Elaine and Jonah turns suddenly into a vicious fight for their lives when the children mysteriously begin to take ill and lash out. This terrifying new horror pits a family against itself as the kids turn on their parents with horrifying consequences.
Sands of Iwo Jima (John Wayne) | DVD | (05/06/2006)
from £3.71 | Saving you £6.28 (62.90%) | RRP
Alone and outnumbered they had one thing in their favor... the American dream. Blazing action and spectacle are on the menu as battle-toughened sergeant John M Stryker (John Wayne) prepares a group of soldiers for action in the Pacific. The men have got their biggest test ahead on Iwo Jima where they have to inch their way up Mt. Suribachi under constant Japanese fire.
The Doors | DVD | (06/10/2008)
from £6.81 | Saving you £6.18 (47.60%) | RRP
Oliver Stone give us his take on the life of rock star Jim Morrison whose life came tragically to an end in a haze of drug abuse. The movie captures the psychedelic atmosphere of the Doors work and particularly Jim Morrison's life - who is played by a very convincing Val Kilmer.
Hamburger Hill | DVD | (23/07/2001)
from £N/A | Saving you £N/A (N/A%) | RRP
Because Hamburger Hill was released less than a year after Oliver Stone's Platoon and within months of Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, this exceptionally well-made film about one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War was largely overshadowed and overlooked. It's a pity, because in some respects this is the best of the Vietnam films of the late 1980s, at least in terms of the everyday authenticity it depicts. Stripped clean of dramatically extraneous narrative, the movie opts instead for a straightforward approach to its day-by-day account of one of the war's costliest victories--a deadly siege on Hill 937 in the Ashau Valley, where soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division engaged the enemy over the course of 11 brutal assaults between May 10 and May 20, 1969. The film specifically follows the 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon, a mixture of "new guys" and battle-weary "short-timers" who fought against terrifying odds and suffered a 70 per cent casualty rate. From first scene to last, Hamburger Hill traces the rise and fall of their battle experience, from the horror of fire-fights to the camaraderie of men who've faced death and survived. Racial tensions flare and subside, trusts are established and courage emerges from unexpected places. Through it all, writer Jim Carabatsos and director John Irvin maintain a purity of focus that pays tribute to the soldier's life without promoting false patriotism or gung-ho theatrics. In addition, the film features a cast full of talented and well-known actors in the early stages of their careers, including Dylan McDermott and Don Cheadle (Devil in a Blue Dress, Boogie Nights). Colour accuracy, image clarity and the explosive soundtrack have been remarkably preserved in a flawless DVD transfer, lending even greater immediacy to this underrated film. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Apocalypse Now | Blu Ray | (13/06/2011)
from £16.99 | Saving you £13.00 (43.30%) | RRP
In the tradition of such obsessively driven directors as Erich von Stroheim and Werner Herzog, Francis Ford Coppola approached the production of Apocalypse Now as if it was his own epic mission into the heart of darkness. On location in the storm-ravaged Philippines, he quite literally went mad as the project threatened to devour him in a vortex of creative despair but from this insanity came one of the greatest films ever made. It began as a John Milius screenplay, transposing Joseph Conrad's classic story "Heart of Darkness" into the horrors of the Vietnam War, following a battle-weary Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) on a secret upriver mission to find and execute the renegade Colonel Kurtz(Marlon Brando), who has reverted to a state of murderous and mystical insanity. The journey is fraught with danger involving war-time action on epic and intimate scales. One measure of the film's awesome visceral impact is the number of sequences, images and lines of dialogue that have literally burned themselves into our cinematic consciousness, from the Wagnerian strike of helicopter gunships on a Vietnamese village to the brutal murder of stowaways and the unflinching fearlessness of the surfing warrior Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore (Robert Duvall), who speaks lovingly of "the smell of napalm in the morning." Like Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God, this film is the product of genius cast into a pit of hell and emerging, phoenix-like, in triumph. Coppola's obsession (effectively detailed in the riveting documentary Hearts of Darkness, directed by Coppola's wife, Eleanor) informs every scene and every frame, and the result is a film for the ages. --Jeff Shannon
What's Eating Gilbert Grape | DVD | (06/10/2008)
from £6.69 | Saving you £6.30 (48.50%) | RRP
Life is a terrible thing to sleep through. Meet Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) a young man who lives in Endora Iowa population 1 091. Gilbert lives with his mother whose 36 stone frame is slowly destroying the fragile Grape homestead his brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who was never expected to survive childhood and his two sisters. Gilbert's only excitement is his affair with Mrs. Betty Carver (Mary Steenburgen). Besides that Gilbert's life is weird. And he doesn't seem to enjoy it. But one day a mysterious beautiful girl named Becky (Juliette Lewis) moves into town with her grandmother and Gilbert's world begins to change...
Escape To Athena | DVD | (14/06/2004)
from £4.69 | Saving you £8.30 (63.90%) | RRP
A battle of action and wits in a World War II prison camp where the Fuhrer's scheme for looting a treasure-laden island off Greece is under way. Prisoners of war labour under the eye of the camp's Austrian Commandment Major Otto Hecht as they dig up priceless Greek art. Zeno the island's resistance leader and his woman Eleana scheme to defeat the occupiers. Zeno and his men clash with the Germans to save the lives of condemned prisoners and try to locate a submarine oil supply dep
History Of Violence | Blu Ray | (02/03/2009)
from £5.59 | Saving you £9.40 (62.70%) | RRP
Everyone has something to hide. Loosly based on the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke A History Of Violence is the latest film from Canadian auteur David Cronenburg . Tom Stall is a loving family man and a well respected citizen of a small Indiana town. But when two savage criminals show up at his diner Tom is forced to take action and thwart the robbery attempt. Suddenly heralded as a hero who took the courage to stand up to crime people look up to Tom as a man of high moral regard. But all that media attention has the likes of mobsters showing up at his doorstep charging that Tom is someone else they've been looking for. Is it a case of mistaken identity or does Tom have a history of violence that no one knows about?
Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage | DVD | (24/11/2008)
from £4.19 | Saving you £8.80 (67.70%) | RRP
Inspired by the early life and the artwork of renowned painter Thomas Kinkade The Christmas Cottage is the story of how a small community and an aging mentor come to the aid of a family to save the only home they have ever known; and along the way teach a young man the meaning of love friendship and what it means to be an artist.
Jarhead | DVD | (30/05/2011)
from £2.49 | Saving you £7.43 (74.40%) | RRP
Swofford's 2003 book on his experiences in the first Gulf War, and enlists William Broyles Jr a former Lieutenant who fought in Vietnam to convert it into a screenplay.
The Boys In Company C | DVD | (21/04/2008)
from £5.99 | Saving you £3.50 (26.90%) | RRP
Recognised as the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket Boys of Company C is a high-end member of the cannon of classic battle-field movies and a frighteningly realistic critique of the pointlessness and corruption universally associated with the US/Vietnam war. Boys of Company C follows the lives of five nave young Marine inductees from their training in boot camp through a tour in Vietnam that quickly devolves into a hellish nightmare. Disheartened by futile combat appalled by the corruption of their South Vietnamese ally and constantly endangered by the incompetence of their own company commander the young men find a possible way out of the war. They are told that if they can defeat a rival soccer team they can spend the rest of their tour playing exhibition games behind the lines. But as they might have predicted nothing in Vietnam is as simple as it seems.
The Battle of Algiers | Blu Ray | (09/07/2012)
from £8.19 | Saving you £13.80 (62.80%) | RRP
Director Gillo Pontecorvo's 1966 movie The Battle of Algiers concerns the violent struggle in the late 1950s for Algerian independence from France, where the film was banned on its release for fear of creating civil disturbances. Certainly, the heady, insurrectionary mood of the film, enhanced by a relentlessly pulsating Ennio Morricone soundtrack, makes for an emotionally high temperature throughout. With the advent of the "war against terror" in recent years, the film's relevance has only intensified. Shot in a gripping, quasi-documentary style, The Battle of Algiers uses a cast of untrained actors coupled with a stern voiceover. Initially, the film focuses on the conversion of young hoodlum Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag) to FLN (the Algerian Liberation Front.) However, as a sequence of outrages and violent counter-terrorist measures ensue, it becomes clear that, as in Eisenstein's October, it is the Revolution itself that is the true star of the film. Pontecorvo balances cinematic tension with grimly acute political insight. He also manages an even-handedness in depicting the adversaries. He doesn't flinch from demonstrating the civilian consequences of the FLN's bombings, while Colonel Mathieu, the French office brought in to quell the nationalists, is played by Jean Martin as determined, shrewd and, in his own way, honourable man. However, the closing scenes of the movie--a welter of smoke, teeming street demonstrations and the pealing white noise of ululations--leaves the viewer both intellectually and emotionally convinced of the rightfulness of the liberation struggle. This is surely among a fistful of the finest movies ever made. --David Stubbs